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    This is not a love song

    Remember about eighteen years ago when Madonna had three number one singles off True Blue and the people complaining about her realized she wasn’t a flash in the pan and were all like, “Damn! She’s going to be pushing fifty and still shaking her T&A at us in music videos”? Lo, it has come to pass. Good grief, is she limber. But I kind of prefer the part where she’s striding through the city…perhaps imitating Kylie striding through the city in “Giving You Up“…who was perhaps imitating Madonna striding through a cityscape/fantasy skyway surrounded by fairies* in “Love Profusion.” Or the part where she’s dancing in the club…sort of like Kylie in “Spinning Around“…which is sort of like Madge in “Deeper and Deeper” but much more pleasing to look at. All these circular references may be dizzying, but tracking them is much more fun than paying attention to what Madonna says these days when she stops singing and shimmying and starts talking.

    * By which I refer to the presence of tiny CGI wingèd spirits, not of backup dancers.

    10 Responses to “This is not a love song”

    1. Gaijin Biker says:

      I propose an open question: What is your favorite Madonna video?

      I have an unconventional choice: Bedtime Story, off of 1995’s Bedtime Stories album.

      I just dig that surreal imagery mixed with the trancelike music. And, due to the time it came out, I mentally associate it with spring-weather snowboarding.

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      Hmm. My Madonna fan readership appears to consist of about three people, including me, but I’ll bite. I think my favorite is still “Vogue.”

    3. 1bodyand2faces says:

      “Vogue” would be my #2, but “Deeper and Deeper” is by far my #1. I probably read way too much into it, but I really thought she was trying to express some ideas — the person you were, the person you are, and not being able to make sense of it all — that she was not articulate enough to put into words, and I’m not either. The lyrics, music and video all fit together, and I completely connected with (my reading of) it.

      “Hung Up” is really quite a solid effort – and god bless her for still making good music – but I’m not thrilled with the “look at all the young people, and I’m dancing with them, because I’m still hip” theme. Not much different from “Ray of Light” in that respect. And I do wish the song merely alluded to “Gimme Gimme Gimme” (which happens to be Abba’s best song, imo) rather than sampling it outright; I thought we had moved past the era where artists got hits by robbing us of the ability to hear “Super Freak” without thinking “U Can’t Touch This”.

    4. Sean Kinsell says:

      Dude, you’re a homosexual; you’re supposed to read too much into Madonna videos. I loved “Deeper and Deeper” the song; the video I could never get into because the colors are just so ugly. To me, I mean. I tried. That was the song that stopped me in my tracks–I’m sure it was the same for a lot of people–when I first listened to Erotica, and I was really excited when it was a single. But I didn’t really like any of the videos from that album except “Bad Girl.”

      I do agree entirely about “Hung Up,” though; is there anything in the whole backing track that isn’t sampled (or couldn’t have been)? And then she ripped off her own lyrics, too. I almost resent that the song sounds so damned good, because it seems to have been written in about three minutes. And the video…you’re right about the “Ray of Light” allusions; something else that neither of us has mentioned is the way the dance-rehearsal part looks like “Hollywood.” On the bright side, maybe the lack of thought she’s putting into things means she really is devoting as much time and attention to her children as she claims to be.

      It’s always nice to run into another gay guy whose favorite Abba song isn’t “Dancing Queen,” BTW. I think I’d have to lean toward “Take a Chance on Me,” but I love “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” too. Of course. What fag is capable of not loving a song called “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man after Midnight)”?

    5. 1bodyand2faces says:

      Ah, “Bad Girl”, yeah that was a good one.

      “I almost resent that the song sounds so damned good, because it seems to have been written in about three minutes.” That’s exactly it. And the bridge is awkward, and when she sings “don’t cry for me,” I wince and expect the next word to be “Argentina”.

      “Dancing Queen”, ugh, don’t get me started. I like that song about as much as you like Jimmy Somerville. My queer membership card may get revoked for that, I know.

    6. Sean Kinsell says:

      “And the bridge is awkward, and when she sings ‘don’t cry for me,’ I wince and expect the next word to be ‘Argentina.'”

      Ha! The other night when the video was running, one of the guys standing nearby actually did blare “Argentinaaaaaah” at that point, complete with mocking since-I-took-these-Evita-voice-lessons-I’m-all-a-real-singer vibrato. Then he rolled his eyes. It’s a good thing I was drinking vodka and tonic, because I spluttered and good.

    7. Mark Alger says:

      Well, hey. The new album is being called “Confessions on a Dance Floor.” Seems as though she has to dance behind that. And what they call dancing these days is shaking it right in the camera, man. Q.E.D. or something like that.


    8. Sean Kinsell says:

      Quod est decolletatum?

    9. Nathaniel says:

      Well, it’s impossible to resist weighing on the big M. I tend to not be all that excited about a Madonna album on the first listen. Being a musician myself, I can hear what work she does when she’s less calculated and actually she actually makes fresher more interesting music. “American Life” didn’t just suffer because it sounded exhaustingly labored over, it just wasn’t that interesting (no matter how many friggin’ blips and farts from synthesizers were in there). Give me “Open Your Heart”, “Express Yourself”, “Deeper and Deeper”…hell, even “I’m Going Bananas”, but for Christ sake a fully-formed pop song with a bit of concept is fine. “Hung Up” is not done with this in mind at all. She wants to get people dancing and doesn’t care if you listen to her about the Kabbalah.

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