So… if nothing else, 2012 proved that by George the Mayans had it all kinds of right: this year proved a renaissance of apocalyptic proportions – a year when the culturally amnesiatic cynics failed to recognize a sea change over the screams of their own skeptic scoffs… alas, even in the midst of privately-backed Super-PAC pocketed media, bindered women, NRA publicity stunts, mass school shootings, a deluge of false formations and knowledge starvation, the spectacle’s continued triumph over literacy shrugged – and oh, Sandy; even in the midst of all that, there was music – glorious music – because after all, to mark the fall, the birth of tragedy is forever conceived in the spirit of music.
Somewhere along the 365 steps on the road to perdition, albums debuted, someone named Franked caused an Ocean of tears, a boy named Ken lamented the m.a.a.d. urban terrain, and Fiona spun the wheel while time idly passed by… but this isn’t about them – although everything else prior has unremarkably revolved around the former two – this list is about five albums I listened to, five albums I didn’t need people to tell me I liked, five works that are tragic in their own right, five that may not be cool, may be too young for school, but five that at the end of the day reminded me of what “those” Mayans might play had they lived to see this day…
MDNA – Madonna
This was easily some of Madonna’s best work to date – contextually – period. Although sonic cohesion and precision ebb and flow within the confines of Madge’s contemporary discography, MDNA solidified a mood and melody for the Monarch’s tumultuous mindset. Ciccone grabbed the circuit and spun it up proper, regardless of all analog static enveloping the release. Best friends, boyfriends, and rhythmic revelations in tow – Madge dropped a bomb, aurally addicting, introspectively intriguing, albeit misguided at times, but always spectacular – MDNA what a mighty majestic show.
MDNA… the last time I wrote those letters in said sequence was, well, four years ago when I was at AU studying Advanced Bio; proper Madonna album debut… the last time I sat down to indulge in one of those was, well, four years ago when I was in life living Advanced Pop. Those were different days, simpler days. Days where Hard Candy was a passable stab at soundtracking Pop’s sticky-and-sweet soul, until a few years later when we’re in the midst of the reality that it was more a passable set of fillings in the cavity-laden mouth of Mod Pop.
M-D-N-A… the last time I chanted those letters in said sequence was but a few moments ago when Pure Pop emerged from the cultural tar pits of Detroit born-and-bred, Euro wed-and-bedded electronic sublime filth that is “I’m Addicted” – that is the cosmic bass stealth anthem from the primary piece of modern Pop’s genome: M.D.N.A.
Wonderful Monday on our hands. Sun is shining and a brand-spanking-new addition to the Pop family has graced us with its bouncing beautiful baby presence.
As I’m still coming to terms with my equally brand new bouncing baby quarterlife crisis (Aside: leave it to Madonna to wait four years to release an album, that upon completing the first full listen, one realizes IT’S BEEN FOUR YEARS. Leaving subsequent questions such as: “What have I done the past four years?” “What has Timbaland done in the past four years?” “We have Healthcare reform, we’re out of Iraq, bin Laden and Gaddafi are no more, and people are looking to Gingrich?!” “What is a Lady GaGa?” “Did I leave the front door open?” All coalescing to the inevitable answer: “I’m old.”) I’ve decided to put together a quick trip down Memory Lane this Monday (no, the other one, after the left at Drury Road – sorted) compliments of MDNA #biologicalpopbuildingblocks
Oh that Madge… I can’t help it, I’ve got the biggest Cheshire grin plastered above my chin right now…
See the thing about it is, I wanted to not like this video – hear me out: I wanted to not like this video because after the hoopla and hype, after the media blitzes and reductionism, this era was gearing up to be the bark of Confessions with the bite of Hard Candy #notgreat then, there’s the distractions and the white noise pulling attention from the product at hand and towards the peripheral gossip… in a nutshell: I was ready to not like this video for the same reason I was gearing up to not like Born This Way – because people were going Gaga over Madonna; but lo and behold… Pop never lets you down.