Madonna: The Discography Rate - COMPLETE | Page 323 | The Popjustice Forum

Madonna: The Discography Rate - COMPLETE

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by RJF, Apr 19, 2020.

  1. RJF


    And MDNA is officially overdrawn.



    SCORE: 7.521

    2015 PLACEMENT: DOWN 20 - 82 of 210 (7.588)
    HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 17 (@AshtrayHeart @Tigerlily @Vasilios @eatyourself @Euphoria @AllGagaLike @Andrew.L @fatyoshi @torontodj @dancingwithmyself @Syzygyz @Sideout @RetroPhysical @DinahLee @ufint @nametag @Markus1981)
    LOWEST SCORE: 3 x 1 (@Cutlery)
    MY SCORE: 7.5/10

    Madonna is a very proud person, as well she should be. But pride is a dangerous game in this industry, particularly for women. The more you win, the more people want to see you lose, and in general, Madonna's career has had few losses. She's never once stumbled out of a nightclub, never had a public breakdown, never been in rehab, and has bulldozed through life like the most ferocious of comets blazing through the emptiness. She's never adhered to that classic narrative of falling so hard you attract, scorn, then pity, then affection. Which is generally considered a pilgrimage for most female popstars. She's not likeable in the classic sense; she doesn't inspire much empathy. Only resentment, because she's never had a single hair out of place.

    So imagine the humiliation when she had to publicly admit her marriage had failed.

    "Love Spent" is a song written by someone who tried to make it work with someone so hard. Someone who has rationalised, "This would be great if he treated me like that." and has lopped limb after limb off of themselves to try and fit into the mould of what would make this work. I don't doubt that Guy Ritchie is financially sound independently, but I also don't doubt that Madonna has more money than God, and that dynamic can cause trouble in middle-class relationships, let alone when you're in the millions. Money is power, and power is men's to have. I spoke about this during the elimination for "Gang Bang", but a lot of MDNA's best moments revolve around when Madonna subverts these gender norms and stereotypes, mostly because you realise that her relationship must have been full of these subversions and the friction they would probably cause between the two Type-A personalities that made up that relationship. What do you do when everything you've worked so hard for for decades makes people less likely to love you? You try to share it so it isn't solely yours, only to realise that what you can give will never be enough, and it's the fact that you were able to gain it in the first place that makes you repulsive, and that everything you had to offer that you thought was priceless, was worthless. Oof.

    My score above goes mostly to the studio version, but I think the version she did late into the MDNA Tour that turns it out into a haunting lament is outstanding. It's the sound of someone who knows all too well the feeling of being broke in every way but their bank account. It's world-weary, it's longing, it's just... sad. And on an album that is perpetually straining for any kind of emotion, it's a delightfully agonising shock to the system.

    It's also the end of the MDNA's journey in the Madonna Discography Rate 2020, marking the first album to be entirely eliminated. Told you this last night of pre-Top 100 eliminations was full of gags.

    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  2. RJF


    ...oh sweet merciful shitting Christ I've eliminated "Love Spent" and "In This Life" in the wrong fucking order.
  3. RJF


  4. I believe I gave Love Spent a 10..
  5. Wow... I didn't expect the outrage for "In This Life" - I never saw it as a stand out track and actually thought it was going to leave very soon, though it is a very touching and quite lovely ballad on its own. It's one of my lowest scores from "Erotica", so I won't miss it.
    A gorgeous write up, @fancygreen!

    "Love Spent" doesn't do much for me, and isn't really among those rare three/four great songs on "MDNA", so I'm glad it's gone at this point.
    "Celebration" next, please.

    And I was about to point out the average scores mishap, but it was already resolved.
  6. RJF


    nn another copy/paste fuck up on my part. Hold on.

    Can y'all tell I need a break?
    Music Is Death, Chezam, acl and 22 others like this.
  7. [​IMG]
  8. @RJF That was a delightful write up for Love Spent. A fitting send off to MDNA and the underlying narratives of the album.
    Music Is Death, Chezam, acl and 15 others like this.
  9. I am honestly okay with the placements as is. Love both Love Spent and In This Life.
  10. The visceral hatred some of you have for MDNA is both funny and scary.

    Love Spent is one of my favourite songs on the album and I gave it 9. If the vocals were a bit cleaner I would probably give it more.
  11. You’re doing a brilliant job with this rate. You deserve a break.
  12. RJF


    Our final cut...



    SCORE: 7.555

    2015 PLACEMENT: UP 13 - 114 (7.000)

    11 x 2

    HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 25 (@funkyg @Andreas @Vasilios @dodoriazarbon @eatyourself @discoteca @Euphoria @relby @Jonathan27 @elear @Andy French @torontodj @1991 @Babylon @BreatheBox @scottdisick94 @joeee @Bleu Noir @paperboyfriendd @Michael17 @Pop Life @Digital Ghost @Mr Blonde @fancygreen @Beautiful Child 2)
    LOWEST SCORE: 0 x 1 (@Markus1981)
    MY SCORE: 8/10

    In almost any other rate, stats like the ones above would be enough to land a song into the Top 20, maybe even the Top 10. But this is Madonna, and this is a rate with over 160 voters, and two 11/10s and twenty-five 10/10s don't even get you into the Top 100. "Secret Garden" falls at perhaps the cruellest position of all. At least it's No.1 of the Madonna Bubbling Under Chart?

    One of the Madonna's most interesting tracks ever? Almost certainly. On an album that sees her artfully balance sexual and emotional intimacy, seriousness and humour, it makes sense that the final track sums up that duality perfectly. Is it a peaceful pontification about the fruitless quest for perfection in oneself, or is it just about getting a good dick? We'll maybe never know, but we never need to know either. If Erotica is sanctuary, then "Secret Garden" as it its heart. A little overgrown, maybe a tad humid, but the sunlight is glorious after an hour of rainfall, and there's such a lovely bench over there with room for two. As long as you don't mind sitting my lap that is.

    I wasn't joking when I spoke about the pontification thing; there's something so investigative in Madonna's cadence here, but it never sounds laboured. It's like these are just passing thoughts drifting through her head like wispy clouds on a summer's day and she's verbalising them. Are all things perfect fragile, or is there also terrifying beauty in resilience? It comes back to so many themes that the album traverses; how masculine and feminine traits aren't exclusive; how sex can be cold and detached but unspoken love can be hot and unbearable to the point of it feeling like a physical weight crushing down on you, how there is maybe an after where people aren't dying to disease that kills indiscriminately (something relevant now and in 1992). Within these walls, these are safe ideas to explore; so much of our lives are fluid and bound to each other, like the branches of trees that grow up separately but reach across the expanse longingly for one another, intertwined for centuries. And all of that on this album, facing you in this final track. You are not one thing, you can be all things.

    Oh and it's just a jam? That woozy, boozy jazz lounge production allows her to vocally sprawl like a cat in a sunbeam, revelling in the heat and the light. For an album that frequently retreats into frosty, relentless house beats, to end on something so sparse and human is the feather-touch that knocks me out every time. And this?

    I still believe, I still believe
    'Cause after all is said and done
    I'm still alive
    And the boots have come and trampled on me
    And I'm still alive
    'Cause the sun has kissed me, and caressed me
    And I'm strong, and there's a chance
    That I will grow, this I know

    Perfection, even when trampled.​
  13. A 0? Some people really shouldn't have been allowed to vote.
  14. Y’all are mad dumb for doing In This Life like that.
  15. Now "Secret Garden", my 11 from the last rate?


    I'm reporting @Markus1981 for indecency and Crimes Against Erotica.

    What kind of shady whiplash.

  17. Good to see "Erotica" losing its weakest tracks one after another (except from "Why's It So Hard", that one deserved more).
    "Secret Garden" is my joint lowest score from that album and yet another example of talking/whispering in songs not being my thing.

    The rest of "Erotica" shouldn't be touched in a while, apart from one unpopular opinion that I'll save for later.
  18. Celebration making it to the top 100 would be is honestly so embarrassing. Have you ever listened to Madonna Tamar???
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
  19. Today's eliminations were actually very satisfying. All of the scores I've lost are between 6 and 7, which is a great accomplishment after losing at least one 8+ score nearly each day since the eliminations began.

    Take a break, @RJF - you certainly deserve it after all these fabulous (and equally shady) write-ups.

    In the meantime (if there's a week of free space before we get onto the top 100), I'll try to properly catch up and write commentary for the last ~60 songs that were eliminated *faints*
  20. How in the FUCK.
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