- Dispatches from CMJ, Day Four: Land of Talk, Broken Social Scene
- CD Review: Kristina Train, “Spilt Milk”
- Suburban Metal Dad no. 166.6: “Game of Thrones, Season 2″
- Greatest Un-Hits: Richard Carpenter and Dusty Springfield’s “Something In Your Eyes” (1987)
- TV on Blu-ray: “The Simpsons: The Sixteenth Season”
It’s that cold kind of moment when an act moves from a pioneer to a legacy artist, known more for the road behind than ahead. A lot of these artists close up the studio and just go out on the eternal tour, milking those cash cow songs for all they are worth. Others however will continue to put out new music and rarely will the presence of it stir the waters beyond the fanbase, the only ones making waves.
If one is lucky, their latest hit will land on a chart close to the top, but now that there are so many different charts, this isn’t nearly as monumental as when it was “the chart.” And so this great feat is diminished. Then critical knives come out and dissect the new thing, showing where the old hand is copying newer acts, or where they’re copying themselves, or where they’re clearly exhibiting tendencies of “Not Giving A Damn”-ness…
But in a lot of cases, they do still give a damn. We as consumers can be guilty of putting upon our experiences the burdens of our own expectations, and how can those ever be satisfied? Make an album just like the old albums and you’re accused of being lazy. Make something too contemporary and you are a trendjacker. Somewhere in the middle are songs that actually still stand up on their own merits, and if you’re willing to wade through, you might be surprised.
Popdose’s Latest Bits presents a tracklist created by the Popdose Staff — either as individuals or by committee — that seeks to bring out those songs that had the misfortune of being trapped inside extenuating circumstances of fame, public indifference, albums that may have been less killer and more filler, and all the rest. You know the drill. Now it’s time to just listen…
It is hard to imagine a world without Madonna Veronica Ciccone in it, but it is easier to see it without her at the pinnacle of the pop pyramid. She has had career ebbs before. During and shortly after the release of the Erotica album it seemed the world was over and done with her, but then she reinvented herself yet again, this time as an electronic, slightly new-agey version of herself on the Ray Of Light disc (and specifically the song “Frozen”). The follow-up album, “Music,” was hardly a sales dud either and produced two major hits with the title cut and “Don’t Tell Me.” Yet it was the marker for where the world was in relation to her. By now it had become easier to take her for granted, to expect that this synth-and-cowboy-hat phase was only that, and she’s be something else before too long. In other words, her biggest surprise would have been consistency over reinvention, but that wasn’t going to happen.
So “Music” lapsed in the minds of many and set the tone for later discs American Life, Confessions On A Dance Floor, Hard Candy, and the recent MDNA. That last album in particular was doomed to suffer because there was seemingly a concerted effort to position Madonna back among the new pop stars like Kesha and Katy Perry, and the overall complaints were that: a) the attempt at this was kind of creepy, and b) Madonna doesn’t need to stoop so low. But did she actually?
If you look past her most blatant stabs at the spotlight (and we’ll admit there are a few in the past decade) you the listener might find Madonna is still keenly aware of what pop music is at its roots. It just requires more digging than one might feel compelled to undertake. Popdose’s Latest Bits is all about that undertaking. So enjoy the nine tracks with our mix link courtesy of Grooveshark (http://grooveshark.com/playlist/Popdose+s+Latest+Bits+Madonna/88400731) and let us know what you think of our choices below in the comments section.
“Love Profusion” from American Life
“Future Lovers” from Confessions On The Dance Floor
“Give it 2 Me” from Hard Candy
“B-Day Song” from MDNA
“I Deserve It” from Music
“American Life (Headcleanr Rock Mix)” from Remixed and Revisited
“Heartbeat” from Hard Candy
“Impressive Instant” from Music
“Mother & Father” from American Life