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Madonna's Struggle To Stay Relevant
on February 14, 2014
Simply put, this isn't the album that I was hoping Madonna would make at this point in her career. It is easy to see from this album and from her recent on-stage antics with Miley Cyrus that Madonna is struggling to find a place for herself in the perennially youth-oriented and transitory pop music landscape. Madonna is an icon, there's no question about that, and listening recently to some of her older albums (Madonna, Like A Virgin, and True Blue), I was struck by how brilliant many of those songs still are. She was so gutsy and exuberant back then, wasn't she? The songs are brimming with confidence, sex appeal, and real joy, like she was happy and excited to make them. This most recent album, MDNA, sounds like she is trying to compete with younger, hipper singers. At this point in her career, she needs to carve out a new niche for herself, and that's hard to do because there aren't a great deal of other singers who are in her age group or older who are still popular and relevant. As an icon who has ruled the charts in the past, it is understandable that she doesn't want to give up her throne or pass the torch, but whether she wants to or not, the torch has been passed, and singers like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Miley Cyrus now possess it. I wish that rather than trying to compete with them, she would try to transcend them and create music that was less concerned with popularity and more focused on talking about things that matter and reflecting on her life thus far.