dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Final Thoughts On Madonna And Mariah: Will Someone Screw These Two Old Broads Already?

There's been a lot of trash on Mariah and Madonna here this first part of 2008, mostly because the anticipation for their new albums was the biggest thing happening in pop up till now. But truth be told, I'm fatigued from these two rich old sluts at this point, so here's a final word on both.

First up, I'm not going to review their albums. Madge's Hard Candy and Mimi's E=MC² have gotten far more thought-out write-ups than anything I'd ever have the patience to come up with. I don't form a true opinion of a record until way after the fact, anyway.

Two of my favorite albums of all time are R.E.M.'s Monster and Madonna's Bedtime Stories, which I played over and over and still like to listen to -- but which are derided by hardcore fans. So what the hell do I know? Plus, album reviews are so subjective, and so, ultimately, what the hell does anyone know?

That said, this much is true: Madge and Mimi are still horny as shit in their new songs, singing about doing YouTube f*** videos and tasting raw candy. And it's no wonder! These two old vultures have been surrounded by gay men for so many decades, they forgot what it's like to have some big, gruff hetero guy give them hot bed slam. And now Madge -- look at her! As I said elsewhere yesterday, she looks like the Hooker Of Dorian Gray. She's tired of mincing yes-queens buzzing around her dried-up hive, and now she's gotta dress like a wonk-faced, three-dollar Old West saloon rat to try to get any straight guy's attention at this point. May your vagina see one last scrap of hetero meat before you retire, Macougar.

There are songs I like from each of these albums (Mariah's "For The Record" and, yes, "Touch My Body," and Madge's "Dance 2Night," which is killer old-school) and songs which completely chew (Madge: "Spanish Lessons," Mariah: whatever that one about the last kiss is called). At the end of the day it's just pop music, though, and we'll tire of some songs we thought we loved, and learn to appreciate others more.

Or, in the end, maybe we'll just file them away and sigh, Well, there's always the next album.

FINAL NOTE: Slate did a great write-up on Mariah today called "Bigger Than Elvis: Why The Haters Are Wrong About Mariah Carey."

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  • At 1:39 PM, Blogger Brad said…

    I love you for loving Bedtime Stories the most.

  • At 4:17 PM, Blogger Trailer Trashlee said…

    That was really well written. I loved the line the most that goes:

    "At the end of the day it's just pop music, though, and we'll tire of some songs we thought we loved, and learn to appreciate others more."

    Metaphor for more than just music, no?

  • At 5:42 PM, Blogger Moogaboo said…

    Wow! Madonna really looks like 80's country flooze Tanya Tucker in that photo. Is that intentional? I always saw her more as a Dottie West type.

    I never really loved Mariah until she made the phrase "I will hunt you down" sound so pretty.

  • At 10:43 PM, Blogger Cristián said…

    I just can't help relating this album to Bedtime Stories. The only problem I ever had with Bedtime Stories was that it wasn't a 100% her. It was too much borrowing somebody else's shit than putting more of her own imprint. And it's exactly what's been bothering me of Hard Candy. Just like it happened with 4 Minutes: lame as a Madonna track; amazing as a Timbaland track featuring Justin with background vocals by Madonna.
    I'm finding in Hard Candy a terrific collection of Timba-Timber-Pharrel songs; it's just that Madonna doesn't fit owning them 100% there. I could believe these tracks coming from either Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Beyonce or even J-Lo'. But from her... in the words of C+C Music Factory, it's just a little "Things That Make You Go Hmm...".

    May be an elegant way to leave Warner on a high note, without having to burn for them what she really is cooking truly by herself (and for herself) for later?

    Let's enjoy it anyway while it lasts for what it is: right on time for summer. Get those Speedos and boomboxes ready, girls! Pool party is on!

    PS: Spanish Lessons is definitely inexcusable under any pretext!

  • At 12:11 AM, Blogger John said…

    Loved the commentary, and you hit too many good points for me to point out. "Bedtime Stories" will always be my favorite, and it's been a winding road ever since. It's probably good thing that Madonna turned in her most commercial CD to Warner, because who knows how her music will be marketed with the Live Nation deal. All in all, I don't love either of these CDs, but I like them both. This is what happens when you go hunting in multiple pastures for a hit. [That, and you kill an albino fox for a stole to wear in your photo shoots.]

    When I grow up, I wanna be just like you, D'Luv!

  • At 1:29 AM, Blogger Mike said…

    I'd rather be fingered by Edward Scissorhands than hear Hard Candy ever again!

  • At 12:12 PM, Blogger Joshua said…

    Madonna's voice has been getting more high pitched and nasally into the 2000s and it's really grossing me out. But as a gay man, I can NEVER hate her. Hah!

    I'm sort of disappointed with how much Mariah's voice has deteriorated over the last 2 decades, but I still love her to death because she is SO INSANE. And forever 12 years old.

  • At 1:38 PM, Blogger D'luv said…

    Brad, and I love you, too, bugaboo.

    TT, well, why yes, dear lass, it could just be.

    Moog, I loved her when she started traipsing around topless on tropical beaches with a bottle of champagne in one hand and a glass in the other.

    Cristián, last night I sat down to pay some bills and balance my checkbook -- woeful tasks on both ends! -- and while doing so, listened to Hard Candy about 4 times in a row. I have to say, it's really grown on me. If you don't think too much about the producers, the lyrics, etc. etc. and just have it on in the background, I found that I at least have come to appreciate it as a pop album taken at face value. That said, I skipped "Spanish Lesson" every time.

    John, I liked BS, and then Ray Of LIght, but to be honest, every one of her albums has always had a few clunkers on it for me. As for your other comment, to be truly like D'luv, young grasshopper, you must never grow up.

    Joshua, she ain't hitting those "Emotions" notes no more, that's fo' sure.

  • At 11:43 PM, Anonymous numbfromdrugs said…

    "they forgot what it's like to have some big, gruff hetero guy give them hot bed slam"

    where can i sign up for that?

  • At 12:42 PM, Blogger D'luv said…

    I think L.A. ran out of hetero guys. Best stick with Austin.

  • At 9:24 PM, Blogger Cristián said…

    I just needed to return here almost one week after to confess, and take back all that I stated on my previous comment post. Oh, my God! Only a few days later, and some more passes of the album, and by now I've got Hard Candy all over inside my veins. I finally got it right, and I have to say I think it's brilliant. It is so Madonna. It's 100% Madonna 2008! The album is a gem bomb. So far the Timba-Timber portions keep hitting me stronger than the Pharrell ones, but still it's all magnificent. Miles Away and Voices have my completely hypnotized with their impeccable lyrics. She's Not Me follows. Beat Goes On is so the new Holiday (even with that Kanye's rapping break). Incredible comes close, almost like the new Everybody as well. Heartbeat is a piece of jewelry, almost like taken out of a high end musical. Give It 2me and Dance 2night ready to go and jump start any party.
    I'm still lost with Spanish Lessons, but I'll either end up finally getting it right one year from now, or I'll forgive it anyway as the rest of the album is so amazing.
    There, I said it. Phew...

    PS: Oh, yes, and at this week's Roseland gig she definitely delivered what she promised in her own words: that she still knows hot to put on a fuckin' show. Oh, yes, she certainly does! 4 Minutes with Justin and those "dancing screens" left me practically breathless. Long live the Queen Mother!

  • At 11:01 AM, Blogger D'luv said…

    Cristián, we pretty much have had the same experience, as I mentioned above. I played the album on my iPod more and more throughout the week and weekend, and now I totally love it! My definite favorites are "Heartbeat" and "Dance 2Night," but I like them all...except "Spanish Lesson."

  • At 7:10 PM, Blogger Kenneth Walsh said…

    Funny, you singled out the exact same Madonna songs as I did. "Dance 2Night" (good) and "Spanish Lesson" (heinous).

    Time for me to revisit "Monster"? :-) Of course, what do I know? I LOVED "Up" ...


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