MDNA (Deluxe Version)
The Queen of Pop may be growing older and she may be writing about things she never dreamed she'd be contemplating back when she was telling Papa what not to preach, but Madonna is still musically as youthful and limber as ever. MDNA is her "divorce" album, an idea that gathers steam when you hear words like "pre-nup" and "ex-wife" bounce up in the mix. A committee of producers ensure she gets the sleekest sounds currently available and when she toys around with her image, it's mostly to prove that Lady Gaga still has competition. "Give Me All Your Luvin'" features a cheerleading section that includes M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj. "Superstar" unashamedly pushes a chorus that's simplistic but effective. The most interesting moments are the most explicit, when Madonna sheds whatever politeness she's maintaining for what she's really thinking. "Gang Bang," whose violence seems aimed right at ex-husband Guy Ritchie, and "Some Girls," where the hurt and bitterness sounds a bit like the pot calling the kettle black, represent Madonna 2012-style. The Deluxe Edition includes five bonus cuts, including the retro-pop "B-Day Song" with M.I.A. and the self-explanatory, "I F****d Up."