Although it probably started with the Cynthia McFadden “reductive” interview, there’s no doubt that this week, the full promotional Madonna onslaught has begun. The cover for the single “Give Me All Your Luvin'” was released this week, followed quickly by the full album cover of MDNA. The video for “Give Me All Your Luvin'” is previewed tonight on American Idol followed by the single and full video release on tomorrow!! And of course, there’s the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday.
At first, I was just kind of background-level excited about this release, still kind of smarting from how Hard Candy didn’t live up to expectations. The presence of Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. and other rappers-of-the-minute were not helping. As other acts like LMFAO were announced to be joining her at the Super Bowl, I found myself saying to anyone who would listen (and even those who wouldn’t) – “when is this woman going to figure out that her demographic is 35-50 year olds and not 18-25 year olds?” The whole thing seemed to be heading for a spectacular train wreck.
But this last week, it’s felt just like it used to leading up to a new Madonna album. The single cover is perfect and the album cover even more so. It is retro glamorous, colorful and the perfect visual to get people to notice it on store shelves and in online ads. I’ve been listening to the leaked demo of “Give Me All Your Luvin'” more this week than I have in the last 2 months put together. I’m so excited to hear what the final song sounds like. Frankly, I’m surprised that the full version hasn’t leaked to the internet yet, given there’s less than 24 hours till its release. Even if it does leak, I won’t listen until it’s actually released – that’s how firm in my resolve I am about letting this roll out on the timetable it was meant to. That said, don’t be surprised if I’m up after midnight refreshing iTunes until it lets me buy the single. It’ll be the online equivalent of a midnight sale!
I’m filled with heady anticipation this week, and most of that is due to the fact that Madonna’s new label, Interscope, is promoting the shit out of this record. They even seem to have convinced Madonna to do actual album promo too! The promo for the last few albums has been especially underwhelming, as if Warner Bros. figured they could just put it out there and people would lap it up because it was Madonna. Clearly, they’d been ignoring her steadily declining album sales since the 90s. Even Madonna herself seemed uninterested in promoting her music, especially the last time around. Maybe it was a “fuck you” to WB, but it certainly didn’t help Hard Candy’s cause that virtually the only promo she did in the U.S. for the album was a one-off mini-concert in New York. By the time the Sticky & Sweet Tour hit the States, the album had run its course.
Clearly, Interscope knows this needs to be a hit, and so does Madonna. I think they stand a pretty good chance of the lead single being a good sized hit. I think it’ll all come down to whether or not radio plays it. If she can’t get the song in heavy rotation at radio, she won’t hit #1 (which I’m sure she and Interscope both want – it’s been 12 years since her last Billboard Hot 100 #1 song.) They clearly know how to market stuff so if the album and song stiff, it won’t be for lack of trying.
The release of new Madonna music like nothing else in the world for me. It’s a mix of crazy anticipation, forgiveness of all her past transgressions and the knowledge that there is bound to be at least one absolute clunker on the album. It wouldn’t be a Madonna album without one. The combination of the new music release with the Super Bowl and the fantastic set of interviews she’s done leading up to the Super Bowl has made it all that much more fun and exciting.
There’s still a chance that this could all derail spectacularly, but let’s be honest, it won’t really matter all that much.
See you at the tour!