MDNA: The Anticipation Is Over!

I have to admit that I am a packaging person. I would judge everything — books included — by their packaging before I buy. 

Thus, before I loaded MDNA Deluxe Edition CD into my stereo, the first thing that caught my attention was, yes, the album packaging.

At a super ripe age of 53, Madonna effortlessly rocked Kiki de Montparnasse harness bra with teeny black lace inserts, just enough to cover up her, erm, modesty. 

Ditto the sleek red dress on the standard edition cover. And all that colourful lights saturating over her model-esque images reminds me of her previous disco-pop effort, Confessions on the Dancefloor. 

Done with the packaging, let’s move to the tracks. Basically, MDNA can be defined as a cocktail of dance tracks — a handiwork of various collaborators, namely William Orbit, Martin Solveig, the Bennasi brothers (Benny and Alle), and of course Nicki Minaj and M.I.A, who appeared in few other tracks besides the worldwide hit Give Me All Your Luvin’.

But once the track listing reaches the end, you may find two catchy yet pleasant-to-the-ears ballads. The opening track, Girl Gone Wild, starts with a little catholic-esque prayer and certainly reminds me of her works in Like A Prayer. The only difference is, the song is packed with fast beats and not slow soul/R&B-laced rhythms.

The second track — Gang Bang — is more of a drama than a song. Think Bonnie & Clyde but in a musical sort of interpretation. Or if you could recall her 2000 album Music, you may find a slight, if not many similarities with “How It Feels Like In This World (For a Girl)”. 

In this track, violence and anger pretty much predominate everything and Madonna is channelling her dark side at its fullest. For example, halfway towards the end of the song she was screaming/cursing “drive bitch/I said drive bitch…” — totally the best official anthem to be included in any anger management programme. 

Third, fourth and fifth tracks were rather mediocre and nothing much to be said about. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the album’s lead single (Give Me All Your Luvin’), but thanks to the catchy beat and supported by the American football-themed video, I started to love every bit of the song. The sixth, seven and eighth tracks were great as well, with a tiny tinge of Shannon and Joan Jett in the tempo.

But frankly speaking, the ninth track – I’m A Sinner – got me questioning: Is she turning back to her long-abandoned Catholic faith?

In this track, Madonna literally confessed to her listeners that she likes being a sinner, while at the same time, uttering the rosary (“Hail Mary full of grace”) and prayers to the saints. 

Truth be told, she should have recorded this song in her Like A Prayer album, and not MDNA. 

Love Spent, the 10th track, has a small interpolation of “Hung Up” at the beginning and like the third, fourth and fifth tracks, it’s a mediocre track as well. 

Masterpiece, the song that garnered her a Golden Globe award recently, has a little reggae influence in it and easy to listen to. 

As for Falling Free, the final track on the Disc 1, totally runs away from the dance-dominated flow of the album. The track is not too sappy and imbued with tones of positivism in it.

In Disc 2, Beautiful Killer instantly reminded me of Beautiful Stranger, while I Fucked Up sounds really honest. B-Day Song is a song where Madonna pays tribute to Pop’s most inevitable musical duo Sonny and Cher by interpolating their infamous song ‘The Beat Goes” into the composition.

As for Best Friend, seriously I can mistaken it for any techno-laced R&B songs sung by the likes of TLC.

Thus, what’s my verdict on MDNA? Well, in terms of packaging, Madonna deserves an A+++, especially for being able to rock a super-sexy Kiki de Montparnasse lingerie at a super ripe age. As for the tracks, I would give her a modest B for her effort and great mixture of beats. 

... Let's Emulate Madonna's MDNA look! 

(L-R): A line dress, $1,945.00 by Balenciaga at Barney's New York; Double buckled sandal, $880.00 by Givenchy at Barney's New York; Coney shoulder bag, $1,770.00 by Givenchy at Barney's New York. 

(L-R): Knee boots, $619.00 by Nicholas Kirkwood at Barney's New York; Albertine clutch, $790.00 by Derek Lam at Barney's New York; Turquoise cuff, £261.00 by Kelly Wearstler at

 (L-R): Open knit sweater, DKNY at; silver sickle choker, $7,800.00 by Lynn Ban at Barney's New York; Stretch-lace bra, £32.00 by Calvin Klein Underwear at

(L-R) Wayfarer cat, $220.00 by Persol at Barney's New York; Dragon's Blood Sculpting Gel, RM390.00 by Rodial; Portobello washed-leather shorts, £293.00 by Rag & Bone at  

All items featured here are available now at Barney's New York and Rodial is available at Robinsons Beautyhall, The Gardens Mid Valley. MDNA (Deluxe and Standard Editions) is available now in all music stores worldwide and is distributed in Malaysia by Universal Music.

*Madonna photos: and other various online sources. Product photos courtesy of Barney's New York, and Rodial.


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