Sunday, November 06, 2005

Review: Madonna's "Hung Up"

Is Madonna officially out of touch? Seriously, the woman has made a career out of bringing underground trends to the mainstream: Like A Prayer, Vogue, Ray of Light, Music, all major single releases for major albums, all proved highly influential on the mainstream pop and dance music scenes. Now she unveils the first single from her first post-Mirwais album "Confessions on a Dance Floor". And its not good.

Has Madonna been living under a rock for the past five years? (International readers, "under a rock" is not a synonym for "England"). The video for Hung Up is terrible for a number of reasons:

(1) it features "crumping". Crumping is neither hip-and-happening, nor cutting-edge. Its already been featured in multiple Chemical Brothers video, hell there's even a feature-length documentary about it. Any street-cred to be gained from featuring it in music videos dried up at least 10 months ago.

(2) it features the "rolling barrel arms" dance movie. A move typically used by pre-teen manufactured pop groups when their producers want them to do a "retro-feel" song. See: S-Club Seven's 70s-themed video, amongst uncountable others. Is its use here an ironic commentary on the co-opting of retro-culture by clueless kids? No, its because Madonna wants to do a "retro-feel" song.

(3) it features people dancing on Dance Dance Revolution video games. Seriously, Dance Dance Revolution video games. You know, those dance pad games that were cool for a while a few years ago when the Japanese craze first travelled westwards, but soon got cleared out of arcades to make way for more House of the Dead, Time Crisis and Out Run 2 machines? Somebody still thinks they're the "latest thing" apparently. So the latter half of the video is filled with Madonna and anonymous drones jumping around on these things like no-one's ever seen it before! Note to Madonna: DDR is not vogueing. You dont have to find an obscure underground club in an obscure back-alley at 4am to find it. Its available in video game arcades in shopping malls. Mothers play it.

(4) never mind the video, the song samples Abba. Yes, Abba. Who could have possibly thought up such a genius scheme? After all, nobody has ever had the idea of sampling Abba as a backing beat for a new dance number have they? Well, nobody other than Erasure, Steps and a hundred other groups in the last 10 years.

Ladies and gentlement, the case for the prosecution rests. Madonna is out-of-touch. It should not be surprising, living as she is in a countryside retreat far from civilization, taking care of kids, being duped into following a hokey religion, with a failed film-director husband.... things are not going well in the personal life of Mrs Guy Richie. Why should it be a suprise that her professional output reflects her personal life? Well, only the fact that she has constantly been able to reinvent herself successfuly in the past no matter what her situation. That's not to deny that she's done some rubbish in the past (the "Sex" book anyone?). But she's never appeared totally out-of-touch before.

Could this be the end for Madonna? Its just one single, possibly a mistaken choice as first single, so there is time to recover. Time will tell.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OK Bitch, so you do better!

Joey Ariola