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Madonna gets her greatest hits groove on with 'Celebration'

July 30, 2009 | 11:27 am


Madonna's upcoming single was leaked online today, in advance of her fall hits collection "Celebration." The latter won't be released until the end of September, but for now, fans can sample a club-ready song from the effort, one that feels and sounds like an effective reboot of Madonna's late '80s hits.

The title track was co-produced by Madonna and electronic artist and long-time Madonna pal remixer Paul Oakenfold. The cut pretty much delivers what the title implies. It's slightly less Euro than latter-day Madonna dance-cuts such as "Hung Up," and a little less obsessed with tapping the producer-of-the-moment-styles of "Hard Candy." The end result is a song that falls somewhere in between, focusing on highly energetic synth-pop groove, yet isn't as inventive as either of the referenced works.

As a throwaway, midsummer dance pop number, it works. It's definitely a cut that nods to Madonna's '80s disco roots, and would fit comfortably on a hits collection packed between "Vogue" and "Ray of Light." A speak-sing bridge gives the song a little bit of an edge, and allows Madonna to flex some personality -- goofing that she doesn't recognize her dance partner without clothes on.

"Celebration" feels as if it has modest goals, at least by Madonna's standards. Even when it gets a bit risque (see above paragraph), silliness rules the day. She invites us "to the dance of life," and coasts over the chorus. "Celebration" the greatest-hits album will close the book on Madonna's Warner Bros. career, and "Celebration" the song is an effective look back, a gliding, reassuring number that she hasn't forgotten her beginning. But rather than instill a sense of nostalgia, everything feels a bit obligatory. The sound of an artist, hopefully, ready for the next chapter.

Listen below. [UPDATE: The video has been removed. We'll post an official clip whenever it becomes available, although plenty of unsanctioned versions still exist.]

-- Todd Martens

Photo credit: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times