I developed a crush on Madonna about the time I turned 13, and my adoration of her did not wane through the years of bad music (“Like a Virgin”) and worse costumes (pointy boobs and blonde ambition). The high points of True Blue
and Ray of Light
are the bookends to the years we’ve spent together.
There is a Madonna clock, circa “Desperately Seeking Susan,” on my office wall.
I always loved the way she just did what she did, calculated marketing move or not. Plus, she highlighted important issues like equality and acceptance.
Now, however, just as she says she’s a reformed megalomaniac, I find myself getting off the wagon. It’s nothing personal, it’s just the one trait that has been with her through the years has vanished: balls.
I’ve only heard a couple of songs from the new album, American Life
, but they were both generic and forgettable. (And, the title track has her rapping in what may be one of the worst moments of self-indulgence in musical history.)
Sept. 11, 2001, and its subsequences have yielded a time for “artists” with something to say, and I don’t think Madonna has anything to contribute to the conversation.
I think Madonna is savvy, and she knows what’s up, but she seems confused with her role in this new world. She may be a little too out of touch to realize her place in the world and how she could never be taken seriously as a commentator.