PARIS (AFP) - Jostling for space with younger rivals like Lady Gaga, Madonna brings a grown woman’s voice to her new album “MDNA”, out on Monday, on which the 53-year-old Queen of Pop evokes the pain of her divorce.
Since her last album, the dance-flavoured “Hard Candy” in 2008, new faces have crowded into the space long ruled by the Material Girl: Rihanna, Lana Del Rey for edgy glamour, and the ever-theatrical Lady Gaga. So when Madonna announced she was working on a new album, the music world raised a sceptical eyebrow: put frankly, can a woman in her 50s still set the pace in a youth-driven pop world? The first track from the album, “Give Me All Your Luvin”, which Madonna performed at the Superbowl last month, failed to win over the music press.
But critics have since given a thumbs up to Madonna’s 12th studio album, which leaked on the Internet this week ahead of its release.
“Madonna is still very much the Queen of Pop ,” wrote the US magazine Billboard. “Nearly 30 years after first hitting the Billboard charts with her debut single ‘Everybody’, Madonna is still showing the world how it’s done.” Likewise, Britain’s Daily Mirror wrote that “Madonna’s new album shows the young pretenders she is still a force to be reckoned with.”