Getting a bit of a jump on things for a change as... well, I want my fucking evening for myself for a change! Let me live! 182 SCORE: 6.203 2015 PLACEMENT: 158 of 210 (6.225) HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 1 (@funkyg) LOWEST SCORE: 1 x 1 (@NightmareBoy) MY SCORE: 4/10 So believe or not I don't actually hate this as much as my score suggests. I think there is the foundation for a really affecting, bizarre song here. The manic, stream of consciousness delivery in the verses kind of paints a harrowing picture of how there was really no adjustment period afforded to Madonna in the wake of her divorce, and life simply had to keep going on at the same pace that wrecked her marriage. So her listing all of her responsibilities and obligations ends up sounding less like a bad bitch flex and... more like a demented treadmill she can't get off of. Arrogant shrug offs end up sounding like desperate dismissals because if she slows down or examines things too closely it'll come crumbling to pieces. And there would be a really exciting and interesting dichotomy between the two if it was explored; the unbothered baddie blazing through her new life effortlessly against the exhausted shell just going through the motions. But like so much of MDNA, we're only afforded a taste of the more interesting stuff, and never the full meal. Martin Solveig basically creates a demented circus for Madonna to go around her unicycle in without a hint of darkness or bite that would maybe add a bit of pathos to the whole thing. Like, lyrically, the song's already there. The middle-eight in particular before she hands off to Nicki is a wrecker: I tried to be a good girl I tried to be your wife Diminished myself And I swallowed my light I tried to become all That you expect of me And if it was a failure I don't give a... Oof. But it just feels glossed over in this funhouse nightmare of a song. I guess overall it's fine, and Nicki's verse is a riot, but I can't help but mourn the potential of the concept when it gets tantalisingly laid out for us like that. What a waste. I maintain that Madonna really only mined her divorce artistically when she reached the tour for MDNA. Even here, she at least seems furious as she is ripping that guitar to pieces and roaring down the microphone before the song climaxes into Madonna crumpling to the floor and reaching out for salvation. It's basically Madonna 101 in terms of themes and imagery but it still at least manages to infuse the track with a bit of the feeling I discussed above. The video I found is neither from the actual MDNA Tour release, nor is it from the Olympia show with the world's weakest tripod. It appears to be screen footage from the date at Stade de France, and has better camera work than both other dates I mentioned. Peace!