The new Madonna album.

The new Madonna album is, essentially, and provided you edit out all the usual aren’t-I-just-so-uniquely-fascinating fame-is-such-a-headf**k me-me-me-ness of the lyrics, one great big, non-stop-segued, spangly-disco-balled, glad-rags-on, hands-in-the-air, yo-DJ-pump-this-party, we’re-all-in-this-crazy-ship-together, ooh-these-are-good-ones, Christ-he’s-smiling-back-have-I-pulled-or-what, sod-the-attitude-let’s-SCREAM, (well-OK-just-a-little-bit-of-attitude-then), most entrancingly transiently transcendentally meltingly beltingly everything-just-SO, sometimes-life-is-just-like-the-movies, move-over-losers-Miss-THING-has-come-to-town Saturday Night Out of the year.

(Meanwhile, my partner K finds it all a little bit “full-on”. Quod erat demonstrandum.)

It immediately makes me want to doll myself up, squeeze myself into something irresistible, and go out on the razz. Preferably in 1994, if that could be arranged. I used to be a Great Beauty! My dance card was permanently marked! Gentlemen used to queue up outside my door!

(Or else my Oh What A Lovely Midlife Crisis! nostalgia glands are being expertly manipulated by one of popular culture’s most adept operators, who has recognised that now is the time to quit with the f**ed-if-I-care experimentalism, and explicitly target her core demographic of slightly past-it party boys d’un certain age. But hey, I’m cool with that.)

If I have a criticism – and, really, it ain’t much – it’s that the opening four tracks are just so deliriously, mega-tastically TISH-TISH SWOOSH, CHUG-CHUG THUD, UNHHH-UNHHH, WALLOP-WALLOP WHEEEE, that what follows must inevitably suffer by comparison. But it’s only a slight sag. The plateau after the rush, or something. I feel no need of further elaboration.

A prediction. At around 8pm this coming Saturday, every unattached, urban-based gay man in Western Europe and Northern America between the ages of 25 and 40 with Plans For Later On will be playing this as they get ready to go out, hula-dancing as they towel-dry, jiggling their tushes as they whip an iron over their disco tops.

Go on, ring round on the night, see if I’m wrong.

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