Enough airbrushing to satiate a year’s worth of fashion magazines? Amazing choreography? A woman in her fifties wearing impossibly short shorts? You guessed it, Madonna has a new video! Now, let’s get one thing clear: I love Madonna. But even I, as a fan, sometimes can’t help but think, “Ooh… put it away Madge!” Arguably the most iconic solo female of all time (whether you like it or not), Madonna is currently on her world tour promoting her twelfth studio album MDNA. As the third single from the album, her next single ‘Turn Up The Radio’ (released August 5th) isn’t in any danger of becoming as iconic as, say, ‘Vogue’, ‘Like A Prayer’ or ‘Express Yourself’ (but then again nothing she’s done in the past decade is). However, I for one have found it almost unbearably catchy. Ensuring that we don’t forget too easily her influence on not only her fans but the public in general, the video sees the Queen of Pop being driven through Florence, Italy, with an army of people chasing the car, screaming and taking pictures as she invited a select few to join her in the car, picking more up on the way (not sure if Madonna really is prone to picking up hitch hikers, but the sentiment is clearly there). Now my report of this video may seem cynical thus far, to clarify I do love it. Because of her colossal decade-spanning success, some of us may expect everything she does to be iconic and are therefore deflated when she releases a fun, harmless, catchy Euro-pop song. Take each song as it comes, ignore the “bigger picture” and enjoy them as singles; and as a standalone song ‘Turn Up The Radio’ is an uplifting and frivolous hit, bound to be played to death in nightclubs and on iPods worldwide. She’s been around for a while, so go easy on her.
Last week you may recall me announcing the triumphant return of No Doubt after more than a decade since the release of their last album. This week saw the release of the full audio of their newest single ‘Settle Down’ as well as the full length video. The track sees No Doubt experiment with their signature ska/pop/rock sound by infusing it with reggae and tribal influences. The video sees the band driving trucks through Asia and Africa, diligently reading maps and providing the (and nowadays expected) shameless product placement that’s rife in every major video of late. After their lengthy journey the band finally gets reunited. They park their trucks, turn them into makeshift dancefloors and invite everyone in a 5 mile radius for a bit a knees up and a little dance. Lovely.
With an undeniable 90s revival bubbling away in both fashion and music, it’s only right that the Californian super group are back on form with a new single and album (due to be released on September 25th) to show the new brood of starlets how it’s really done. [Sidenote: I feel under obligation to mention how incredibly stunning Gwen Stefani looks in this video. Since No Doubt’s hiatus, the 42 year-old mother of two has enjoyed global solo success as well as running her own fashion label and yet she is simply refusing to age!]
Another age-defying mother hit the headlines this week. Jennifer Lopez has announced that (along with fellow judge and Aerosmith front man Steve Tyler) she will not be returning to the American Idol panel this year. J-Lo and Tyler got along famously and considering her global arena tour with Enrique Iglesias is coming up, her departure didn’t come as a huge surprise. Originally only meant to be a judge for one season, Lopez eventually stayed on for two, saying recently:
“When I signed on to ‘Idol’ I signed on to one year and I wound up doing two years because I just fell so in love with the show and everybody there… And as the kids get bigger, it just started feeling like it was a lot, and something had to give.”
There’s no confirmation as to who will replace J-Lo or Steve but both Mariah Carey and Bon Jovi are firm favourites to fill the empty seats alongside producer Randy Jackson who’s been on the panel since season one back in 2002.
And lastly, anyone else surprised that ‘Spectrum’ was Florence + the Machine’s first UK number one single this week? As one of Britain’s biggest and best exports I had just assumed that she’d collected her fair share of number ones, but clearly not! The Calvin Harris remix of ‘Spectrum’ reached Number One on Sunday (that Harris chap is doing pretty well for himself, ain’t he?! ). Newton Faulkner claimed the Number One album spot with his release Write It On Your Skin.