Girl Gone Mild: Madonna Seems To Be Missing From Her New Single

Categories: Madonna

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Forget that the latest song to be released from Madonna's upcoming album MDNA is biting its title from a noxious DVD series run by one of the worst people ever to be hailed as a "celebrity" by American culture (a pretty impressive feat, that); never mind that it rhymes "fire" and "desire" on its prechorus, despite the peppy track being absolutely nowhere near as good as The System's sparkling "Don't Disturb This Groove" and thus failing the "does this track have enough redeeming qualities to allow me to overlook the No. 1 lyric cliché of all time?" test. No, the most glaring quality of "Girl Gone Wild," which hit the web yesterday, is the way that Madonna seems to be pretty absent from the track.

Madonna's music has been synonymous with the dancefloor since the "Burning Up" days, so not too surprising that Madonna is dabbling in the let-the-beat-hit-'em clubpop that's dominating airwaves at the moment. It is a bit disappointing, though, that "Wild" is helmed by the always-going-for-the-LCD Benny Benassi instead of someone who has a more forward-thinking attitude w/r/t what sort of pop-music boundaries can be pushed at this particular point, and by this particular artist. What is surprising is how her voice, which has definitely changed over the years but which still has had a recognizable burr to it throughout her career, is muted and fiddled with to the extent that it's nearly unrecognizable. (It's probably a big reason why, on first listen, I misheard the line about losing inhibitions as "my ambition's gone away.")

Of course, as Voice contributor Michaelangelo Matos pointed out to me yesterday, the "anonymous diva" ideal in dance music isn't a new thing in any sense. But what's notable to me is the way that already-existing pop personae are getting caught up in this trend; think about Nicki Minaj's processed-cheese vocals on her David Guetta collaboration "Turn Me On," or the way Rihanna's vocals shape-shift from post-"Umbrella" single to post-"Umbrella" single. We're in a bit of a moment where there are a lot of prominent female pop stars out there, yet the currency that should theoretically get them to their place in the pantheon—their voices—are being made subservient to the beat, or even becoming nearly anonymized, as their public profiles get ever louder and more dominant.

Sure, Madonna, who's nothing if not a savvy businesswoman, probably witnessed the soft top-40 radio landing of the two top-flight pop artists who did put out housepop-trend-bucking albums last year—Beyoncé's confidently lush 4 and Lady Gaga's all-over-the-map Born This Way—and made arrangements to avoid a similar purgatorial fate on the charts. That this devil's bargain resulted in one of the last 30-odd years' biggest and most important pop personalities being seemingly left out of her own song, though, is annoying and sad—and it will be even more so should her gamble pay off.

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14 comments
newman2012
newman2012

this post is rather incoherent. why not simply declare that you're an elton fan?

Anon
Anon

This is nothing more than a continuation of the commoditization of modern pop music.  Make Madonna sound like every other robotic female voice in the club and on the radio. Eventually, any nuance in top 40 (or dance or electronic music) will be subsumed by the jackhammer beats and indistinguishable vocals of (insert name of disposable female "vocailst" here).  This is not the genre of music where creativity and innovation live any longer, at least not as far as the singers and musicians are concerned.  DJ's are the only ones that matter in this space today.

Mark C A
Mark C A

Maura Johnston......seems as though you might need to hang up your hat as you might be nearing that age where you should be knitting and not trying to write. 

And all of you people commenting down below......go back to your jobs at 7-11 and continue to wish you had any talent at all. 

Rick Shaw
Rick Shaw

Yeah I'm confused by the new Madonna....The thing about her was she was ALWAYS ahead of the curve. She didnt ape it. Even her last great album "Confessions on a Dancefloor", perhaps wasnt super forward thinking music, but it was her going back to her roots/disco kind of tunes. So it worked perfect. That was a great album. These new tracks sound desperate and odd. Trying to be too "relevant". Like that Timberlake track...lame. She used to give a shit about being relevant and it was great....What happened to the Madge of the 90's "Music" and stuff really pushing forward? She's getting old I guess. Looks OK still, but it's wearing thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin.......

will
will

Maura, you must have missed it; but 50 Cent was all upset late last year cause his unreleased single was called 'Girls Go Wild' and felt Interscope pulled a fast one on him;but you're right the song sucks ass. Hear 50's unreleased song instead. It's pretty weird and different than anything out there. The video has yet to drop. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

burning_plastic
burning_plastic

Also "girls just want to have fun"? That seems like something you wouldn't touch unless you really had something to add to it. Is this song as good as "Girls Just Want To Have Fun"? No, it is not. So along with not rhyming "fire" with "desire" on an average song, maybe you shouldn't reference a classic on an average song. If you're Madonna you really shouldn't release an average song. This is better than that cheerleading thing I think, but we're two singles in now, and I don't hear "Vogue" yet, and I'm not sure it's coming.

It's bothering me that I can't remember where I heard "I know, I know, I know, I know" but it's a song I've heard a million times. The way she says it is just like another song. I liked what she did with the ABBA sample on "Hung Up" and I like that song. This is just kind of random though.

Her fight with Paris Hilton's friend is pretty funny though. He says he made her change the title and she claims to never have heard of him.

Jerry Atrics
Jerry Atrics

She's a "girl" like my grandma's a teenager.

Craig Bonnell
Craig Bonnell

that's a lot of words to say that the song is trash - not really worthy of any more serious discusssion than that

maura
maura

Oh I'm so glad the stans found this! Awesome. 

Jerry Atrics
Jerry Atrics

You mean my ad writer day job in the city, or my side gig selling songs in Nashville?

Millerviolet33
Millerviolet33

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maura
maura

i'll try to go long on a swedish band's new single next time

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