Madonna is still tirelessly promoting her mega-expensive though well-reviewed skincare line MDNA Skin. In her latest online commercial, she’s joined once again by The Fat Jewish (Josh Ostrovksy)
In a six-minute segment cheekily called “Roll Call,” the Queen of Pop is advertising a $200 infrared “beauty roller” that honestly looks a bit phallic. Maybe that’s not accidental. She and Ostrovsky see several world-class dancers accomplish amazing feats with their bodies—but it always comes back to this wand that’s supposed to—well, what exactly is this thing supposed to do again? I’ve seen several commercials for this thing, and I still don’t know what it does.
I can totally respect Madonna’s many side hustles. 100%. But after the release of a lousy track yesterday (Madonna was a featured artist on Quavo’s confusing “Champagne Rose,” along with Cardi B, who confuses me), I’m starting to worry.
Earlier this year, she made ripples with an interview about her upcoming fourteenth studio album, criticizing current popular music for sounding homogenous– singling out tracks with tons of guests on them. Like…? Isn’t that exactly what this “Champagne Rose” track is? A confused mess of too many cooks?
Historically, Madonna is the Mistress of Innovation. But since 2008’s Hard Candy, her records and other artistic output have copied what’s trendy, with mixed results. At worst, her recent material has sounded downright lifeless. Which is just insane– Madonna has more personality and spirit in her pinky than most music stars do in their entire bodies.
Related: All 13 Madonna Albums Ranked
The best part of this new skincare promo video is the last few seconds. Madonna sings the “Erotica” chorus into one of her beauty products, a makeshift mic. Just watching her sing that takes me there. Erotica was so ahead of its time. A lot of people hated it when it came out; it’s now seen as an influential classic, one of the best pop albums of the 1990s. That album is Madonna the uncompromising artist at her most vital– a far cry from the new track or promotional vids with the Fat Jewish.
I’m fine with Madonna doing bizarre adverts for beauty products I don’t even understand, and I’ll abide her having some fun guesting on forgettable hip-hop tracks, but I don’t want Madonna to lose her edge. I don’t want her to follow trends instead of experimenting.
I do not want her to sell out. One the best songs of her entire catalogue, a ballad called “Gone” that closes the great album Music, begins with the line,
“Selling out, is not my thing…”
I adore Madonna. Madonna is actually one of my personal heroes. Her contribution to pop culture cannot be overestimated, and she’s been an outspoken gay ally since long, long before it was cool— something we should never forget and never take for granted.
As a diehard, though, I really, really, really want her to deliver in 2019. I know she has a surprising, exhilarating album in her somewhere. I know she has the raw materials to keep being great for decades to come.
Watch Roll Call below. Do you think I’m being too sensitive? Should I just sit back and let Madonna have her fun on the internet? Or do you share some of my concerns? Please let us know in the comments.