MDMA can’t save ‘MDNA’

+%28Courtesy+of+Interscope+Records%29

(Courtesy of Interscope Records)

 

Madonna is old enough to be my mom. Why is she acting like my older sister?

On “MDNA,” which came out 30 years after her debut single, Madonna sings songs of lust, love and more lust over dubstep inspired beats.

If nothing else, this album proves that Madonna has a good sense of what audiences like and I can easily see most of the songs on the album enjoying circulation in nightclubs. In fact, this could have easily been the debut album of a pop star in her mid 20s, young enough to be my older sister.

However, “MDNA” is rather dull. While lead single “Give Me Your Luvin” is infectiously catchy (one of my friends heard half of the song and it was still stuck in his head the next day), most of the album feels uninspired.

This lack of inspiration ironically might be due to Madonna’s huge influence on pop music. In the first year of Lady Gaga’s life, Madonna had three #1 singles: “Live to Tell,” “Papa Don’t Preach” and “Open Your Heart.” Every female pop star today owes a huge debt to Madonna, especially Gaga.

Despite this, when “MDNA” opens with Madonna saying a prayer over synthesized strings I got the uneasy feeling that I heard it before last year when Lady Gaga offered words of encouragement in the opening of “Born This Way.”

Quite a few songs on “MDNA” seem to have had strange decisions made during their inceptions.

On “Superstar,” Madonna compares a man to various celebrities, including Marlon Brando, Abraham Lincoln and John Travolta. Not only is it bizarre to hear the world famous Madonna invoke multiple celebrities but she runs out of steam with the theme after the first verse.

I Don’t Give A” is an angry song in which Madonna raps about her failed marriage to Guy Ritchie. It’s totally out of left field and a guest spot from Nicki Minaj cements its strangeness.

In the end, most of the songs are really bland. A typical song is “Turn Up The Radio,” which features an upbeat electronic melody backing the most generic hook I’ve ever heard: “You ask me where I wanna go / We gotta turn up the radio / Turn up the radio.” I can ignore an extremely irrelevant reference to radio, but at the end of the day it’s still really boring and sounds like everything else.

So is there anything good about the album? Well, “I’m Addicted” has really good instrumentation that reminds me of electro house music. Also, the final song, “Falling Free,” is easily the best song on the album thanks to Madonna’s performance.

Madonna is 53 years old yet has been singing the same material as a 23 year old for 30 years, which aids in making many of the songs seem totally ridiculous. While I don’t want to tell Madonna to go gentle into that good night, she will descend into irrelevancy unless she reinvents herself again.

Maybe as a buttoned down 60’s housewife or something.