Madonna’s not singing “Like a Virgin” anymore.
Like every other aspect of her micromanaged life, this fact must be scrutinized and analyzed and extrapolated to determine how it will affect her career and influence the Zeitgeist.
At 45, Madonna, apparently happily wed, mother of two, children’s book author, no longer wants to sing about being “touched for the very first time.” Surprising? Maybe not, even dirty-minded Prince, 46, has cleaned up his act.
Does it mean something other than these two ’80s icons are simply tired of singing lascivious songs they wrote to gain and maintain notoriety? Is Madonna’s long, glorious, infamous career as a sexual provocateur waning?
Madonna still has a few pelvic thrusts left in her, she proved at her “Re-Invention Tour” concerts last week on the east coast. The conical and comical Gautier bras have been packed away in the costume closet, but Madonna still managed to simulate sex with most of her dancers.
But singing “you make me feel shiny and new” was out of the question, apparently. After all, Madonna’s shimmying into middle age.
It is hard to believe, and painful to accept, that it’s been 20 years since she first started pushing our buttons. I can easily recall the first time I heard her, singing “Holiday,” from the tape deck of a friend’s car in 1983. This girl is going to be a star, my friend insisted.
I wasn’t impressed. The voice was too small, the music too dance-oriented. Back then, Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen and Journey were the BMOC’ big music on campus.
Oddly enough, I was riding in a car again when I heard “Like a Virgin” for the very first time. It seems so tame now, doesn’t it? Not then. Plenty of Americans, at least in the middle states, were shocked.
Mission accomplished for Madonna.
She had opened the door to a pansexual playground that led to the explicit “Erotica” book and album, the “I’m gonna keep my baby” controversy of “Papa Don’t Preach” and eventually oral stimulation of a water bottle in the tour documentary “Truth or Dare.”
Prince wrote the song “Controversy” but Madonna lived it.
A couple decades later, she has moved on from the sexual to the spiritual and the political, with mixed results.
Despite media interest, her lip-lock last year with pop tart Britney Spears raised few eyebrows. Like Janet Jackson’s flash-in-the-pan breast-baring at the Super Bowl, Madonna’s cross-generational girl-on-girl action seemed unseemly rather than sexy, a desperate grab for attention, a creepily exploitative display along the lines of a mother frenching her daughter.
The sponsors of Madonna’s voyeuristic peep show all these years, through ticket sales and CD purchases, can understandably feel wistful and disappointed as the curtain falls on her “girlie show” era. Even as her music continues to explore new territory thematically and stylistically, one can’t help longing for the racy Madonna of old.
Sitting in another car last week, riding home from her concert and listening to remixes from her recent politically charged “American Life” album, I instead wanted to hear one last time, “Been saving it all for you, ’cause only love can last.”
If Madonna can’t sing those words anymore, if she’s middle-aged, then that means I am, too.
source : news-press.com