My friends will be able to tell you with much accuracy that I love Madonna. Her music, her videos, her stage persona, Evita, whatever, she's fabulous, and I'm usually fully behind whatever project she's working on. Confessions on a Dance Floor and American Life are two of my favorite albums ever.
That said, this is embarrassing. It's the video for her new song, "4 Minutes," featuring Justin Timberlake. And it's awful.
The song itself is so disappointing, like it's try too hard to sound hip-hop and "edgy," like Timbaland--whose sad attempts at beatboxing are inexplicably sampled throughout the song--couldn't make this sound right, so he kind of just threw some horns over the whole thing and glued the pieces together, as it were.
The video looks like one of those Mad TV video parodies, only it's the real thing. It's confusing to watch; you don't really know what's going on, and why are she and JT dancing on checkout-line conveyor belts? It looks okay, sure, but OK Go kind of already covered that territory, and it's just in a series of too-rapidly changing scenes. And that big digital clock in the background? It's tacky. Like, hey, didn't realize Xzibit loaned you some of his video props. Like, you're not ghetto, Madonna, so stop it.
And she looks old. Worse than that, she looks old while trying to look young. One of the reasons I love the Hung Up video so much is that she beautifully acknowledges her rightful place as experienced queen of the dance floor while basking in the eternally youthful glow of the disco-ball lights. It's Madonna going back to her roots while also pressing onward; in my opinion, it's an instant classic.
But this video is just overwhelming. It's the video equivalent of the sales section at Forever 21: crowded, disorganized, littered with discarded items and just a mess to look at. And you know they spent a ton on this thing; Madonna and JT wouldn't dance in front of a cardboard backdrop, that's for sure. Unfortunately, it was money poorly spent.
I really hope the rest of Hard Candy is better than this. I've already heard "The Beat Goes On," which despite its awkward intro is a solid track, and "Candyshop," which is just...as god-awful as its title suggests.
Get it together, Madonna. Stop trying to be the hot young thing and accept your aged place in the music world. You admitted yourself in "Sorry" that you've seen it all before; why don't you try to show us what you've learned instead of convincing us that you're still the 25-year-old you long ago left behind?