“Girls, they just wanna have some fun!” From the moment Madonna utters those words on MDNA, it’s clear that she’s trying really freaking hard to have a good time. With dance-music vets William Orbit, Martin Solveig, and Benny Benassi helming her return to the Euro-club stylings of 2005’s Confessions on a Dance Floor, Madge spends nearly half the album insisting that this is the Best Party Ever, from the pom-pom-shaking ”Give Me All Your Luvin”’ to the Mardi-Gras-beads-tossing ”Girl Gone Wild” and stereo-blasting ”Turn Up the Radio.” The album title even suggests that Ecstasy is part of Madge’s DNA.
But while there are a few genuine moments of double-rainbow bliss here (check the ”whoo-ooh!” chorus of ”I’m a Sinner”), there’s also real darkness lurking under the air-popped beats. If Madonna’s sending us a message, it’s this: I spent all year perfecting my cartwheel for the Super Bowl, and now I’m gonna have fun, even if it kills me.
Maybe it’s just that MDNA‘s so hell-bent on showing how much energy the 53-year-old puts into her job. Many songs recap her gold-star résumé referencing her past hits lyrically or musically. ”Girl Gone Wild” shares its sassy legwarmer-disco vibe with 2005’s ”Hung Up,” while ”I’m a Sinner” reunites her with Orbit for a very cool guitar-boosted rave-up that echoes 1998’s ”Ray of Light.”
But all those reminders of her work ethic can feel exhausting. On the ridiculous electro-rap ”I Don’t Give A,” she runs through her insane schedule as a celebrity supermom. Before finishing her power workout, hiring a babysitter, ”tweeting on the elevator,” and riding a helicopter to her divorce lawyers’ office, she has an epiphany: ”Wake up, ex-wife/This is your life.”
Are you listening, Guy Ritchie? Because Madonna’s not done yelling at you. After revealing that she ”didn’t have a prenup,” she gets a decent gold-digger joke into the ABBA-remix-esque strains of ”Love Spent”: ”Frankly, if my name was Benjamin,” she deadpans, ”we wouldn’t be in this mess we’re in.” Less charming is the industrial thumper ”Gang Bang,” where Madonna holds a gun to her lover’s head, demanding, ”Drive, bitch!” True, she also recorded a mea culpa — on ”I F—ed Up” she says ”I’m sorry” in French — but it’s telling that she cut it from the album. Her apology’s just as unconvincing as her Gallic accent.
So it’s surprising that Madonna is at her best on the love songs. The W.E. ballad ”Masterpiece” (which won her a Golden Globe in January) begins with Spanish guitar and a finger-snap rhythm — a refreshing break from the relentless bass throbbing. When she’s singing about a guy who’s as pretty as the Mona Lisa, her voice is lovely. And the synth stomper ”I’m Addicted,” a warm ode to a crush, offers a good excuse to join in when she says, ”I need to dance.” Elsewhere, Nicki Minaj even shows some L-U-V for Lady M, proclaiming, ”There’s only one queen, and that’s Madonna, bitch!” Judging by MDNA, she may be overestimating her idol. But there’s just enough dance-floor bonhomie here to get that catchphrase bedazzled on a few dozen leotards. B-
Spiritual electro? Sacrilicious! I’m a Sinner
A flamenco-style ballad Masterpiece
On April 2 2012, the third single from Madonna’s MDNA album, Masterpiece, was released in the United Kingdom.
Masterpiece was composed by Madonna, Julie Frost and Jimmy Harry and produced by Madonna and William Orbit.
When Madonna was directing her film W.E., her manager Guy Oseary persuaded her to compose a song for the soundtrack. Frost was living in Los Angeles at that time and was assessing her priorities in the music world, and wanted to collaborate with a number of artists, Madonna being the first. “She is an icon”, Frost said, “But most importantly she has some of the best Pop songs in the history of music… so yeah it’s always a dream to work with people like her.” Orbit, who was working with Frost and Harry on an assignment, contacted them for collaborating with Madonna on Masterpiece. He had heard Frost’s initial composition of the song and knew that Madonna would love it. According to Frost the theme explained to them was about bittersweet love and the hardships felt being in a relationship. Madonna, Frost and Harry sat together with this idea and brainstormed and came up with the lyrics and the melody. Over time, Madonna changed the structure of the song and the final version was ready for recording.
“Guy harangued me for the entire time I was filming and editing my movie to write a song. And I said, ‘Please, Guy, I’m trying to focus on being a director and I want people to pay attention to the film and I don’t have time.’ So then I finished the film and I started making my record and somehow magically and miraculously the song emerged, ‘Masterpiece,’ so thank you, Guy Oseary, for being so irritating.”
On April 28, 2013, Sir Elton John told Extra that his decade-long feud with Madonna had ended.
“We were in a restaurant in France in the summertime,” he explained. “She came in, and I sent over a note. She was very gracious. I apologized profusely because what I said should never have appeared in public.”
Their altercation began in 2002 when John had choice words over Madonna’s song for the James Bond Die Another Day film. He remarked that it was “the worst Bond tune ever.”
If that weren’t enough, the “Candle in the Wind” singer accused Madonna of lip syncing during her Re-Invention Tour in 2004 and deepened that speculation when he said, “Make sure you lip-sync good” before her Super Bowl performance.
Even John’s husband David Furnish insulted the Queen of Pop when he said “I like Madonna’s music, but not her movies,” while attending the 2012 Golden Globe Awards. Even more, Furnish said “she should stick to what she is good at,” when Madonna beat John for the Best Original Song (Masterpiece).
Now the couple’s attempt to extinguish the drama seems to have been well received by M.
“She accepted our apology, and then we bought her dinner,” John said. “That’s over and done with. She was fantastic. She was just like, ‘Okay, let’s get a move on.’”
Furnish added, “We don’t believe in putting negativity out in the world, both of us were embarrassed when all that stuff came out. But you’ve got to put all that behind you and just go forward with the positivity.”