The great virtue of Madonna, apart from her Catholic roots, is her lack of musical pretension. She’s a pop artist, not a “rock star.” I loathe most rock criticism, as I loathe most of rock and roll, because of its absurd pretension to seriousness. Madonna isn’t innocent here, of course. She has made her fair share of dumb-ass pronouncements in her time. But at her best, she is a pure pop performer. Her new album is the best she has ever done, in my opinion. You can’t stop enjoying its shameless superficiality, its joyous rhythms, its ’80s disco uplift. Yeah, I know this will look like a suck-up to my new hosts, but Time’s Josh Tyrangiel gets it exactly right:

Over a pulsing synthesizer, a ticking clock, a rumbling timpani and countless other perfectly calibrated whirs and beeps, Madonna declares, “I don’t like cities, but I like New York/Other places make me feel like a dork.” This is not the most ridiculous lyric ever uttered in a pop song–that remains “Yummy yummy yummy/I got love in my tummy.” Still, it is awfully silly, and before you press on with the album, you will need to ask yourself, Am I a serious person who listens to music for intellectual enlightenment and makes it a point of pride not to dance under any circumstances? Or am I merely a semi-serious person who makes it a point not to be seen dancing under any circumstances? If you’re the former, Confessions on a Dance Floor is not for you. If you’re the latter, close the blinds.

The DP and I have had the blinds closed for a while now. The groove goes on …


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