Sunday, February 05, 2012

HEAR THIS: Madonna Cheers for "Give Me All Your Luvin'" with Nicki Minaj & M.I.A. + BONUS! Mel's Fave MDNA Tunes

So today is kind of a holiday here. It's Super Bowl Sunday, a time-honored tradition of getting together to eat an obscene amount of snack food and watch a football game. Oh, America.

Throughout the years -- since I'm such a sports buff -- I've tended to root for whatever team is closest mile-wise to my home state of New York. This year makes things super easy -- as the "home team", the New York Giants, are themselves being televised. That wraps that up. So you can pretty much expect I will be doing my American duty -- gorging myself on port wine, chips & dip, occasionally pumping my fist and saying "Go Giants!/Go Big Blue!/Go Eli Manning!" while watching essentially several hours of grown men in tight clothes chase each other over a ball like it's life or death.

For the rest of us who could really care less the outcome of tonight's game, the main attraction of the Super Bowl is: 1) the "clever" advertising campaign commercials (some years are better than others), 2) the Half-Time Show. In the interest of Melismatic, that is of course, the latter, because who is performing tonight but the Queen of Pop herself.

While I'm hardly a Madonna "stan" persay, to say she's not a truly influential woman in music listening history would be a complete and utter lie. Mostly I'm interested because she will be premiering the first official live performance of her latest single, off her hotly anticpated new album (due in March). The song was premiered in video format a few days ago, called "Give Me All Your Luvin'". And I've kind of become blackhole obsessed with it.

"Give Me All Your Luvin'" is a great pop song -- mostly because it doesn't try too hard to rock the boat -- it's Madonna doing her thing in a mainstream, appealing way. Unlike previous attempts with Hard Candy, this feels less gimmicky in an attempt to ride on the coattails of that's hot at the moment (which in itself is so not Madonna) -- although the addition of a "verse" by Nicki Minaj initially made me a little squeamish in fear.

After seeing the final product, I actually came to enjoy her and M.I.A.'s additions quite a bit, as they add some spice to an otherwise straight-ahead pop song and make it all the more commerically viable -- but it needs to be said that they do feel a little tacked on since they don't really add much to the overall production in terms of cohesiveness. Perhaps if M.I.A.'s verse was in the very beginning or paired with the first verse, while Minaj's went second or during the bridge, it would have felt more balanced and stronger as a cohesive, overall package. Still, if it's going to be a band of strong-willed females, M.I.A. & Nicki Minaj are pretty spot-on in my opinion. In fact, if we're going by the video standard itself, Nicki looks so over the moon to be there (although, she kind of looks over the moon all the time), its very clear that working with Madonna is considered a badge of honor (as it well should), as there is no doubt the Queen of Pop has influenced all (and yes, I can use that as a blanket term) of the female popstars of today, no matter their genre.

The video really hit the nail on the head -- its the type of song that's not meant to be taken so serious. The comical aspects and interesting camera shots only heighten that appeal -- reminiscent of her Austin Powers single, the 60's-esque "Beautiful Stranger" -- along with the gum-smacking, Toni Basil-influenced hook of "L-U-V/Madonna/Y-O-U/You wanna?" And how good did she look? I mean, really. I'll switch to Kabbalah if it means I can look, sound and move that sexy at 53. If she can recreate any of that tonight (and she will, obviously), I will probably not be able to contain myself.

You can pre-order Madonna's upcoming album, MDNA, on iTunes now.


While I found it more than a little difficult to determine my "ultimate" favorites in Madonna's vast and popalicious back catalogue, the seven below tend to be the ones I listen to the most. Got Spotify? You can listen to this Playlist here. In no particular order...

-"Into the Groove", Like A Virgin (1984)
Given my penchant for poppy dancefloor romps (especially romps about "dancing" itself) always being instant winners in my book, this shouldn't really surprise you.

-"Music", Music (2000)
While I didn't quite care for the album in full, I did have the single. Remember this was released during the height of the teen-pop boom. I was just 13 years old, but I remember distinctly fighting for this song's relevance among my peers, mostly because it was so dancefloor throwaway.

-"Frozen", Ray Of Light (1998)
By all technical accounts, the Ray of Light album was my first official introduction to Madonna. "Frozen" stood apart for being so ominous and dark. The song itself is a piece of art with its layering -- the drums, the strings, the synth -- and feels just so round and cohesive. I also firmly believe it's some of Madonna's best lyrics ever.

-"Take A Bow", Bedtime Stories (1994)
Not to be confused with the Rihanna or Leona Lewis songs respectively (because it's better than both of them). "Bow" is unarguably one of the best pop ballads of the early 90's, and I attribute a lot of that to it being co-written by the R&B balladeer extraordinare Babyface.

-"Hung Up", Confessions On A Dance Floor (2005)
Okay, so it's all about the ABBA "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" sample. But anyone who has enough sense to melodically sample an ABBA song effectively is usually A-OK with me.

-"Borderline", Madonna (1984)
The final single from Madonna's debut album, "Borderline" helps set the tone for the female independance mantra that would be a reigning theme for the rest of her career.

-"Express Yourself", Like A Prayer (1989)
Oh, come on -- do I really have to qualify this one for you? This should be every woman's (and gay man's) theme song by now.

1 comment:

Linus said...

Not a massive Madonna stan either, but if I'd pick a favorite I could NOT leave out "Like a Prayer". One of the best pop songs ever. Or at least of her career.

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