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Hung up on ABBA

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Oct. 31st, 2005 | 01:37 am
mood: optimisticoptimistic
music: Hung Up - Madonna
posted by: scottiedog in lumatorium

OK, this is Madonna, so it's WIDESPREAD already.

Even though Channel4 had their video exclusive this friday gone, everyone has heard, or heard about, 'Hung UP'; the newest track in where she has sampled ABBA's 'Gimme Gimme Gimme' to produce a dancy, electro hit. The only reason this subject is in here is because the idea of it. Madonna mixed with ABBA.
Could you imagine this happening with 80s or 90s Madonna? I couldn't.

However, I do like this track. It's quite reminiscent of the 'Ray of Light' album with the simplicity of some of her 80s tracks. I found out as I entered my local gay establishment that I'm not alone. Any wonder, you might add. It makes sense: the largest gay icon ever fused with the gayest cheesy Swedish band ever. They have both been ultra successful and broken boundaries within their cultures. I think it was just me, that when I heard ABBA was going to be sampled for Madge and I heard it was the skippy, flutey intro of Gimme Gimme Gimme, I had recollections of really bad, cheap retro nights in a London club. If anything, 'Hung Up', has lessened my detesting of those times.

Speaking of Madonna, the real headline entry of Bad Art should be mentioned. Her hair. OK, OK, I get it - the 70s, disco, frilly fashion, over-brushed hair. But come on! Farrah Fawcett or Agnetha of ABBA wouldn't go back there, 'cause they've learned form their mistakes. I think some people can pull it off, but please don't let Madonna be one of them. It's kinda all flat on top and 'flicked' or 'feathered' out to the sides. It's just not right. It doesn't go right for her, even if she's trying to pull it off as elegant. No long waves whatsoever is advisable for her; go back to a nymphy black crop or something. She just looks like she's in her late 40s and has a couple of kids. Oh.

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Comments {1}

Nanji*

The Madonna Conspiracy

from: nanji
date: Dec. 12th, 2005 01:56 am (UTC)
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I am far from being ageist - being 25 years old myself I consider myself to be amongst the race of elders on the internet. But how much lycra+flesh IS actually inappropriate for a 47 year old woman? Combined with the Eric Prydz ("Call on me" video) style close-ups? I am, of course, delighted that Madonna feels comfortable with her body but as she bends over, legs apart, in the opening scene of her video, I almost expect to hear the snap of latex gloves and see a gynaecologist appear from off-camera.

Not pleasant when you're trying to enjoy your dinner, I can assure you.

When I add to this image the remembrance that Madonna is a mere 7 years younger than my own pearl-and-twinset mother I begin to look for clues that the video may actually be a huge wind-up. Could the use of irony be the newest step in Madonna's British-isation? Has she reinvented herself as a comedy-sketch artist? Is Irony the new black?

The dancers were a little too 'hip', the song a bit too mindless, Madonna's dancing too exaggerated. Was it a wind-up?

In fact I suddenly feel as if I'm standing at the edge of a huge waterfall. I can't see it, I can only hear the thunderous crash of the water below. Was it all a wind-up? Was Madonna's entire career a wind-up that people took seriously?

If I'm right this would make Madonna a greater comedy con artist than Andy Kaufmann. But think about it for a moment. Has Madonna ever produced a video clip that was not a gross over-generalisation of the trends of the epoch? Is not everything in her clips a stereotypical portrait of some social/racial/fashion movement of the time?

As I consult my mental archive of her work, this theory accumulates weight. Off the top of my head:

"Express yourself"=pointy bra and use of hot Lesbian-favourite Tamara De Lempicka to promote women's rights
"Vogue"=über gay depiction of (gay) clubbing underworld with pretty men toying with each other and a masculinised Madonna in man's suit and short hair
"Erotica"=dark and dingy depiction of fetishism
"Secret"=dirty view of Harlem with a pierced Madonna getting it on with a black guy and lots of mixed-race street kids running about as if school's out
"Frozen"=Madonna plays Wiccan High Priestess complete with mystically hennaed hands, symbolic black dogs, before floating up into the air and magically disappearing beneath a black veil
"The power of goodbye"=Madonna toying with intense, brooding Eastern European fellow, playing chess - cos like, all the Eastern Europeans do is play chess well and give intense, brooding looks at women they fancy

Stereotypes, all of them.

No wonder she invites Ali G to star in the 'Music' clip. He does what she's been doing for 20 years. In fact, if her entire career is indeed a wind-up than has Ali G himself been "Punk'd" by appearing in it?

But regarding the latest video clip, I'm not asking Madonna to don the pearls-and-twinset number that my mother favours. Although she did a pretty good job of it when promoting her recent children's books. The fact remains that even Jane Fonda had the dignity to hang up her spandex leotard when the time came.

And the spandex leotard is, in my opinion, what Madonna should've "Hung up" long ago. If Madonna is the comedic genius that my conspiracy theory suggests, then maybe the irony resides there, in the very title of her new song.




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