This just gives me a headache. I’m sure I’ll drunkenly grind to this at a gay bar, but I don’t see myself ever actively seeking it out. It just makes me want to listen to the Mortal Kombat theme instead.
What surprises me is that last week I listened to Popular and the leaked Vulgar and thought both were cool but Popular was a much better song with much better repeat listening prospects. But here I am a week later and Popular has fallen off my radar and Vulgar is on repeat so .. what do I know? Not as much as Sam and *whispers in that sort of aggressively sexy but menacing tone* Madonna.
I get finding Vulgar bad (and it is objectively kinda shitty but still fun in a trashy sort of way), but to say Popular is more interesting when it’s the most by-the-numbers mid-2000s Neptunes/Timbaland throwback… come on now.
Aligning herself with Abel seems wise given how beautifully melodic and 80s-leaning his latest records have been, but the collaboration with Sam feels purely “for the controversy”. I get it, it’s Madonna, this isn’t new, and I adore her doing what she wants, but “Vulgar” just feels so try-hard and for me at least, unlikeable. Her voice sounds decent though, that harsh vocal production that was present in Madame X, and to an extent on “Popular”, doesn’t seem as noticeable here, so silver linings I guess. It’s just weird that as a serious Madonna fan from the ‘90s, I don’t actively want to listen to her on these releases. It strikes me as odd that in recent years she seems so determined to be provoking and vulgar, when she had such a run in the 00s of just making great albums that were primarily about the music.