NEW MUSIC EAR'S THOUGHTS ON: MADONNA
Like I said, I have been a Madonna fan since seeing her perfom "Holiday" on The Tube programme in the UK in 1984 at The Hacienda club. She was fresh, captivating and you could tell this lady was going to be a star and the song was damn infectious. I began collecting her music since then, with Prince I collected everything I could. She became a pioneer, an original, she broke boundaries about females in music and sex taboo subjects in general. She was loved by males and females alike and also in the gay communities promoting their rights. A real star and legend of Pop music.
She tried acting and with various success, I loved "Desperately Seeking Susan", "Who's That Girl" and in "Evita" she was awesome. "Dick Tracy" showed her in a different light too alongside Warren Beatty. Starting her own record company Maverick also paved the way for the success of artists like Alanis Morissette. Madonna was a force to be reckoned with and was a major power in music.
The hits flowed with such originality and various provocative videos, every album was greeted with critical acclaim and I couldn't wait for the next lot of material and a new look and sound. From "Madonna" ("The First Album") to "Music" in 2000 every album was a classic. Since then, in my opinion, the music has detoriated gradually with each album, the creativity and originality that she was known for seems to be lacking more and more. Although "Hung Up" was a huge hit, it seemed to be the start of using samples and more vocoded vocals, even after she improved dramatically vocally for "Evita", why waste this new talent?
"American Life" was a big disappointment for me, with only a handful of tracks that could have matched "Ray Of Light" for class, "Love Profusion" and "Hollywood" included. "Confessions On A Dancefloor" has a couple of quality songs such as "Sorry" and "Hard Candy" was almost Madonna back to her best, with a few great tracks. "MDNA", "Rebel Heart" and the latest offering, "Madame X" had moments of brilliance but mostly disappointments. Collaborators that are not known globally, average songs, copycats of other other artists, too many samples with no substance to please the younger generation. This woman duetted with Prince, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake now its relative unknowns such as Maluma and Quavo(????), who are these people?
I still buy every album Madonna releases to complete my collection and hopefully find a couple of gems and classic tracks among the less quality output. I realise not every song can be a "Like A Prayer", "Into The Groove", "Secret", "Ray Of Light" or "Erotica" but surely if she didn't care so much about selling records to the kids, and putting out quality to keep her regular fans happy for music's sake it would be better. Prince didn't care about sales or pleasing the "new generation", he loved music and had respect for his loyal fans. Experimenting is fine but ultimately us older fans get these stars where they are and should be respected not left behind. Keeping up with the times is ok too but if the quality suffers, older fans lose interest and that is where the problem lies.