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Madonna - 'Celebration'

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Fraser McAlpine | 13:50 UK time, Thursday, 10 September 2009


I can't be the only person in the world who is slightly disappointed that this song isn't a jaunty '80 syn-disco rave up, in which Madge skips around in a big pink wig, like she used to in the olden days - only now of course she is slightly more leathery due to the inevitable passage of time and an impressive fitness regime - singing "holidation!" in order to match the title "celebration!", can I?

C'mon, it's a REALLY big world out there, SOMEONE must be on a similar page...no?

Fine then, let's talk about what it actually does sound like, if that's what you want... *huffs*

(Here's the video. I'm not sure if some of what they're doing really counts as dancing.)

It sounds like a decent dance track, you'll be shocked to know. It's all on one note for most of it and has hi-hat cymbals splashing all over the shop in an endearingly sloppy fashion. It sounds like the kind of dance track that you could conceivably make by smashing buttons on a Casio home keyboard with your face, but that doesn't make it bad. Less, as they say, is more.

It sounds like a decent song for Madonna to play on tour too. It'll keep her gigs from becoming endless nostalgia-fests, and adds something fresh to the Greatest Hits CD. And it'll help keep the idea going that a quick costume change and a fresh set of dancers is all you need to convince chirruping media types that you're some kind of entertainment Transformer, forever changing from robot to lorry to disco diva to blender to office block. A top hat! Fingerless gloves! A guitar! Who else but Madonna could put such things together?

What? Whaddya mean? Slash who?

Anyway, the thing I'm skirting around is that it's also another Madonna song in which she sings about getting people up on the dancefloor, ready to lose all inhibitions and go crackers, to have the wildest, free-est night of their lives...that's what the words are saying.

The voice, however, is saying "oh...I didn't realise YOU were coming. How perfectly dreary. Why, we already have the four people we need to complete a fine evening of bridge, so, actually, if you wouldn't mind, the servants' exit is over there."

I'm all for a frosty madam in a disco barnstormer (yup, leaving language FAR behind me now). Rihanna has made a very successful career out of that very thing, so has Sophie Ellis Bextor. But it's usually better if they sound strict and unmoved, not bored and unengaged.

Maybe the '80s disco thing wasn't such a stupid joke after all...

Three starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: September 7th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)


  • Comment number 1.

    Question about the video? Doesn't her daughter Lourdes appear in it?

    Man, Madonna has to be the most embarassing mother everywhere. I would be embarassed to be on the same video shoot as a mother who grabs her private area, grinds up against walls and strips men half her age. It's not like Madonna is a yummy mummy! She's more than half a century old and looks plastic!

  • Comment number 2.

    Yeah, Lourdes is in the video but blink and you'll miss it.

    I'm not sure what I think of this song. It all seems a little monotonous to me.

    I wonder when she'll finally retire!

  • Comment number 3.

    Madge, you have definiely still got it. Love the video

  • Comment number 4.

    It looks severely desperate to me. She has such an amazing legacy and she's kind of got to accept that that is more than enough for the public. She looks so un-natural in the video; it's like she's completely out of touch. But I don't slate her for that, she's not this generation. And she should take note of that.

    Beyonce, Britney, Rihanna, P!nk, Girls Aloud, Leona, Christina, Taylor, Katy, GaGa, Elly, Boots, Florence, Shakira, Pixie, Lily, V.V... yeah we don't need her anymore. She's always been an impressionist throughout her career, but it's catching up with her, because there's a lot of distinct variety around right now. And tons more talent.

    And she also looks like a piece of gristle.

    Maybe she should change direction, get a beter image that would slot her better in the pop world. She was basically there with Confiessions of a Dance Floor (no leotard and it would have been perfect) then she wrecked it with such an atrocity of an album, called Hard Candy of all things.

  • Comment number 5.

    Love your passion Moz.

    Celebration will be a top 5 hit tomorrow , as I have alluded to for a while .

    I have the utmost respect for Madonna .

    For me her last great song was 4 MINUTES , with it's great 4 hooks , catchy chorus , great video and a great Timberland production .

    My problem is , and Celebration is a good example , she has stopped releasing great songs with substance.

    E.G Like a prayer
    Ray of light

    A lot of her recent releases , apart from 4 minutes , are very pop - lite with weaker hooks than a lot of her benchmark work .

    Agreed , the legacy is amazing , and in terms of sales , influence , and voice and face recognition , she is the most famous female singer in the world , but I would like a lot more depth and great songwriting in her future releases .

    There is absolutely no doubting the immense effect that Madonna has had in the music world for the last 26 years . If you think Michael Jackson was influential on the world's music scene , then here is the female equivalent .

    She is a living legend .

    I just want better songs from her .

  • Comment number 6.

    He was the King and she is the Queen. Sadly the Queen needs to go eat a few burgers and write some better material.

  • Comment number 7.

    I agree that she NOW needs better material .
    Moz , I do know what you are trying to say , but you must let me know the minute that the lovely VV Brown sells 200 million albums worldwide .


    Sorry to be such a shark in the water ! xxxx

  • Comment number 8.

    Yeah I meant NOW.

    Beyonce, Britney, Rihanna, P!nk, Girls Aloud, Leona, Christina, Taylor, Katy, GaGa, Elly, Boots, Florence, Shakira, Pixie, Lily, V.V

    Need to add Adele, Duffy, Amy MacDonald and Amy Winehouse as a bare minimum to that list. Theres millions more.

    Yet I struggle to reach 10 male solo artists that are on the same level as these woman. If you stick to british only you have to include artists like Tynchy Strider to make it to 10. Paulo Nutini, James Morrison and Newton Faulkner seem to have the market share of men.

  • Comment number 9.

    Liam , you are forgetting the male solo singer who has sold more albums in the UK than any other male solo artist in history .

  • Comment number 10.

    There is also Dizzee Rascal , Calvin Harris , David Gray , George Michael , Jamie T , Paul Weller ...

  • Comment number 11.

    OK well if we narrow it down to people under 40 say, not legends like George Michael. . .

    Calvin Harris Ill give you, even though hes a bit different. David Greys gone quiet (sadly). Ill give you Jamie T (Need his new album, any good?)

    Dizzee comes with Tynchy Strider etc. Im not saying I dont like them etc, but they are different artists say Paulo Nutini and thus Adele, Leona etc.

    I dont think Im making the point Im trying to make very well! Doh.

  • Comment number 12.

    4 STARS for Jamie's new album .

    David Gray's new album Draw THE line should be in the top 10 album chart tomorrow !

    I understand the point you are making . I know it is sometimes hard and a little frustrating , just using the written word . I can talk for England and I am told by my mother that I am very articulate so I know what you mean .

    Can't believe you have not mentioned England's most successful male artist ever in the UK'S CHARTS .

    Come on Liam !

  • Comment number 13.

    If you add up all his album sales in the UK , he outsells every single one of the female artists you mentioned . ( In terms of the UK charts )

  • Comment number 14.

    Anyone ?

  • Comment number 15.

    Elton John? I havent looked it up.

  • Comment number 16.

    I don't believe it !

    You set me a question on this guy about 4 months ago . He is extremely , extremely current !

  • Comment number 17.

    He is even on the RADIO 1 playlist .

    That should help you .

  • Comment number 18.

    What Robbie Williams then?

  • Comment number 19.

    Finally !

    Yes, Robbie Williams has sold more albums in the UK than any other British solo artist .

  • Comment number 20.

    Inc Elton John and George Michael? o.O

  • Comment number 21.

    Oh yes !

  • Comment number 22.

    As a solo artist , Robbie Williams has sold more albums in the UK than any other British solo artist in history .

    Welcome back Rob !

  • Comment number 23.

    another awesome track from madonna will ba a big hit

  • Comment number 24.

    Where's Liam ????

    He doubted me when I said Madonna would be top 5 ! He said it wouldn't .

    Celebration is NUMBER 3 !!!!!

    In your face ... White lies / Muse / Stokes fan !

    Not even the New York City COPS OR A Juicebox can save you now !!!

  • Comment number 25.

    In your face ... White lies / Muse / Stokes fan !

    On Madonna hitting the top 5.

    Re-read that comment Spirit. Then hang your head in shame :p

  • Comment number 26.

    OK , I missed an R at the vital time.

    You know what I mean ! lol

  • Comment number 27.

    Ive had a few and actually didnt notice you missed the r.

    I was more referring to the audacity of the comment :p

  • Comment number 28.

    Oh but you know I mean it in the most friendliest of manners possible .
    Don't wish to sound like a bromance , but your comments are always entertaining and worth reading , and I have utmost respect for your opinions .

    I know I show audacity but it is always shown with a friendly smile on my face . :)

  • Comment number 29.

    I didn't think much of the record at all. Since it's the lead single from her new compilation album, you'd expect something better and I was SOOOOOO disappointed when I heard 'Celebration'.

  • Comment number 30.

    My responce was meant in a friendly way too Spirit! I just think its audacious to dig at three amazing bands with big up Madonna's rubbish new song. I know its all in jest though.

    Bromance indeed.

    Ill check our your songs on the Rybak soon, pooped and going to watch Waking The Dead now.

  • Comment number 31.

    Yes, I was a little underwhelmed when I first heard it but is more dance groove than song but is a grower and sounds amazing when you're out partying or indeed celebrating.

  • Comment number 32.

    Really good point Kylie , we must remember this is a song aimed at the dance market as well .

  • Comment number 33.

    If you actually listen to the song a few times with an open mind you will realise how good it is, it gets addictive. Yeah its dance, but its good dance. And if her children where actually embarressed by her i dont think one of them would be in the video.
    Michael Jackson and Madonna are the same age and nobody said he was too old for crotch grabbing... i hear sexism??
    Amazing song by an amazing person, shes still got it.

  • Comment number 34.

    You're not hearing sexism at all Bibbabble. Michael and Madonna are both way too old for crotch grabbing! Maybe when they were younger but as they get older, you'd think Madonna (and Michael if he was still alive) would be a little more subtle with their sexuality.

  • Comment number 35.

    Madonna NUMBER 1 in the album chart !!!
    You go girl !!

  • Comment number 36.

    I take back what I said before. It really seemed different the next few times I heard it: it seemed quite good. A very good dance record indeed.

  • Comment number 37.

    Spirit camping up for the moment there!

  • Comment number 38.

    Oooooooh Liam...... I don't know what you mean , you gorgeous , gorgeous man .

  • Comment number 39.

    V V could if you give her 26 years. She's up on Madonna on substance, originality, sound, looks and singing ability.
    I know I missed loads out in the 'list' but the point was just to show all the different artists out there now that eradicate the need for Madonna. If she carrys on down this path, no doubt she'll have the statistics on her side, but she'll have no dignity. That air of legend will go, or at least be damaged.
    Amy Winehouse should have been mentioned though. That woman is brilliant.

  • Comment number 40.

    OK , I get it now Moz , you are a huge VV Brown fan .
    Probably best not to compare her to Madonna , as they are two totally different artists , and one is a living legend !
    You may have some Madonna fans , rightly taking umbrage at your comments at 39 , but what I think what you are saying ,is that to you VV Brown is a brilliant artist .
    I hope that album number 2 fulfils her potential .

  • Comment number 41.

    Just to give Madonna a little credit for her success .

    Her current greatest hits compilation Celebration , is her 11th number 1 album in the UK and equals 11 by Elvis Presley.

    These two artists only trail The Beatles in terms of most number 1 albums.

    She has sold over 200 million albums worldwide , and has had 13 UK number 1 singles .

    She amassed an unequalled 34 consecutive top 10 singles !

    She is the most successful female chart act of all time in the UK and the USA.

    Not bad....

  • Comment number 42.

    I dont think anybody is arguing shes not a success or a legend.. but this song is poop. End of :p

  • Comment number 43.

    Her number of top ten hits is more than the Beatles AND The Rolling Stones combined !

    VV Brown has immense talent , but she certainly needs to hurry up and write some number 1 singles and albums , to be placed in the same breath as the undisputed Queen of Pop !

    Madonna's status in the world of pop is utterly immense.

  • Comment number 44.


  • Comment number 45.

    Hey guys , I am only telling the truth .
    Everything I said is a fact .

    Curtains loved your presentation.

  • Comment number 46.

    Cheers Spirito.

    I can respect Madonna for being a smart and resourceful businesswoman who's parlayed what talent she has into a long and lucrative career. But really, that's the same sort of respect that I would have for a record executive for being good at his job, in maximising sales. All she does is identify musical trends (current or imminent), and jump on them herself.

    It's similar to 50 Cent. I once read an interview with him in advance of releasing one of his albums, and he talked about actually market researching and testing the music for the album, purely to increase sales. He wasn't interested in MAKING something great, he was entirely focused on shifting units.

    They're both good at selling lots of records, which is wonderful for them. They're brilliant moguls. But when Madonna's held up as one of the all-time greats of music, I can't agree.

  • Comment number 47.

    Well I have just personally surveyed her singles , and I would class about 35 of them as really good pop singles. 4 or 5 star songs.

    If there could be a critisism , it could be that she has never really strayed too far from out and out pop music , so the variance and depth of her work may not have expanded as much as others may have liked.

    I cannot fault her singles record however.
    At the end of the day , a pop talents career is nearly always based on the quality of their singles, and that legacy is truly special.

  • Comment number 48.

    Madonna is the most successful woman in uk and American chart history , who has had more number 1 singles and more top 10 hit singles than any other female ever .

    To me , this achievement is great .

  • Comment number 49.

    Wow...are you going to hold your breath if we don't all agree? This should be fun!

    No-one HAS to like Madonna, Spirit. Musical taste isn't a democratic thing. More people like her than any other female singer. Good for her.

    However, a lot of people don't...actually, the majority of people don't, if you think about how many people HAVEN'T bought her records.

    It's the same with everyone who ever made any record ever.

  • Comment number 50.

    Can't remember saying that everyone has to like Madonna .

    Everyone on this blog has a totally individual music taste and this is what makes for stimulating and interesting friendly debate . I learn from others every day about new bands and great songs .

    What I have done , on the review for a Madonna single ,on a site called chartblog ,is factually list Madonna's chart achievements .

    I then add , "to me , this achievement is great ."

    Whether people like any act that has ever lived is up to the individual , and their sound judgement .

    Fraser , I wasn't holding my breath waiting for everyone to agree , I played three sets of tennis , visited a friend , bought the new Muse album , ate a delicious chicken curry , tidied the flat , and prepared myself for tonights evening out .
    Thanks for the interest though.

  • Comment number 51.

    Spirit, enough about Madonna. More on Muse.

  • Comment number 52.

    Ok boss !
    Facts and figures about Muse coming up on the Muse post..

  • Comment number 53.

    This song has grown on me. It is a worthy hit to launch her album "Celebration."
    She is still more talented than Lady Gaga or any other impersonator.


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