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  • MDNA
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3.9 out of 5 stars202
3.9 out of 5 stars
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 21 May 2013
After a few listens to MDNA I feel that the songs on the album in general are better than those on her previous Hard Candy, the attitude and the feel of the album overall is also better. But having said I find that most tracks aren't that special nor memorable, a few tracks are just too barbie girly sounding as with the lead single 'Give Me All Your Luvin' which to me is her worst single to date. The second single 'Girl Gone Wild' sounds very much like 'Celebration' mixed with 'Get Together' is above average. The video for 'Girl Gone Wild' is an interesting one possibly influenced by 'Vogue', unfortunately radio stations and music channels don't seem to be giving Madonna a chance by not playing her music and the single flopped in most places. The best track which really don't belong on this dance album is the soundtrack to her film W.E. 'Masterpiece', it is up there with her other theme tunes like 1992's 'This Used To Be My Playground' and 1994's 'I'll Remember'. A Golden Globe award well deserved and should have used that publicity to have had it released as a stand-alone single straight after the Golden Globe Awards ceremony, it would have been a big hit and further promoted her film W.E. Blood sucking Warner would have done this. Even a fan like me who knows nothing about marketing could come up with this idea, what was Live Nation thinking??? A few tracks I like are 'I'm Addicted', 'Falling Free' 'Love Spent' and 'I F----d Up'.

As time goes by it seems to get harder and harder for artists to compete with the next generation of performers and gain the attention and loyalty of new younger audiences. Madonna had at her several peaks gained large numbers of hardcore fans across the globe whom to this day will buy her stuff every time there's a new release. To the point where albums can still enter the charts at no.1, but to those who are observant, her MDNA album dropped to no.8 in the US chart and no.7 here in the UK the second week after being no.1 for just one week. A similar thing had happened to her previous album Hard Candy, which had entered the charts at no.1 but dropped quickly the following few weeks and disappeared from the top 40 all together after a few months. This seems to indicate that only her hardcore fans are buying her music and once they have done so the album quickly drops. Has her attempt (with the last two albums) to gain new younger audiences across the world failed and at the same time alienated some of her hardcore fans? This is the question.

Or could it be the US radio stations still being upset about the American Life episode that they are still banning Madonna records on their playlist? Which seems to be have spread to UK radio stations too. I certainly hope Live Nation will try harder to promote Madonna and hope that there'll be new peaks in her career to come.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 June 2013
I'm sure if this had been released after confessions instead of hard candy it would have done better in the charts this is a great album sadly Madonna is not with warner bros anymore which is why it wasn't promoted as much.
Her film W.E was promoted more and you know how well her films have been received over the years this is a slightly darker album than confessions but the songs are great favourites are love spent, I don't give A & falling free.
I would advise fans to get the deluxe version especially since it's so cheap on amazon.
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 29 March 2012
I have not followed Madonna's career every step of the way and although I have gradually accumulated several of her albums over the years I, by no means, own the whole collection. The hype surrounding the release MDNA was simply too great to ignore and consequently I pre-ordered the deluxe version of the album and eagerly awaited it's release date. I will now provide my initial impressions of the tracks:

1. Girl Gone Wild- The spoken word intro really does set the tone for the album and I cannot imagine a better opener. The lyrics are, of course, utterly banal, but does it really matter when the music is this catchy. As other reviewers have noted this does sound somewhat similar to her previous hit single `Celebration', but this track is probably even better and deserves to be a hit. 8.5/10

2. Gang Bang- Madonna is well-known for being very experimental and whilst many have commented that in recent years this experimentalism has been somewhat toned down there is no doubt that this track certainly flies in the face of that argument. It's pulsating beat signifies a dance track in a similar vein to the opener, however the spoken verses and chorus in which Madonna talks about shooting her lover in the head are not indicative of a typical dance track. It also features a dubstep breakdown and Madonna aggressively shouting later in the song. It's oddly great! 8/10

3. I'm Addicted- A high-paced, dancey track, which sounds brilliant turned up loud. Lyrically speaks of being addicted to someone's love and all the emotions that go with that. The title of the album `MDNA' is chanted repeatedly near the end of the track interspersed with the chorus. It's different, it's catchy, it once again sets a high standard. 8.5/10

4. Turn Up The Radio-This track is already being labelled as a `fan-favourite' and having given it a few listens I can definitely understand why. It's very radio-friendly and in that respect would be a good candidate for a future single. It's a dance-oriented track and retains the momentum and pace of the first few songs. 8/10

5. Give Me All Your Luvin'-The controversial first single. I actually quite like it although I can see why others have reservations. The cheerleader-esque chanting detracts from what is otherwise an uptempo and catchy pop-tune. Nicki Minaj makes her mark in the rap she contributes, MIA fails to have the same impact and her section passes by largely unnoticed. I don't necessarily think this will have the longevity of some of the other tracks on the album. 7.5/10

6. Some Girls-This is not a cover, but rather an original dance-track. Musically it's once again one of the more inventive numbers, however where Gang Bang triumphs this one doesn't have quite the same appeal for me. It feels a bit messy, and although there are elements of the track I like, overall it is one of the weaker tracks in my view. 5/10

7. Superstar- The reviews I have read thus far have levelled a lot of criticism at this track for its' genericism and clichéd lyrics. I, however, do not have the same reservations. It is hideously catchy and has an uplifting message about being in love captured in the chorus line `ooo la la you're my superstar, ooo la la love the way that you are'. It is certainly a shift away from the focus on Madonna's divorce which features elsewhere on the album, but it is one to sing-a-long to! One of my favourites. 9.5/10

8. I Don't Give A- The second track to feature a contribution from Nicki Minaj. In stark contrast to `Superstar' this one channels Madonna's anger about her divorce and the monetary issues surrounding it. Madonna rapping constitutes the verses and Minaj brings her trademark style to another rap towards the end of the track. This track works well in my view and the choir featured at the close of the song certainly add another dimension to what is already an interesting addition to the album. 8/10

9. I'm A Sinner-Madonna has tackled the issue of religion in varying ways over the years and this is the topic which features in this song. It's undeniably catchy particularly once the chorus kicks in and there are musical echoes of the song `Ray of Light'. The vocals veer from sedate to manic and that only adds to the mystery and intrigue of the track. It has grown on me on repeated listens and in my view is one of the best songs on the album. 9/10

10. Love Spent- This is the first of three tracks to slow the pace of the album. This could be described as an uptempo ballad if that's possible! That famous ABBA sampling from Hung Up features in a different format here and Madonna has created a completely different track surrounding the same musical sample. Lyrically this is possibly the strongest track on the album as Madonna. The only slight detracting feature is the overly electronically-enhanced vocals. 8.5/10

11. Masterpiece- This song also features as the soundtrack to WE the feature film Madonna has recently directed. This is a much more traditional ballad and it's nice to hear vocals which don't sound processed here. It's a love song plain and simple. Yet despite the more conventional musical and lyrical structure it still fits in well to the album as a whole and I really like it. 9/10

12. Falling Free-Almost every review I have read has singled this out as one of if not the album highlight. It begins with mystical synths and carries an air of mystery throughout. Vocally it's sublime, without doubt the best vocals on the entire collection. It is a very fitting way to end the standard edition of the album. It is also very melancholy which contrasts brilliantly with the anger and joy displayed elsewhere. Needless to say therefore I agree with the other reviews-it's simply fantastic. 9.5/10

13. Beautiful Killer- Often deluxe tracks are second-rate songs which weren't chosen for the standard version for a reason. Thankfully `Beautiful Killer' goes some way to allaying fears that this is the case on MDNA. A change of pace from `Falling Free', but nevertheless a catchy track which is very easy on the ear indeed. It isn't the most inventive song here, but it's pretty good! 8/10

14. I F*****d Up- This is another brutally honest song and a fantastic addition to the main album. In fact it probably deserved a place on the standard version. The song starts out as a song lamenting mistakes and wondering what could have been in a ballad, but it is sped up dramatically for the second verse and there is a wonderful beat running throughout. 9.5/10

15. B-Day Song- MIA pops up here again and her contribution is felt more here than in `Gimme All Your Luvin' `. Lyrically this is a return to banality and it certainly doesn't convey a deeper meaning. That said, however, musically it's pretty good and once again it doesn't feel like a second-rate track. 8.5/10

16. Best Friend- The seemingly autobiographical lyrics return for this song, which is probably the weakest original track on the deluxe section. That said though this is more a reflection of the strength of the other tracks than on this one in particularly. It isn't particularly memorable, but it's very listenable. 7.5/10

17. Gimme All Your Luvin' (Party Rock Remix feat. LMFAO)- In my opinion this remix doesn't match up to the original version. Segments of LMFAO songs are inserted at intervals and there is a different musical accompaniment. There is little more to be said on this one. 6.5/10

Therefore my overall ratings are for the standard version: 8.25/10, deluxe tracks: 8/10. Overall rating: 8.18, which therefore equates to 4 stars. There are a lot of really good tracks on here and best of all there are a great variety of songs, songs to dance to, songs which you can reflect upon and perhaps best of all songs which provide an insight into the goings-on and emotions of Madonna's life. I can therefore thoroughly recommend this album!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2012
Not as consistantly strong as 'Confessions' album, but better than 'Hard Candy'. Some great strong tracks, no skip tracks; though there are some weaker songs, all the tracks are all pleasant enough though.
The production is very strong, strong & memorable tunes; lyrics, a bit weak in general.
I love the Deluxe edition as the bonus tracks are, unsually for a bonus disc, good quality.
Critics are divided on this album, and so are fans. I like it, i've wanted to play it a few times since i bought it a week back. The tunes have stayed in my head, and find myself singing some of the tracks to myself without thinking about it. This to me tells me that it's a powerful album!!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2012
This is an ok cd by Madonna but not her best. I only purchased it for the one song Masterpiece which is the best song on the album in my opinion, and also to complete my collection of Madonna cds. It isn't her best and some tracks sounded very samey. My sister has liked Madonna for yonks and when she borrowed it she wasn't impressed. It's ok and it was a fair price but to be honest you aint missing much by not owning it!!!!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 11 April 2012
MDNA is not a bad album and hardly the disaster that some critics claim. It certainly reminds us that Madonna is still a vital presence in pop and this album at least earns her level pegging with Lady Gaga's recent explosion... but it won't have her quaking in her platform boots, in this reviewer's honest opinion.

The dance tracks all sound current, but admittedly, they're far from groundbreaking. Instead of pushing things forward, Madonna draws on the red hot influences of the day to create her latest colourful comeback. And unlike the surprisingly dull 'Hard Candy' (essentially an EP with 8 forgettable fillers), MDNA, for the most part, works a treat. Nevertheless, there is a frustrating sense that Madonna is hedging her bets a little. A decent lyrical collaborator would also not go amiss; the frequent clichés come over as lazy and tired, and are only highlighted more when her message does hit the mark - as it does, several times on MDNA. Personally, I would have preferred it if the Queen of Pop had ditched all the tacky pop pretension and simply made a dark 'divorce album' outright.

Make no mistake, behind the so-so lead singles and downright cheesy teen-pop of 'Superstar' and 'Turn Up the Radio', (much too juvenile for the company they keep), there is a powerful pop record here. 'Gang Bang', 'I'm Addicted', 'Some Girls' and 'I Don't Give A' are easily the best tunes Madonna has given us in years, revealing a mature, talented woman (not a 'girl', as she somewhat reductively refers to herself) punching back from the jaded side of love. She balances these songs perfectly with three slower songs that frame her more sensitive side, 'Love Spent', 'Masterpiece' and the exceptional 'Falling Free'.

`I'm a Sinner' is decent enough, but it doesn't quite have the same kick, despite its listing of saints and perhaps too-obvious stab at controversy. The religious baiting feels like an unnecessary throwback and a tad out of place here. The referencing to other Madonna tracks throughout the album does work, however, the subtle ABBA strain in `Love Spent' raising a knowing smile. This is Madonna doing Madonna. She obviously hasn't lost her sense of humour.

So, not bad, and definitely no disaster. Had Madonna taken more time on producing a cohesive album in the vein of 'Ray of Light', 'Music' and 'Confessions', MDNA may well have been considered one of her best. As it stands, MDNA reveals that Madonna is still a force to be reckoned with, if only she could forget about the competition for a minute, accept her place as a mature, credible artist, and stop holding back.

Either way, Madonna is still in the game.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 2 April 2012
Many things are being said about Madonna at the moment. Some of them fair, some of them not. This album is not a disaster, as some are saying, and yet this album is not up there with her best (Ray of Light, Like a Prayer). The album starts off with the excellent 'Girl Gone Wild', which has a current sound that is very radio-friendly. Some critics have suggested Madonna is too old to be singing lyrics about her wild side. I personally admire her for not giving into those critics and remaining true to herself. So many artists her age are pushed towards sleepy, middle of the road albums. This is certainly not one of them. 'Gang Bang' is a true testimony to this. Weird, messed up and confusing, it has to be one of the highlights of the album. Dance floor tracks include 'I'm addicted', 'Some Girls', and 'I don't Give A'. Any of these songs could fit quite comfortably on previous Madonna albums like 'Music' or 'Confessions', and they sound just as good as other songs on those albums.

It's not a perfect album though. Low points include 'Superstar' and 'Turn up the Radio', both very bland and generic pop songs. Lyrically, these songs could have been written by a sixth former. The problem with these songs has been highlighted in other reviews. They have very little in the way of meaning or imagination. They are simply too conventional.

Many people are saying this is an album of two halves, with the better songs taking a slower pace and more reflective mood. The album ends with three excellent songs, produced by William Orbit. 'Love Spent' has everything we expect from a decent Madonna track: Honestly, emotion and a catchy sound. 'Masterpiece' must be one of the best Madonna songs in the past 20 years, a real highlight that reminds us how powerful her ballads can be. 'Falling Free' is another amazing ballad that looks back to the wonderful 'Ray of Light' album, yet does not sound like a carbon copy.

All in all, MDNA is definitely not a disastrous record as some critics have been saying. Yes, some songs sound repetitive and tired, but the highlights on this album easily match anything Madonna has produced since her Ray of Light album. Listen to this album with an open mind. You will be surprised how good some of it really is.
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on 15 August 2014
The best song is by far 'Give me all your luvin' and Madonna looks terrific in the video. Also good are girl gone wild (great choreography in the vid), and love spent. Also Masterpiece and turn up the radio are okay. Good album but I expect her upcoming album to be superior to this quite rushed job.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 30 April 2012
Already dipping towards the lower half of the top 20, Madonna's current album isn't proving to be as commercially successful as her last two, Hard Candy and the fantastic Confessions of the Dancefloor - even though its been 4 years coming, a longer than usual gap in her oeuvre.

The flop of the lead single "Give me all your luvin" seems to be largely responsible, but the release of the second "Girl Gone Wild" hasn't stopped the rot unfortunately. The singles and album tracks haven't been played much in radio or clubs, so already this new album appears to have been written off as a flop. That's a great shame, because this is a fun album to own.

Give me all your lovin is actually the most commercial song here. It makes all the right noises to be a chart topper, but the girly chants in parts of the song have embarrassed single-buyers worldwide into leaving it on the shelves. It seems that Madonna just isn't cool enough at the moment for kids and clubbers to want to sing along chanting her name, however delicious the melody. This is a real kick in the teeth for Madonna. Even the generally unloved (not to me) Hard Candy managed a number one hit single with Four Minutes, and two other hit singles Give it to me and the wonderful Miles Away.

The follow-up single Girl Gone Wild, and lead-off track on the CD, is a good song aimed at the clubs but not fresh or original enough to overturn the harm done by Gimme all your lovin. When listened to in the context of the album, it immediately throws you back to Confessions on the Dancefloor in style but its not long before you realise this album lacks the flagrant commercialism and sheer delight of Confessions. The first 8 songs are all in club dance mode. The best songs on here are the stunning Gang Bang, I'm a Sinner, Love Spent, Masterpiece and Falling Free ie apart from Gang Bang they are all at the end of the album. This doesn't make sense commercially, as DJs and music buyers alike tend to want the good stuff at the start. This means that the order in which the tracks appear makes it easy for impatient listeners to say "crap album" before they have given it a chance, because this album is not as instantly likeable as Confessions, or even Hard Candy.

The two classic Madonna songs on MDNA are the ballads, Masterpiece and Falling Free. Great to hear her vocals clear and undistorted by synthesisers. Its almost a surprise to hear that her voice has remained so intact after all the dance dominated albums of recent years. Obviously she can't repeat past successes, and we wouldn't want replicas of her earlier work like Ray of Light and Confessions. I look forward to Madonna's next album and hope it won't be as long a wait!
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27 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2012
Madonna is back with one of her best albums in years. I grew up on Madonna's music and am still a big fan today, and this album doesn't disappoint. It's a shame that "Give me all your luvin'" was chosen as the lead single as there are so many other tracks here that are better. It's definitely worth paying out the extra few quid to get the Deluxe version (DV) as the extra tracks are ALL good and not just second-rate songs cut from the main album (Beautiful Killer and Best friend are particular highlights). My only gripe is that the 5 extra DV songs are on a second disc, when they could easily have fitted them onto the same disc as the rest (I know cos I burnt my own cd with all 17 tracks on it). This album is full of potential singles and it's great to see Madonna still going strong after almost 3 decades. Oh yeah...I love the DV cover artwork.
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