The Smu Reviews

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I’ve been revisiting MDNA over the last week or so having not really listened to it at all since it was released. Generally I won’t put in the effort to go back to an album I haven’t connected with but partly because I have given in and am going to the tour this weekend and partly because I’ve had the nagging suspicion there was a much better album lurking in there than it appears I decided to give it another go. I’ve been working on this little redux playlist and I think I’ve finally hit the sweet spot.

A lot of albums these days have problems with weak bonus tracks cluttering up otherwise sturdy albums but I have to say that with MDNA the bonus tracks are far from being the problem – in fact it’s the singles that drag it down most for me. The running order also exhausts me with far too many of the flimsy or psuedo-ballsy songs up top leaving the songs I rate most obscured or so far down the tracklist that I’ve given up by then.

Whittling the album down to these 11 tracks has made all the difference and I feel like there is a pretty strong little record there after all. No, still not her best but in this format certainly stronger than Hard Candy and arguably Confessions too.

There are a few  songs that I’ve left on here (most notably Turn Up The Radio, Gang Bang and I Don’t Give A) that still bother me for various reasons but in this context I can enjoy far more.

In my mind I am currently living in a parallel universe where this was the album, the singles were I’m Addicted > Love Spent > Anything apart from GMAYL, GGW or Birthday Song and the artwork looked more like this:

and less like this:

In that unviverse MDNA is really rather good actually.

All words by Susan Sloan.