Album of the week: Madonna, MDNA

Madonna shows no sign of relinquishing her crown
Madonna shows no sign of relinquishing her crown
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MADONNA may be in her mid-fifties, but there is no sign of her relinquishing the Queen of Pop title she has worked so hard to earn.

Every song on her latest album is a terse reminder of past glories, while collaborations with Euro production whizzes Marco Benassi and Martin Solveig stick a token musical toe in the contemporary mix.

But that only works in patches. It’s hard to take the more mature lady romanticising about turning up the radio on her formulaic tune of the same name, or the tacky Gang Bang, which makes a bit of a hash of updating Sonny & Cher.

When she gets it right, though, as on Superstar, you can forgive all the fumbling efforts to appear relevant. I’m A Sinner, meanwhile, is a finger-clicking celebration of her fondness for walking on the wild side – evidently Madonna no longer feels the need to battle her Catholic conscience, purring: “I’m a sinner, I like it that way” in the confessional style.

Love Spent is lyrically agile, while I Don’t Give A… raps and rasps with youthful zeal. Daughter Lourdes turns up singing backing vocals, but this is mommy dearest’s record, laying down the law to Gaga and her ilk, and making it clear there is no abdication on the horizon.

Rating: ***

Download this: Beautiful Killer, I’m A Sinner