Madonna's "MDNA" receives lukewarm welcome from critics

Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:44am EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The music doesn't stop for pop icon Madonna, and neither does the controversy, as the 53-year-old 'Queen of Pop' returns to the spotlight with her latest album "MDNA".

The uptempo record "MDNA" sees Madonna continue her love affair with dance music in an album dedicated to club-friendly tracks.

And Madonna has lost none of her ability to push boundaries, just as she did 25 years ago with themes of sexuality and youth rebellion.

The title, "MDNA" -- an allusion to the drug MDMA or ecstasy -- has caused a stir, while the music video for the second single, "Girl Gone Wild", has been slapped with an age restriction after YouTube deemed it too raunchy for under 18 year-olds.

The video, shot in black and white, sees the singer writhing and grinding with scantily dressed men, in a style similar to her "Erotica" days, when the video for her song "Justify My Love," was banned by MTV in 1990.

Madonna has said that the title meaning of her 12th studio album is threefold -- a reduction of her name, an abbreviation for "Madonna DNA," and a reference to ecstasy and the euphoria often experienced by its users.

But some music critics haven't exactly been blown away despite Madonna recruiting a bevy of top dance music producers, including house music DJ Benny Benassi, electro-pop duo LMFAO and her Grammy-winning "Ray of Light" album producer William Orbit.

Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times gave the album two out of four stars, saying it doesn't "offer much in the way of innovation," and that the iconic singer had "fallen behind...she is no longer setting the conversation in a genre she essentially invented."   Continued...

Madonna performs during the halftime show in the NFL Super Bowl XLVI football game in Indianapolis, Indiana, February 5, 2012. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes