It’s been years since f(x)’s Luna graced us with her dance opus Free Somebody. That mini album represents so much wasted potential. Her music could have been tearing up dance floors these past five years. Instead, we’re lucky to get an occasional ballad. New single Madonna promises to change that, delivering her most upbeat offering in some time. Unfortunately, the track is weighed down by its treacly sentiment and odd production choices.
Madonna is unbearably cheesy. Anytime you reference a famous pop star in your song, you invite comparisons. However honest the sentiment may be, Madonna’s yearnful chorus comes off as a gimmick – and not a particularly fun one. This is why English lyrics can be such a stumbling block for me. You can’t craft a chorus around the desire to vogue without supporting it with a vogue-worthy instrumental. It just doesn’t jibe, and that unsatisfying contrast is hard to ignore.
The track’s chorus has a ‘theater kid’ sheen to it, coming across as an outtake from the Glee TV series. Meanwhile, the verses are more skeletal and edgy. I’m not sure the two pieces fit together well, though each might have led to a successful pop song on their own. Neither approach represents the huge EDM banger I was hoping for, but beggars can’t be choosers. The effusive pre-chorus comes closest to capturing the energy of Luna’s best work. It’s a shame this segment takes up such little space in Madonna’s brief three-minute frame.