For all the times I’ve written about Madonna, I’ve only gone negative twice. Once a mid-80s overview of women in rock for Creem, and the other a disappointing live gig at Yankee Stadium from 2012 (here). The 80s piece was me being prudish, the other her fault. And she more than made up for both. Her last three albums were all great, Rebel Heart her best of the 21st century, and looking back over her career the only out and out dog was American Heart.
But she is a rare example of an artist who kept getting better while her audience tuned her out.
So at the moment she is excavating her future passed and this time we get 5 remixes of 1989’s masterful “Express Yourself,” -a deep expression of house and pop and fashionista built for the dancefloor. It is fair to say Like A Prayer was a full on meeting of Catholic girl controversy and pure dance vibes and “Express Yourself” is the cherry on top. Perhaps it has something to do with the “Truth Or Dare” re-release, perhaps she needs to add some shekels to the family inheritance. Whatever it is, here we are and the seven incher is a good reminder and the “Stop And Dub” will look great on the dancefloor, as the various compartments click in and the song finds its beats and its hooks as it might. The sartorial and cultural whammy of “Express Yourself” is a timeless cheer of artistic freedom, and if these remixes add little to the picture, it does serve to remind you that after Beyonce, everyone else are just contenders. Neither Britney Spears nor Lady Gaga is in her league, it’s as simple as that.