I'm at my brother's house and he just bought Confessions on a Dance Floor. We've been listening to it all afternoon. And I am happy to say that my Madonna has reinvented herself yet again. I have been a Madonna fan since the 8th grade when "Holiday" first hit the airwaves back in 1983. All through high school Madonna was my idol, my icon, the woman I looked up to, and tried to emulate. My best friend from high school, Shirley, and I wore Madonna outfits to school. It wasn't easy given that we were attending an all girl's private school and had to wear uniforms. But on those rare occasions when the nuns let us have free dress day out came the bustiers, the black lace gloves, the rosaries, and bracelets worn on both arms from elbow to wrist. The nuns were none too happy with us. Often times we had to button up our blouses, hide the rosaries, and try not to look so scandalous.
For our gym project in our Jr. Year we had to learn a dance routine and then teach it to the rest of the class. Shirley and I came up with the idea of copying Madonna's Lucky Star video dance steps. We studied that video for weeks, we practiced it every day after school and when the big day came to perform it we were the only girls in the class who had thought to do a modern dance routine and dress up. All the other good little girls did fox-trot, waltzes, and square dancing while still in their uniforms. We wore our lace, our mesh tops, and dance boots. We were smoking. Our picture appeared in the ad pages of our Jr. High yearbook.
Ever since then I have bought all the Madonna albums, her posters, and some of her movies. When the Sex book came out it sold out so fast all I could get my hands on was the French version. No matter. I don't need to speak French to understand pictures. In my eyes Madonna can do no wrong. Okay, her movies haven't been all that hot, but her small performances in lesser known movies have actually been pretty good. In any case she's a dancer and musician first. That is her professional training. That right there is where she has far surpassed any of those old 80's pop stars who have been regulated to the bargain dust bins of the local Sound Exchange. I don't care how much she's been crucified in the media, she's still hot, she still sells albums, she still manages to have a red hot career while being a wife and mother. No fool Madonna.
And as far as all that crap Sharon Osborne said about her here's my two cents: have you looked in a mirror lately? Madonna can play any role she damn well pleases. She's earned that right. She's never had the drug/alcohol problems as so many other of her contemporaries have had. I admire her absolute iron-will control, her take no prisoners attitude, and her fierce determination to be the only master of herself. So what if she dresses like a school girl, a librarian reading children's books, a hot cabaret dancer, a disco diva, and et all? She's got class, chutzpah, and a great body for a 47-year old. I will be listening to Madonna when I'm 60, 70, until death do us part. I can only hope she's still doing music by then. If all those necrotic, aging, mummified, rock stars of the 70's (Ozzy I'm thinking of you) who are only still walking around in their tight leather jeans due to the pickling in their bodies from too much booze and pills can tour then so can Madonna in her pink fishnets and sequined dance heels.
"Confessions on a Dance Floor" is a bloody brilliant album. I love it that she has gone back to her dance roots. I am probably the only person in America who actually liked American Life. The album was mostly ballad driven. Some of the songs were very personal and I can understand why people didn't get it or like it. I think they just didn't give it a chance. Or is Madonna only there to flaunt her body and is not allowed to have a deeply spiritual mind and heart? She could have just chucked it all but she doesn't let negative publicity get her down. She thrives on it and it only makes her stronger. Every song on "Confessions" is fiery, making you want to get up and dance. It's hard to decide which one is the best, but so far I like "Hung Up", "Future Lovers", and "Forbidden Love". The last song on the album, "Like it or Not", is her way of thumbing her nose at all those vicious critics who love to cut people down a notch or two because it makes them feel better about themselves since they have no talent to speak of.
And as for people criticizing her for singing about a rabbi I say get a life. If she sings about God, Catholicism, Kabbala, she gets crucified. If she doesn't then she's a godless heathen. I think that in a time when our society is moving ever more towards a spiritually bereft condition to have a celebrity actually say she attends services of what ever faith is to be applauded not derided. I don't see Brittany Spears, Lindsay Lohan, or all their ilk attend services or even proclaim what their beliefs are.
Madonna, here's to you.