Despite the promise of something innovative and great in switching Record Labels, ultimately what we get with Madonna's MDNA is indeed something new, but how great is it really? Patchy is one word to describe the twelve-track Disc, her first from Live Nation/Interscope Records/Universal Music, but it is not without its traces of brilliance. Collaborations with Benny Benassi - I'm Addicted and Girl Gone Wild - highlight the Disc and in a perfect World should have been plugged one-two as the Album's first Singles. The only problem is that there is a lack of any real defining trait that says these tunes belong to the Queen of Pop other than her distinctive and recognizable vocals being heard on them.
The theatrical Gang Bang is somewhat reminiscent of Madonna's Bedtime Stories era, with her channeling some Nancy Sinatra-meets-Deborah Harry-esque Femme Fatale before breaking into a terribly embarrassing Monologue. She commands, "Drive Bitch! And while you're at it, die Bitch! That's right, Drive Bitch! Now if you're gonna act like a Bitch, you're gonna die like a Bitch!". Absolutely absurd.
Some mixed results are garnered from Madonna's studio sessions with Martin Solveig, including first Single Give Me All Your Luvin' (ft. M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj) which I admit was fun for a few listens, but ultimately does not withstand the rigours of "repeat" and "shuffle" on the iPod. The Duo do however strike Pop Excellence on the David Guetta-esque Turn Up the Radio, perhaps an homage to Donna Summer (?) which absolutely is plug-worthy. Genuinely she is putting forth in her vocal delivery here and any Fan would know it.
Two Ballads saved for late, Golden Globe-winning Masterpiece and Falling Free feel out-of-place from the context of the Disc and in all honesty MDNA could have done without them. MDNA is no Confessions on a Dancefloor (woop!), yet it's certainly no Hard Candy (bleh!) either. Universal Music Canada releases on March 26, 2012.
(Photo/video credit: Universal Music)