Oh Madonna, how did it come to this? There are some who would argue that you were always a bit of a chancer, a woman who put more effort into controversy than you did into your music. But we were fond of your various pop reinventions over the years, admired your dashing chutzpah and especially loved tunes like “Ray of Light”.
These days, though, even fans will sigh at the latest publicity stunts undertaken to show that Madge still has game. Strokes like last weekend’s to-do in Paris, where her shot of French rightwing politician Marine Le Pen with a swastika on her forehead naturally caused controversy, have become par for the course. We expect her to come out with this kind of palaver and, like an audience watching a performing seal, would be disappointed if she didn’t do so.
In order to feed this desire to flog tickets, promote her new releases and show that she’s still relevant, Madonna has resorted to look-at-me ruses which remind you that we haven’t heard a decent new tune from her in years. These antics grab headlines and let people know that she’s still around (and has something to flog), but it doesn’t do anything more than that. There are still tickets on sale for her Dublin show next week, for example, and you’re more likely to hear one of her greatest hits on the radio than anything from the current album. Madonna has become Meh-donna.
There are probably some in Team Madge who know that they have to get her producing great, audacious tunes again. They’re the ones who know she still has some creative currency, even if she’s spending it like a drunken sailor. The big question, though, is if Madonna herself has any interest in doing any of this or if she’s merely content to keep acting the eejit.