Thinking about her work since the beginning. I always had a sense that Madonna "knew me," as in knowing what I felt and cared about. The phenomenal thing about her though was she rose above the hurt I felt and didn't allow it to overpower the joy I could feel. I wasn't as successful in doing this as she was so she became an inspiration for me and a hero.
If you look at her music in the 80's there is a lot of joy there with only glimpses into what is going on underneath as well. The joy is just as authentic and something I didn't believe I was allowed to feel from many around me but when Madonna came out and shone a light that her pain could not diminish, It was such a freeing experience for me as a teenager. I could experience "all" my feelings without judgement.
Because Madonna's music was so uplifting as well as thought provoking she attracted a world wide audience. When Live To Tell was released it took my breath away. Same with Oh Father and Express Yourself....Rescue Me. Hurt is there but it was not triumphant over every other feeling and Express Yourself is the ultimate of self love.
When Erotica came out there was alot more of "me" in there or I should say a lot more of what I focused on in life so it was very personally significant for me and I loved that album. Her music in the 90's was more balanced in exploring different sides to her personality and experience.
Ray of Light really was the culmination of Madonna's search for real love in beginning her family.
In the 00's she thought she found romantic love (she wants it all) and became more philosophical in her music and more brave in other areas she had not explored before. In the 00's she paid a price for both. I am condensing a bit my thoughts because I do want to get to the main theme of the topic...😊 I could write a whole essay on Madonna and what I believe is her quest for unconditional live.
After her divorce I sensed she was becoming more like me, which was not going to endear her to the public. 😄 I got the sense that the joy was a bit more forced but she so desperately wanted to feel it again. The rebellion did not seem to have a clear direction. Her hurt songs began to lacked vulnerability and seemed unemotional...Devil.Wouldn't Recognize You, Voices even Miles Away doesn't feel all the emotional to me. Beat Goes On is the most optimistic song on the album I think.
Her joyful songs are valiant efforts so I do love them...Dance 2nite, Celebration.
MDNA really delves into my feelings and thoughts. This album almost validates my feelings as a teenager that Madonna was like me but unlike me she didn't allow others to control or take away her happiness. The anger and bitterness on the album concerned me for the reasons I give above. I defended her from whatever negative criticism she got from fans because I felt Madonna was responding to being betrayed in almost every way by various people who claim to "love her." I became super protective of her. MDNA I think was a good title because her origins are what drove her to becoming the star that she became. I'm Addicted sounds like an epiphany where it seemed she became obsessed and driven to become the star she wanted to be. It's all over the place because it represents everything that made her the artist she is. In the end of the album she is just sad.
Trying to stop myself from going through every album...the song Rebel Heart was a relaxed return to joy as it doesn't feel forced but still does not reach the heights of pure joy of songs like La Isla Bonita. Cherish...just to name a couple. She's coming along in Rebel Heart in my opinion.
In Madame X she is starting to reclaim her power and confidence in her feelings and thoughts. I sense it especially in Dark Ballet. I can hear it in her voice.
Can I say that I love all the songs I posted....I just used a few examples to help me come up with an analysis of what her new music direction should be. I left a lot out. 😄
So my analysis is if Madonna wants to reclaim success with the world she has to bring the "authentic" joy. That is what I feel the world craves from Madonna. "I want to make people happy...." "Music makes the people come together...." It's message is simple but not silly. Her vunerable ballads with more balanced emotion are also a hit with the world. Joyful has to be balanced with Madonna. Her cutsiest album in the 80's, Like A Virgin still sounded balanced in her joyful songs, still thought provoking.
If she just wants to just reach me she can just keep making angry, defiant, bitter or very sad songs but I want to see her joyful again. I have tried very hard all my life to be joyful so I love seeing it in others.
If she wants the love of the general public back she has to bring the mature joy with added mature vulnerability in a ballad or two. Pop music, of course. She's the flippin Queen of Pop. She needs to act like it more for herself than anyone.
I know you wanted to make this a fun topic. I hope I was able to do that.