Tag Archives: Legends

Judgement Day: Pop Heaven or Hell? Madonna – MDNA

In the spirit of Her Madgesty’s penchant for re-invention, I’ve decided to change the format of my regular Judgement Day: Heaven or Hell album reviews and try out a new approach with my rather late review of much abuzzed #1 album MDNA. Enjoy! – Dean

Despite their complete domination of the pop charts over the last few years, it’s really not easy being a pop starlet.

In today’s musical climate female pop artists are endlessly pitted against one-another in fanbase and media-created feuds. They are often criticized for acting “too old” when they’re younger and “too young” when they’re older. They are subjected to endless public scrutiny for their appearance and resort to extreme measures to stay young and beautiful. In recent years we’ve entered a derivative era in popular culture where we continue to reference and remake our own very recent past. Despite this being the trend, many artists are constantly accused of “ripping off” songs, costumes, and choreography from one another and basically damned if they do/damned if they don’t.

Leading up to the release of MDNA on March 23rd, there was a lot of speculation and concern from fans and music lovers at large. Madonna’s last release, 2008’s Hard Candy was widely panned as some of her weakest material to date. While the album contained a few shining gems, it was a far cry from the woman who brought us the bold and ballsy brilliance of 1992’s Erotica and the stunning introspection of 2008’s Ray of Light. Early buzz about MDNA suggested the album would be based in hip-hop and after confirmation of collaborators like Nicki Minaj many expected a sound that would feel like Hard Candy pt. 2.

Fortunately for all of us, we were completely wrong. In fact, MDNA manages to be some of Madonna’s freshest and most exciting material in years.

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In Memoriam: Whitney Houston (1963 – 2012): Eternally A Gift From Pop Heaven…

Last night, as I refreshed my Twitter feed for the umpteenth time to see what was up in Social Media land, I saw words that quite literally took the breath out of me. “Whitney Houston has died at 48“.

In that moment, I audibly gasped and immediately searched for proof that this wasn’t just another sick trending topic (i.e. last month’s “RIP Cher”) created by some joke gone awry. Within mere seconds, tweets from TMZ and The Associated Press confirmed the tragic news that the legendary Whitney Houston, had in fact died at 3:55pm in the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

I don’t remember how long it took for the tears to begin. I do feel as though I spent several minutes staring blankly at the words on my screen. Upon processing the news I sent a friend a text message to ask if they had heard the news and mentioned that I had been crying. While he too was a big fan of Whitney, he didn’t understand why I would be ever crying over a celebrity death.

While I would wager that most people consider themselves music lovers, I think it’s safe to say that for some it goes deeper than that. Music has always touched me in ways I can’t entirely translate. It’s made me feel things I haven’t have yet to experience in life, both good & bad. It’s expressed things I couldn’t say out loud and it’s comforted and helped me through my own pain. Music is my greatest passion; an extension of myself and as we all go through life – songs that mean a lot to us, and the artists that consistently perform them, become intertwined with that life, like a soundtrack.

As a child of the 80’s, Whitney Houston was responsible for a good portion of my life’s soundtrack, from the hopeful crush of “How Will I Know” to the bitterness of betrayal with “I Learned From The Best”. For so many moments in my life, I can name a Whitney Houston song that helped me. While doing so in detail would make this article officially more about me than about the tremendous body of work this legend has left us, I’ve decided that simply posting some of the songs that have been the most important to me over the years will be my tribute to her. Please join me in remembering how incredibly talented and amazing she was…

“Greatest Love of All”

“How Will I Know”

“I Wanna Dance (With Somebody)”

“Where Do Broken Hearts Go?”

“I Will Always Love You”

“All The Man That I Need”

“I Learned From The Best”

I leave you with the title track from what was expected to be Whitney’s big comeback album: “I Look To You”. This song never got the praise it deserves but will remain Whitney’s last-ever single from a studio album. Watching this video now brings tears to my eyes; simple, angelic, heartbreaking. I watch and listen and the lyrics bring more tears to my eyes than ever in the wake of her untimely death.

“I Look To You”

Goodbye Whitney. May you always shine down on us from Pop Heaven.

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