Review Summary: Madonna can do much better
The new Madonna album is a clearly dance album with some bitter aftertaste. However, rather than describing it as Confessions on a Dance Floor 2.0, this one goes more for Hysterics on a Dance Floor due to several reasons. First, thanks to its extremely backlashing lyrics combined with extremely hard Benny Benassi-style dance beats which create the effect of a catchy brainwash in a family kitchen. Second, due to its relative silliness and naiveness compared with Madge's previous dance album. It is either banal and not very much banal, sadistic and not too much sadistic, happy and not really happy, rude and not so rude... to sum up, a dance backlash with some smoothing effect as we approach the end.
As for the album structure, it looks like the album depicts a 53-year old female recovering from a too-hard-for-her party at night. Even the name is similar to the name of a drug MDMA. The record starts from some crazy, hair raising songs: Girl Gone Wild, Gang Bang and I'm Addicted. After too much partying, we feel ourselves happy and foolish with a Ray of Light-esque Turn up the Radio, bubble gum styled Give me All your Luvin' and Some Girls. No brains left but we just feel happy. However, as the brain is free of anything, it's high time to fill it in with something. With some dark thoughts of your former husbands and half-your-age boyfriends, for example, by listening to Superstar, I Don't Give A, I'm a Sinner and Love Spent. Finally, after a some depression, one could contemplate of your place in life and salvation. Looks quite autobiographical as there is nothing here which did not happen to Madonna during her long show business life.
As for the songs themselves, there is not too much to comment. As always, has Madonna been the Dancing Queen, she remained the Dancing Queen. Lots of electronic programming, hard beats and even Skype-sending-text-mesages sounds were excellently utilized in some tracks. It should be noted that doing lyrics for dance music such that it does not sound too stupid is not easy; I think that nowadays nobody can do it better than Madge&Co. As for ballads, it can be easily observed that Madonna tries really hard, but this music style is far not at her strong side even with lovely lyrics present and decent music following. The greatest cause of it is quite obvious: Madonna can't sing. While her sweet voice perfectly fits for electronizing, bubble-gum songs and teenager-styled compositions, it is difficult to argue that she cannot even hold one note for several seconds when needed. To say more correctly, she can, but not while recording, as when she sings in stronger tones, during live concerts, for example, her voice starts revealing her age and sounds quite ugly. Madonna's ageing vocals play a bad joke even with some of her dance tracks, like in the same Give me All Your Luvin', making them sound a little boring without any proper sense.
To conclude, it can be seen that Madonna still knows how to play her game well. She clearly knows the dance hit formula for success and whom to work with to implement it. She can clearly write decent lyrics but it should be noted that there are also lots of repetitions in words from her earlier songs. But her age and vocals have never played the worse joke in her previous works as in this one which is quite sad as looks like Madge may fall into a serious trap: without proper electronic editing, she may soon not be able to sing neither teenage nor more adult compositions. Also, from my point of view, there is too much Benny-Benassi presence in the majority of songs, especially in singles.