Monday, 30 January 2012

Madonna, Queen of Pop, #20 - 16

Just a small town girl...

Madonna. We all know who she is... she's the material girl, the most successful female artist of all time, the Queen of Pop! This is a woman that redefined popular music, pushed more boundaries than any other and paved the way for our favourite pop tarts of today. I say that with all due respect of course. Who doesn't want to be a pop tart? I mean... diva? With a chart topping career spanning four decades, Madonna has become the benchmark for a legion of singers who want to rule the world. She's a smart businesswoman, a terrible actress, a cougar on the prowl and a true icon of music. Her new single, 'Give Me All Your Luvin' featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A is out February 3 so let's celebrate by looking at her greatest contributions to music. Since she's reinvented herself more times that you can count, everyone's bound to have their favourite version of Madonna. You'll pick up which version is my favourite quite quickly. Enjoy and let us know what your favourite Madonna songs are!

Honourable Mentions:

Human Nature, What It Feels Like For a Girl, This Used to Be My Playground,
Deeper and Deeper, Heartbeat.

#20 - Erotica
Album: Erotica (1992)

My name is Dita, I'll be your mistress tonight...

Erotica, the song and album, used to confuse me. Granted I was six when it came out, so hopefully you'll be understanding in my general confusion to the sexy (and not so sexy) themes this more, um, adventurous incarnation of Madonna was presenting us with. As you hit your teens and move towards early adulthood, you look at an album like Erotica and go, "why so sexy?" You then smile. A little bit of a dirty smile. Perverts. 'Erotica' was released as the album's lead single all the way back in 1992 with an accompanying video that pushed boundaries further than you'd ever imagine a pop song's clip would be willing to go. It's kinda nasty and you kinda like it. Again, you're a total perv.

#19 - Nothing Fails
Album: American Life (2003)

When I get lost in space,
I can return to this place,
Cause, you're the one.

In the grand scheme of all things 'Madonna,' you can consider 'Nothing Fails' somewhat of a spiritual successor to 'Don't Tell Me.' The overall tone of the track, the guitar and the orchestral interludes all hark back to one of her other great musical accomplishments. As a big fan of 'Don't Tell Me,' I ain't complaining. Also, like that other song we're going to stop talking about for a minute, 'Nothing Fails' shows us one of the greatest, yet most under appreciated versions of Madonna; the genuine and relatable one. It's just a woman who's lived her life that happens to be in love with someone. And it makes her want to pray? Did I mention there's a choir like the one in 'Like A Prayer?' Well, there is. Bonus points for that.

#18 - Holiday
Album: Madonna (1983)

It would be, it would so nice.

Ah... the early years. In 1983, Madonna Louise Ciccone was just a young girl with a dream. The dream? Conquering the world. I think she did a pretty good job. 'Holiday' was her first real hit song on the charts and when you see the music video you can really see why. Look at her dance. She's out of control! As is the super creepy old dude in the background.

#17 - Rain
Album: Erotica (1992)

Rain is what this thunder brings,
For the first time I can hear my heart sing.

Seriously, the 1990s was Madonna's best decade. 'Rain' works as further proof that Madge is so much more than the superpop hits. When she gets a ballad right, she gets it right and this is one of the finest early 90s pop ballads. Usually the whole 'let's break it down in the middle with some unnecessary talking' shtick is impossible to pull off, but it takes nothing away from 'Rain.'

#16 - The Power of Good-Bye
Album: Ray of Light (1998)

There's nothing left to lose, there's no more heart to bruise,
There's no greater power, than the power of good-bye.

Not everyone's favourite track, yet I find something about 'The Power of Good-Bye' to be irresistible. Once again, we've got a ballad and once again it's a damn good one and a highlight of what I consider to be Madonna's greatest album, Ray of Light. You don't always hear a ton of praise for the lyrics in Madonna's songs (especially lately), but 'The Power of Good-Bye' is a nice little collection of words. Even if there aren't that many different ones.

Join us next time, won't you, for more Madonna goodness!

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