Madonna’s ‘MDNA’ is potent stuff

8ef9bb33478e6d1e61374810f9f4b5d5

Madonna is a bitch out of order, a bat out of hell and a fish out of water. At least that’s what she compares herself to in the song “Gang Bang,” off her brand new album, “MDNA.” The album officially comes out tomorrow, though it leaked online late last week.  Madge’s claim about being broken, angry and alienated is a succinct self-analysis.

It’s been four years since her last album of new material, the longest gap of her nearly 30-year career, which would explain the fish-out-of-water feeling — to say nothing of the fact that her last album came out a full six months before the debut of another Italian-American with a stage name, a penchant for shock value and a monster-load of blond ambition, Lady Gaga.

As far as the bitch-out-of-order and the bat-out-of-hell, her venomous personal lyrics on this album make it difficult to distinguish Madonna, the pop legend from Madonna, the mortal whose eight-year marriage to director Guy Ritchie ended in a bitter divorce.

“I tried to be a good girl, I tried to be your wife,” she sings on “I Don’t Give A.”

It is this vulnerability that gives “MDNA” its vitality. And this uneasiness of being thrown into a different life situation almost makes it acceptable  for her to sing like a teenager about drinking too much Tanqueray and “Tweetin’ in the elevator.” Comparing a new love to Mike Jordan and Abe Lincoln in the same song? Well, that’s just silly. But she seems to acknowledge there’s a personal crisis at hand, where impulsive behavior is the norm, singing, “I know I shouldn’t act this way” in “Girl Gone Wild.”

This confessional intimacy also makes it difficult to criticize Madonna for imitation, which she does indulge in a bit on “MDNA.” To that charge, the material girl is just as much of a smart shopper as she’s always been, using the baddest guest stars (including Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.) and the best producers (including Martin Solveig and William Orbit) to bring her sound into now.  If she can’t define the times, she’s certainly not going to be behind them. And really, anybody she’s borrowing from wouldn’t even be making music if it weren’t for her. The racecar basslines, pumping beats and Skrillex-style monster breakdown would seem forced if not done properly. But it’s Madonna, and even if she is a fish out of water, she can always get into the groove.
 

Add it up

The chemical makeup of the deluxe edition of ‘MDNA’
   
Approximate number of times the words “girl” or “girls” are used: 63
Approximate number of times the word “bitch” is used: 13
Approximate number of songs that are most likely about Guy Ritchie: 6.5
Number of previous Madonna hits referenced by title: 3
Number of Nicki Minaj guest appearances: 2
Number of songs with spoken prayers: 2
Number of songs where a banjo is clearly audible: 1

Deluxe it up

The deluxe edition clocks in at more than an hour, which can be a little exhausting, but it features perhaps some of the best songs, including an almost punky duet with M.I.A. called “B-Day Song,” and the plaintively titled and emotionally raw, “I F—ed Up.” Madonna may have not been the one to make an F-bomb acceptable in a pop song (that honor belongs to Cee-Lo, obviously) but she sure as hell can make it her own.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…