Here's Madonna's new football-themed music video, featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A, hyping the trio's halftime performance at Sunday's Super Bowl. Whether or not you like a) Madonna b) the Super Bowl, “Give Me All Your Luvin’" will be unavoidable, practically replacing the air you breathe. From old platforms like billboard and the radio to new ones like iTunes and YouTube, everyone in the whole world is devoting their Friday and beyond to promoting the song and its accompanying video. According to The New York Times, Clear Channel will play “Give Me All Your Luvin’" across 95 of its stations every single hour, on the hour, from Friday morning to Sunday game-time. It looks like the only way to escape would be to unplug your Internet, turn off your phone, and bury your head under a pillow from now until Monday morning—maybe even until Tuesday, if you want to play it safe.
Living under a rock has its cons, but in this case, it might be worth it. “Give Me All Your Luvin’" is far worse than bad, it's sad. The song tries too hard to be catchy, the video suffers from a total lack of charm—but those things are standard fare for mass market pop. The worst part of “Give Me All Your Luvin’" is Madonna's dull, witless performance. The pop icon has always been a mediocre singer, but her magnetic presence used to be the foundation of her unparalleled success. She used to earn her fame, now she just sits on it.
She still looks phenomonal—like, it's hard to believe that she's really real and not a hologram or some kind of supernatural media monster—but it looks like she's faking, half playing herself at the height of her fame (allusions to the many highlights of Madonna's career abound: in one sequence, the superstar's costume features a prominent, blingy cross necklace), half impersonating today's crop of hit artists (must she really be wearing a leotard and gyrating like that? I'm all for celebrating the sex-appeal of older women, but pantless crotch-thrusting is tacky even for a 20-year-old; Madonna is 53, and I'm sorry but I'd really just like it if she carried herself like an adult.).
Even though she's the main star of the video and even though the song is an explicit tribute to the artist (the opening lyrics are, in a move that grossly and clumsily panders to young people and their texting, "L-U-V Madonna!"), M.I.A and Minaj's supporting performances are the real highlights of the clip. They look like they're in their element and having fun, and it's fun to watch them. I don't know if Madonna's clinging to her decades-old fame or just coasting, but either way, it looks like she's trying too hard.
If you must: