Spring 2012 Music Reviews

By: Megan Santos

Madonna (MDNA)

She may be 53, but Madonna’s 12th studio album entitled MDNA proves that music can be fun at any age. Notable DJs Benni Benassi, Martin Solveig and William Orbit produced the 12-track record. Madonna collaborated with hip-hop artists Nicki Minaj and MIA on her first single, “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” which was also performed at the 2012 year’s NFL Super Bowl halftime show. After 11 albums associated with Warner Bros. Records, Madonna signed a new deal with Live Nation Entertainment and Interscope Records.

The highly anticipated halftime show last February didn’t disappoint, luring 114 million viewers. Party rockers LMFAO and singer and The Voice judge Cee-Lo Green also performed. Despite it being a Vogue-dancing and talent filled night, Madonna’s guest MIA managed to stir up some controversy when she swore and stuck up her middle finger mid-performance. The NFL later apologized for the unexpected situation, saying she never did it in rehearsals.

The single has elements of an upbeat pop anthem, and adds a different dimension to Madonna’s music arsenal. She recently released “Girls Gone Wild,” the second single off MDNA. The track has a slightly more electronic vibe compared to “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” guaranteed to be one of this summer’s club bangers. The two MDNA singles are just a sneak peek into a new dimension of Madonna’s music.

Nicki Minaj (Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded)

Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, is Minaj’s second album. The Young Money, Cash Money princess released two promotional tracks titled “Roman in Moscow” and “Stupid Hoe” last December, which received negative feedback. “Stupid Hoe” was criticized for its music video, directed by Hype Williams, in which a hip-gyrating Minaj is featured in colourful leopard-print. The lead single, “Starships,” premiered on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show on Valentine’s Day. And released on iTunes the same day. At the end of February, she released Roman Reloaded, which features her Young Money boss, Lil’ Wayne. The single, produced by Rico Beats, has a completely different vibe compared to “Starships.” Its hard-hitting sound, mixed with pounding drums and well-timed gunshots show Minaj’s tough girl side.

Melanie Fiona (The MF Life)

Melanie Fiona, Canadian R&B artist, is set to release her second studio album, The MF Life, this Spring. The record features collaborations with Nas, J Cole, T-Pain, and John Legend. Fiona is signed wit labels Title 9, SRC, and Universal Republic. Hip-hop beat makers Rico Love and Salaam Remi produced various tracks on the new album. Fiona’s lead single, “Gone and Never Coming Back,” peaked at number 37 on American R&B charts. Her second single, “4 AM,” was released to urban radio stations in August 2011, where it hit the number 23 spot.

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