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Album review: Madonna "MDNA"

March 26, 2012|Ernest Wilkins

* (out of four)

I'm not going to mince words here. Madonna's 13th studio album sounds like exactly what it is: a 53-year-old woman clinging to the last shreds of a culture that has passed her by, came back and passed her by again.

Unlike her last “comeback” album “Confessions of a Dance Floor,” this release lacks any sort of gravity, purpose or even catchy singles. However, if you look at the record as a solid “hit all current pop music trends” bingo card," it actually becomes pretty impressive. Dubstep-inspired bass drops? Check (“Superstar” and “Some Girls”). Street cred features from pop’s current “bad girls” Nikki Minaj and M.I.A? Indeed (On “Gimme All Your Luvin”). This is the soundtrack for a wild night out ... if the last time you saw the inside of a club was around '93.

Admittedly, “Some Girls” and “I Don’t Give A” (featuring an impressive guest appearance from Minaj) stand out as fun, dance-along, disposable pop that can and will probably be remixed into oblivion. The song “Falling Free” (the entire track is a loosely hidden reference to her divorce from British director Guy Ritchie) is honest and transparent, which is always appreciated from pop artists. Still, it completely throws a wrench into the up-tempo progression of the album and is especially jarring after hearing 6-7 consecutive songs about being a stone-cold party monster.

Sit this one out, folks.

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