Poor, pitiful Madonna... I mean... um... "Esther." The harder the girl tries to infuse her acting with poignancy and passion, the more clear it is that she has absolutely no talent in that medium whatsoever. So disregard her babbling from that balcony and by all means cry for her, Argentina. For the love of god, cry for her.
Madonna's music, on the other hand, deserves at least one listen before being utterly dismissed. The fact that she has survived (and often thrived) for nearly 25 years now is almost beyond miraculous. I mean, who could have foreseen this upon first hearing "Holiday" back in the day? (And poor Cyndi Lauper; this could have been her.)
With her latest LP, Confessions on a Dance Floor, it seems clear that Madonna had her eyes, ears, and marketing mojo squarely fixed on Gwen Stefani's Love. Angel. Music. Baby. This time around, Madonna wants her fans (even the straight ones, I presume) to set their booties to "vibrate" and forget 2003's comparatively subdued (and commercially unsuccessful) American Life.
Unfortunately, these are fairly mundane Confessions - a lot of "I took the Lord's name in vain" instead of "I coveted my neighbor's wife... from behind... many times." Still, I'm a sucker for any song that samples ABBA so brazenly as lead single "Hung Up," and there are one or two other tracks that break from the otherwise generic pack. No doubt that will be enough to keep the Material Matron treading water in the pop-culture pool well into her 50s.
[MP3] [left-click] "Hung Up"/Madonna
[MP3] [left-click] "Sorry"/Madonna
[MP3] [left-click] "What You Waiting For?" [Jacques lu Cont remix]/Gwen Stefani