As you most likely well know, Madonna is back with her brand new album Hard Candy (Warner) which hit Amoeba Music shelves earlier this week. What is interesting about this new album from the "Queen of Pop" is that while the artist, who built a career on controversy -- usually via her music videos-- is at perhaps the very least controversial portion of her long extended, ever shape-shifting pop life, she somehow manages to still stir up controversy.
The controversy (or heated discussion) this time amongst the Madonna fans and haters is not about the music, but about age-- her age. Can a woman still be sexy and/or act sexy at almost 50? (Her birthday's in August.) That is the real question posed by the masses and the issue says more about our culture than about the pop singer who inspired the discussion.
Pop music doesn't have a history of being particularly kind to its aging stars, especially its female stars, and especially its aging female stars who choose to still act sexy. So the floodgates of debate or controversy over whether Madonna should still be making catchy contemporary pop music -- and, what's more, shaking her stuff while collaborating with the likes of the much younger Timbers -- Timbaland and Timberlake (Justin) -- have opened up.
Not too surprisingly, the best place to go to put a finger on the pulse of what the Madonna fans and haters are really thinking of Madge Version 008, you need go no further than YouTube -- a place where no one minces words, as proven by the swath of comments posted for the video to the new single "4 Minutes" featuring the aforementioned two Timbers. In the time since the video (see below) was posted three weeks ago, the opinions have poured in: divided into the diehard Madonna fans on one side and the Madonna haters on the other, with a substantial group of in-betweeners who are undecided or have mixed feelings in the middle ground.
All sides however seem to agree on one thing: what to argue about in terms of the new Madonna-- and that is the subject of age. The comments below are just a sampling of some of the YouTube commenters for "4 Minutes," a video whose theme or storyline was aptly described by YouTube member foreverllamas88 as such: "Madonna and Justin are superheros that only have 4 minutes to save the world and themselves from a force thats swallowing them and their lives (that black, prism-ey thing). And their superpowers are subtle because it's a metaphor that we are all superheroes in our own right but we don't always have the power to save the world as we wish we could."
"Madonna in this video just gave me some mad inspiration. I'm 29 and fear my 30's but looking at how hot she is and fit lets me know that the women can age very nicely. You HAVE to give Madonna credit. She has never had a failed album and she is stayin' up w/ times. I loved her last album Confessions on a Dance Floor b/c of its house beats which I'm also into. She's a goddess." - airvenus
"omg she's 50 trying to be sexy... eww" - kikicutie9734
"Hell, I say if she still can, then f***in' let her! More power to her, 'cause it's refreshing to see a pop-star over 40 still kickin' and making albums. . . that are as good as, if not better than, all the teenagers' and twenty-somethings' in the genre today. Say what you will about Madonna, right now she's lookin' a hell of a lot more together than Britney Spears. . . someone who's 27, while Madge is 49." - rednihilist5
"Excellent video, Madge you still have it. I am the same age and man you are still HOT!!! Keep the music coming!!!!" - zionschurch
"Is that JT's mom?" - renaim
"Don't Hate, Madonna is maintaining." - LER77
"madonna is like the most attractive person ever." - lulunarcotics
"If you had told me in 1983 that Madonna would still have a career in 2008 I would have laughed in your face. Personally I don't like her music but I have to respect her ability to reinvent herself and stay current. But yeah, LOTS of airbrushing in this video--she looks good for 49 but not that good."
"I don't get it... what the hell is 4 minutes? Madonna's butt is saggy - is she still gonna be wearing that kinda shit when she's 60 next year? GROSS." - skeetchd1
"How many 20yr olds do you know that look as good as Madonna? What's gross is people who are ageist. Because eventually YOU WILL BE 50 yrs old. How will YOU look? Most 50yr olds look like fat slobs...oh same goes for 20yr old." - muscleboundhomo
"Grab a boy? (Grab a girl?) C'mon. At her age, that could bring a charge of child molestation."
"Why does she have to remove her clothes? If I were her kid I would tell her stop it, but then again... The music video is cool, but why does she have to show off her body always? If anyone has answer please tell me." - moonlesslife
"It's her style. She's basically doing what she wants to do because she doesn't bow down to society. Basically we think when a person is 40 they are "old" but Madonna doesn't care and proves to everyone she isn't afraid to be a rebel. To make it short, she just wants to do whatever she wants to do and doesn't care who gets in her way." - titammm
"Madonna said she had a hard time sharing 'diva time'....please, she ain't that special. She looks corny here, and like she doesn't know wtf she doing. I swear she thiinks she's young." - kamiraquel
"You saying older people can't sing and dance? Madonna Looks Like She Is At Least Late 30's She Is 49 -- That Means She Takes Care Of Herself And Stays In Good Shape! How Many People That Are Almost 50 That Look Like That??? - RollerCoasterMaster2
"Madonna smells like old people." - sketch3030
"I have no idea why people are bitching about her age. She's still making amazing music and is in better shape that most teenagers." - mymorbidmonkey
"THANK YOU!" - immortalMathias