Madonna’s ‘MDNA’: By The Numbers

Mar 22nd, 2012 // 12 Comments

Last spring, right around this time, one of our very favorite divas had us buzzing about a hotly-anticipated (and dance floor friendly) LP. Now it’s deja vu all over again. Like any sought-after album these days, Madonna’s MDNA leaked to web-savvy music fans a mite earlier than expected (aside from two bonus tracks, “Best Friend” and “Beautiful Killer,” which we’ve still only heard in snippet form). And, as with Britney Spears’ Femme Fatale, we couldn’t help notice some recurring themes after, oh, about 100 spins or so. So what ingredients does MDNA contain that leave us feeling so… ecstatic? Head below for MDNA: By The Numbers!

MDNA has most in common with 2005′s club-friendly Confessions on a Dance Floor, as well as some reminders of Ray of Light courtesy of William Orbit. It’s a bit of a comeback after 2008′s Hard Candy (likely Madge’s weakest to date). Already MDNA has spawned two terrific videos (“Give Me All Your Luvin’” and now “Girl Gone Wild”), and also gifts us with a peppy new birthday song that doesn’t make us feel like we need to go take a shower (we’re talking about you, Rihanna).

Overall, we’re noticing a ton of references to past Madonna songs, plenty of religious imagery (hello again, Catholicism! nice knowing you, Kabbalah!), and the usual mix of sex, drugs, and violence we can expect from the Queen of Pop. (Just take a look at any one of the videos currently kicking ass in our March Madgeness tournament for ample display of that.)

Here’s how the math works out:

madonna_mdna-3

MADONNA’s MDNA BY THE NUMBERS:

Number of songs with drug and/or alcohol references: 5 (“I’m Addicted” — “feels like a drug,” MDMA; “Girl Gone Wild” — Tanqueray, “Some Girls” — “one drink and it’s all a blur”; “I Fucked Up” — “we could have gotten drunk and driven on the Autobahn”; “Gimme All Your Luvin’” — “we can drink some wine, burgundy is fine”)

Number of songs referencing guns: 4 (“Beautiful Killer” — “can’t really talk with a gun in my mouth”; “I Don’t Give A” — “shots fired” in Nicki’s rap; “Girl Gone Wild” — “fired up like a smoking gun”; “Gang Bang” — “bang bang, shot you dead, shot my lover in the head”)

Number of songs with driving/car references: 6 (“Gang Bang” — “drive bitch”; “Turn Up The Radio” — “I just wanna get in my car”; “Love Spent” — “now you have your fast car”; “Some Girls” — “crying in the limousine”; “Superstar” — “you’re James Dean driving in your fast car”; “I Fucked Up” — “we could have gotten drunk and driven on the Autobahn”)

Number of animals Madonna compares herself to: 3 (“Gang Bang” — bat and fish; “Turn Up The Radio” — moth)

Number of saints mentioned on “I’m A Sinner”: 3 (Saint Christopher, Saint Sebastian, Saint Anthony)

Number of famous Roman Catholic theologians from the 13th Century mentioned on “I’m A Sinner”: 1 (Thomas Aquinas)

Number of Mary references: 1 (“I’m A Sinner”)

Number of Jesus references: 2 (“I’m A Sinner” and “I Don’t Give A”)

Number of unusual places to find Baby Jesus: 1 (“on the stairs” on “I Don’t Give A”)

Number of times the word “bitch” is used in “I Don’t Give A”: 1

Number of times the word “bitch” is used in “Gang Bang”: 11

Number of songs that take great pains to avoid using the F word: 1 (“I Don’t Give A”)

Number of songs that use the F word anyway: 1 (“I Fucked Up”)

Number of “First World problems” / “white girl problems” Madonna faces on “I Don’t Give A”: 12 (or 13, if you count “I swallowed all my light”)

Number of artists on MDNA who appeared with Madonna at the Super Bowl: 3 (M.I.A., Nicki Minaj, LMFAO)

Number of songs Martin Solveig gets a production credit on: 6

Number of songs William Orbit gets a production credit on: 6

Number of songs Benny and Alle Benassi get production credits on: 3

Number of songs Madonna gets a production credit on: 17 (all of them)

Number of other producers on the album: 4

Number of times LMFAO plugs their own singles on “Give Me All Your Luvin’” remix: 2 (“Party Rock Anthem,” “Sexy And I Know It”)

Number of songs on which 53-year-old Madonna calls herself a “girl”: 5 (“Girl Gone Wild,” “Some Girls,” “Give Me All Your Luvin,’” “I Don’t Give A,” “B-Day Song”)

Number of things Madonna does at once on “I Don’t Give A”: 10

Number of days every year M.I.A. celebrates her birthday, according to “B-Day Song”: 365

Number of songs that use the word “indestructible”: 2 (“I Fucked Up,” “Masterpiece”)

Number of songs that reference gold: 2 (“I Fucked Up,” “Falling Free”)

Number of songs that reference silver: 1 (“I Fucked Up”)

Number of songs that reference bronze: 0

Number of “password” references: 2 (“Superstar” and “I Don’t Give A”)

Number of famous people Madonna compares her man to on “Superstar”: 9 (Marlon Brando, Michael Jordan, Al Capone, Julius Caeser, Abraham Lincoln, Bruce Lee, John Travolta, James Dean)

Number of famous people Madonna compares her man to on “Superstar” who died tragically: 5 (Al Capone, Julius Caeser, Abraham Lincoln, Bruce Lee, James Dean)

Number of Twitter references by pretty much the only major artist left to not have a Twitter account: 1 (“I Don’t Give A”)

Number of Myspace references: 0

Number of references to The Louvre: 1 (“Masterpiece”)

Number of songs that contain possible Guy Ritchie disses: 3 (“I Don’t Give A,” “Gang Bang,” “Love Spent”)

Number of songs with possible Lady Gaga disses: 1 (“I Don’t Give A,” via Nicki Minaj’s rap)

Number of songs that contain possible apologies to Guy Ritchie for above-mentioned disses: 1 (“I Fucked Up”)

Number of songs containing a banjo: 1 (“Love Spent”)

Number of times Nicki Minaj manages to rhyme “business woman” with itself: 3 (“I Don’t Give A”)

Number of songs that sound like an old-school Madonna/William Orbit collaboration: 1 (“Falling Free”)

Number of other artists we can think of who also released a song called “Some Girls”: 4 (The Rolling Stones, J.C. Chasez, Rachel Stevens, Bananarama)

And here’s the biggie…

Number of references to past Madonna songs: 18

“Act Of Contrition” on “Girl Gone Wild” (opening prayer)
“Erotica” on “Girl Gone Wild” (“it’s so erotic”)
“Bad Girl” on “Girl Gone Wild” (“but I’m a bad girl anyway”)
“Lucky Star” on “Give Me All Your Luvin’” (“in another place at a different time, you can be my lucky star”)
“Like A Prayer” on “I’m Addicted” (“something happens to me when I hear your voice and I have no choice”)
“Like A Prayer” on “I’m A Sinner” (“get down on your knees and pray”)
“Stay” on “Turn Up The Radio” (“I’m leavin’ the past behind”)
“Angel” on “Superstar” (“you’re my angel”)
“Vogue” on “Superstar” (Marlon Brando and James Dean references)
“Into The Groove” on “Superstar” (“you’re Travolta getting’ into your groove”)
“Waiting” on “Best Friend” (“your picture on my wall, but I’m still waiting on your call”)
“Hanky Panky” on “B-Day Song” (“give me a spanking”)
“Like A Virgin” on “Some Girls” (“like a virgin, sweet and clean”)
“Express Yourself” on “Some Girls” (“put your loving to the test”)
“Thief of Hearts” on “I Don’t Give A” (Nicki Minaj’s “bitch”)
“Material Girl” on “I Don’t Give A” (Nicki Minaj’s rap)
“Sorry” on “I Fucked Up” (“Je suis désolé”)
“Me Against the Music” on “Girl Gone Wild” (“in the zone”)

Did we miss any? Any recurring elements you picked up on? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments!

idolator

  1. You forgot one song in the Driving/Car References – “Gang Bang” (“Drive bitch,” anyone?)

  2. Brad

    I think “I’m A Sinner” sounds like a mix of “Beautiful Stranger” and “Shanti/Ashtangi,” very old-school Orbit/Madonna.

  3. iSP

    X. Alexander, you’re a genius ! ^^ Much respect for that number listing !

  4. Number of (potentially) Kylie Minogue-inspired moments so far in the “MDNA Era” – 2

    - The overall styling of the Super Bowl performance, Aphrodite-esque (Greek/Roman influences, chariots, lots of gold, blah blah)

    - The main riff of “I’m Addicted”, dangerously similar to X bonus track “Rippin’ Up the Disco”

    Anybody got any more?? I just can’t resist the thought of Madonna taking a page or two out of Kylie’s book! ‘Bout time. :P

  5. Number of similarities in stats between the link you posted and this one: 0

    We posted a very similar By The Numbers last year for Britney Spears Femme Fatale, which you can see here. http://idolator.com/5795691/britney-spears-femme-fatale-by-the-numbers We were repeating our own post from last year and not someone else’s.

  6. Number of songs that sound like an old-school Madonna/William Orbit collaboration: 2..
    I´m a Sinner is Beautiful Stranger pt 2. no?

  7. JP

    One more “Sorry” reference via “Girl Gone Wild” (“Please forgive me”). Thanks for doing this list!

  8. lacy

    the first two singles sucked
    lets hope the other songs are good

  9. Alex

    “Like A Prayer” and “Nothing Fails” on “Beautiful Killer” (“makes me wanna pray”)

  10. Karen

    “Over and Over” on “Gang Bang” (“I wanna see him die over and over and over”)
    “To Have and Not to Hold” on “Turn Up the Radio” (“sucked like a moth to a flame”)
    “True Blue” on “I’m Addicted” (“and it fits like a glove”)
    “Till Death Do Us Part” in “Love Spent” (“Till death do [we] part, that’s what you said”)

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