Pop Perspective: Madonna’s “Ghosttown” Video Reviewed By All Four Idolator Editors

Mike Wass | April 10, 2015 6:00 am
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At Idolator, the editors share a passion for high-quality pop. Occasionally, our tastes align. Other times, not so much! So, in the spirit of debate, we’ve developed a recurring feature called Pop Perspective. Basically, all four of us dissect a particularly noteworthy pop event, and give it a rating out of 10.

That way you’re getting a full spectrum of views and we can all vent. (It’s cheaper than therapy!) The latest pop milestone to be dragged under the Idolator microscope is Madonna’s post-apocalyptic “Ghosttown” video. Is the Jonas Åkerlund-directed blockbuster a stunning return to form or another Rebel Heart-era disappointment? See our thoughts below.

Robbie Daw — 9/10

Madonna really isn’t taking any chances these days, is she? All the old M music video standbys are here in her “Ghosttown” video: a crucifix, a racially-diverse cast, impressive choreography, a photo of her mother and guns.

All that said, I think this is actually Madge’s best music video since “Hung Up,” not to mention her greatest single choice since that time period. Say what you will about Rebel Heart, but creatively, she’s more on fire in this era than she has been in a long time.

Bianca Gracie — 7/10

I think “Ghosttown” is one of the major highlights on Rebel Heart, and it’s definitely one of the better singles Madonna has put out in recent years. But when it comes to the video, I’m not as wowed. Instead, I’m left with a “meh” feeling.

For me, it comes off as a bit campy — from the tacky grills to the odd tango between the entertainer and (out of all people) Terrence Howard. Also, can someone explain the symbolism of the little boy? That part did not connect at all. I do love the outfits, though. Do you see those kick-ass boots? Madonna is channeling her inner-Stevie Nicks and working it just as well!

We all know that Madge is capable of producing stronger visuals, but hey — at least she let go of the matador theme! At least for now.

Bradley Stern — 8/10

If we’re rating the general #iconic-ness of the Meerkat premiere, it would be a full 10/10 for that stop-and-start mess that never happened. As for the actual video? That was pretty great, too! A song about a love lasting until the end of the world needs an appropriately apocalyptic clip, and that’s just what Akerlund’s done for Madge.

She looks like a gorgeous vampire pirate witchy-wench (that’s the exact name of the look, right?), although the grills have GOT. TO. GO. Even still, she delivers heaps of fabulous drama and cape-twirling. Throw in Terrence Howard for some subtle Empire promo (ironic, considering the show’s soundtrack just beat out Rebel Heart on the album chart!), and you’ve got a captivating, handsome tango partner/end-of-the-world buddy. And a little kid to boot!

I would have loved to see them venture out into the world a bit more, but hey… maybe they’re saving the full-length version for another Meerkat premiere.

Mike Wass — 4/10

At its core, beneath the supernatural conceit and flamboyant production, “Ghosttown” is a simple testament to the power (and rarity) of enduring emotional connection. It’s defiant and hopeful and profoundly human. Which is why the track is resonating beyond Madonna’s hardcore fan-base, unlike the lifeless club-bangers littering Rebel Heart.

As such, the pop icon’s best ballad since “Nothing Fails” deserves a profound video. Something as classy as “Rain” and as timeless as “Take A Bow.” Instead, we get a ham-fisted embarrassment complete with lame special effects, an unnecessary celebrity appearance and the most awkward dance scene of all time.

The only thing that could make the video more cringeworthy is a cameo from the stars of a Real Housewives franchise, but I guess Lady Gaga got there first. I’m giving this four points just for the scene where Madonna kisses a photo of her mother. And then I’m going to bash my head against the computer screen and hope for amnesia.


What would you give the video out of 10? Let us know in the comments below.

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