March 27, 2012

on Leave a Comment

Madonna - MDNA (Deluxe)

The highly anticipated 12th studio album is finally here! After the lukewarm reception to her 2008 Hard Candy, she returns to her Dance roots as she did with 2005's Confessions On A Dance Floor. The producers she has worked with this time around are Alle & Benny Benassi, Demolition Crew,  Free School, Indiigo, Martin Solveig, Michael Malih, and William Orbit.

Here is a track by track writeup.

01. Girls Gone Wild
This is the perfect start for the album. The spoken prayer intro is so appropriate as we don't know whether she will succeed in becoming a good girl by the end, but we are curious either way. By the looks of the sexy music video (NSFW), it will take a lot to tame her. The Benassi Bros. production is a little Dr. Luke-ish, but it's fun.
Grade: B+

02. Gang Bang
This track further cements the turn towards the dark side. This William Orbit and Demolition Crew produced song is a shocking, violent, and slightly disturbing roomshaker. The production is extremely hard and sleazy. Madonna's vocals change every few seconds. This is a thrilling song.
Grade: A+

03. I'm Addicted
As we move from one type of criminal mischief to another, this Daft Punk-esque song is intoxicating. This song contains the references to the album title which is a play on name of party drug MDMA. This is a sexy song.
Grade: B+

04. Turn Up The Radio
Continuing on the cute track, this song is pure retro bliss. This is in a similar vein as 1999's "Beautiful Stranger", but just a tad more hard-hitting. This would make for a great single.
Grade: A-

05. Give Me All Your Luvin'
The "Mickey" chant song is the first of several missteps on this album. It got a mixed reaction at radio and among her fans. The song sticks out like a sore thumb on the album feeling more like a b-side. The additions of Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. don't really help that much.
Grade: C-

06. Some Girls
This is the second major misstep of the album. The Moroder-esque groover is an inferior version of "Thief Of Hearts" and "She's Not Me" from her Erotica and Hard Candy albums respectively. The vocals feel slightly robotic.
Grade: C+

07. Superstar
Although this one is bit bland lyrically, this song is very cute. This is the classic bubblegum pop Madonna has graced us with throughout her career. This could be thought of as the missing link between "Lucky Star" and "Angel." The production is euphoric while Madonna namechecks a bevy of yesteryear celebrities, but not quite in the same way as on "Vogue."
Grade: B

08. I Don't Give A
The Urban Electro/Hip Hop track almost feels like a throwback to "American Life" from the production, some of the lyrics, and even the vocal delivery. Nicki Minaj's guest rap could be likened to Missy Elliot's verse on the remix of that song. She fits in perfectly. This song appears to be semi-autobiographical shedding some light on her second marriage to movie director Guy Ritchie. This is a highlight.
Grade: A-

09. I'm A Sinner
This is another retro clubbanger that recalls the carefree abandon of "Beautiful Stranger." The guitar elements call to mind "Ray Of Light" With this song, she makes it clear that she isn't ready to be a good girl yet. The "Vogue"-esque bridge is expertly crafted with all its Biblical references. This is another gem.
Grade: A-

10. Love Spent
Starting with a banjo, this could be thought of as a throwback to "Don't Tell Me." In many ways, this feels like it was a ballad first and then remixed into an uptempo. The swirling Dance/Rock production is hypnotic. This is another highlight. The acoustic version on the iTunes edition of the album is gorgeous too but the autotune feels so out of place.
Grade: A

11. Masterpiece
Things slow down for a bit with this beautiful midtempo ballad that was written specifically for her movie W.E. The art-themed allegory of the lyrics for a relationship are so appropriate given the subject of the movie. This is a lovely song.
Grade: A

12. Falling Free
The second downtempo is a lush throwback to the Ray Of Light album. This song could have easily been on that album. This is the only song on the album in which Madonna sings with a truly full voice as she did on the Evita soundtrack and Ray Of Light. This song is stunning in its simplicity.
Grade: A+

13. Beautiful Killer
This is basically what would happen if the best of "Beautiful Stranger" and "Die Another Day" were combined. This is a cute, playful song.
Grade: B+

14. I Fucked Up
This is another throwback to Ray Of Light. It could be thought of as a cousin to "Drowned World/Substitute For Love." It starts off as a ballad but picks up the tempo in the middle. Lyrically, the f-word may seem out of place in such a song, but the way it is used, it doesn't feel profane.
Grade: A

15. Birthday Song
This is the third major misstep of the album. It is a retro, toned down "My Sharona"-esque song. This feels so out of place on the album just as "Give Me All Your Luvin'" does. M.I.A. singing on the song doesn't do much to improve it, although it's nice to hear her sing and not rap. The song is completely unnecessary. It could be thought of as the "Did You Do It?" of this album.
Grade: D+

16. Best Friend
The breakbeat/dubstep-lite track is also semi-autobiographical. The layered vocals and harmonies coupled with the string loops are exquisite.
Grade: A-

17. Give Me All Your Luvin' (Party Rock Remix)
LMFAO manage to salvage an otherwise ordinary cheer song making it fit in a little better with the album. This is one of the better remixes of the song as most of the other ones ditched the vocals.
Grade: B+

Aside from the obvious missteps of the album, it is a return to form for the Queen of Pop. It is a joy to listen to with even the lesser songs being tolerable--with the exception of "Birthday Song."

Overall Grade: A-

Purchase the Deluxe (Explicit) digital edition of the album here
Amazon | iTunes | Google Play

Note: The clean versions of the deluxe version of the album both digital and physical DO NOT have "Gang Bang" and "I Fucked Up" included. 


© Sweet Muzik
Designed by BlogThietKe Cooperated with Duy Pham
Released under Creative Commons 3.0 CC BY-NC 3.0
Posts RSSComments RSS
Back to top