And MDNA is officially overdrawn. 103 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.