When you’re an “ooh la la” superstar like Madonna, you can afford to drop an album and then mostly forget about it. Which is why, despite a flurry of hype in early 2012 including a gig at the Super Bowl and two reasonably stellar music videos, we’ve heard almost nothing about MDNA since almost immediately after its release. None of the singles really caught on, despite the fact that the album’s spring release seemed perfect timing to poise at least one new Madge tune as a summery song (since this is one of her easiest, breeziest albums in some time, with just one track that could be deemed controversial).
But now we have “Turn Up The Radio,” the video for Madonna’s bouncy third MDNA single… and as it turns out, the accompanying visuals are similarly “bouncy.”
In case it isn’t clear, the “bounce” I’m referring to involves Madonna’s buxom bosom, which is pushed up even higher than she wants the volume on the radio to go, according to this track. The boobs, they are a bouncin’, which is nothing Turkey hasn’t seen before (ahem) — or the rest of us, either, though it’s probably been awhile since most of us caught Truth Or Dare.
But beyond that cleavage, there isn’t a whole lot here to remind us of the Material Girl’s risque heyday. Blame the Italian backdrop, but it’s more reminiscent of Madonna’s starring role in Guy Ritchie’s unfortunate Swept Away. It begins with a tiresome scene depicting yet again how much it sucks when people take pictures of celebrities. Another music video about the evils of the paparazzi? Snore. Thankfully, once the song kicks in, things pick up from there. (Yes, I am still talking about Madonna’s rack.)
Madonna — “Turn Up The Radio” video
“Turn Up The Radio” is a light-hearted romp through Italy, either set in the 60’s or just evoking them. It’s well-shot and kind of fun, with Madonna picking up a lot of stray Italians who look and act a lot more interesting than she does here. She looks like she’s having a good time, which is more than you can say for a lot of pop stars’ forced performances in music videos. By the end, the vid’s carefree spirit becomes kind of winning, though it’s also completely unsubstantial, lacking the playful ingenuity of “Gimme All Your Luvin” or the steamy homoerotic sex appeal of “Girl Gone Wild.”
A part of the video’s ho-hum approach is probably due to the single itself, which is one of the blandest, most generic cuts from MDNA — or Madonna’s entire catalog, for that matter. It’s not a bad song, by any means — but it’s no “Gang Bang,” either. Plus, I have a beef with any song that addresses a DJ or some other authoritative figure in charge of the volume of said track, of which there are many (including Chris Brown’s current “Turn Up The Music,” which is equally uninvigorating). Ironically, I’ve never heard a single one of these songs that left me actually feeling like turning the music anything but off.
Still, Madonna’s “Turn Up The Music” video gets a very tepid thumbs up from me, because hey, I like Madonna, I like Italy, and there’s nothing really wrong with it. Plus, in the span of three minutes, it manages to be a lot better than any three minute selection from Swept Away, and Madonna’s bouncing breasts are still suitably mesmerizing after all these years.