You're 53. You're the top-selling female recording artist of all time, having moved more than 300 million albums. And you'd like maybe one more shot at reminding the world that before there was Lady Gaga, before there was Britney Spears, before there was Nicki Minaj, before there was Katy Perry, before there were a bunch of pretenders trying to sit on the diva throne, there was the one who built it.
So what do you do for your 75th official single, the first release from your 12th studio album? Is the answer channeling Toni Basil and pretending it's 1982? And then inviting a couple of those upstarts to the party to make sure somebody cares?
Those of a certain age will recall Basil's 1982 hit "Mickey," an earworm of epic proportions, the video for which featured Basil dressed up as a cheerleader chanting, "Oh Mickey/You're so fine/You're so fine/You blow my mind/Hey Mickey!"
"Give Me All Your Luvin'"—the song and its video—digs only slightly deeper than that while visually and musically appropriating Basil's cheerleader vibe. It features M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj repeatedly chanting, "L-U-V, Madonna/Y-O-U, Madonna" as the Material Girl herself reflects on what it takes to be her lover.
"Would you like to try?" Madonna dares would-be suitors in the opening verse. "Maybe you'll do fine," she coos. "As long as you don't lie to me." Right, then. No lying. Got it. "Give me all your love, and give me all your love/Let's forget about the time/And dance our lives away." OK. No watches either.
It's no surprise, actually, that Madonna doesn't much want us to think about time. It's clear she's in denial of it, vamping it up as she suggests, "You can be my lucky star/We can drink some wine/Burgundy is fine/Let's drink the bottle, every drop."
Step three, then, is tossing back some vino. And have I mentioned that dancing is, of course, very much still in vogue here?
Nicki and M.I.A. stop cheerleading long enough to rap a bit too. "Give me all your love, boy," Nicki instructs, "You can be my boy, you can by my boy toy." M.I.A. is coarser than that—just as she was in her controversial, middle-finger raised Super Bowl halftime performance. "Me it," she proclaims. "I'm so swag s‑‑‑/ … Ima say this once, yeah/I don't give a s‑‑‑."
In the video, Madge prances and preens through town, occasionally showing glimpses of her leopard-print bra even as M.I.A. and Nicki—in full-on cheerleader regalia—herald her triumphant arrival. An entire football team alternately chases and protects Madonna. Then the cheerleader getups are swapped with Marilyn Monroe costumes, and a backup dancer writhes in the background wearing only bra and panties.
None of it makes much sense, really. But Madonna doesn't seem to care about sense here, just that she's doing what she wants on her own terms, just as she always has. And if she has to make us time-travel back to the '80s to do it, well, then that's all right with her.
Too bad the results aren't any better now than they were then.