At last night’s Eurovision Song Contest, Madonna performed two songs: ‘Like a Prayer’ and her new song ‘Future.’  The vocals were not in tune. People threw shade, dissed the costume, said she should retire.

This morning I listened to ‘Future’ carefully from here. It’s actually pretty good, its just better as a studio track than as a Eurovision performance piece with monks in.  It starts with a heavily processed vocal over a gentle keyboard, before building to a full latin reggae number. It’s another summery song designed to be nodded along to as you sip your beer at a barbecue.

It contains the lyrics:

“We can light up the dark
Everyone has a spark
Don’t tell me to stop ‘cause you said so.
Your future is bright (bright)
Just don’t turn off the light
Tell the sun not to shone ‘cause you said so.”

Madonna is not going to stop making these albums because we said so. And she shouldn’t. Having worked so hard and so long, I suspect she couldn’t stop now even if she wanted to. The whole incident made me think about the Teddy Roosevelt quote that Brene Brown has made so famous:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” (My emphases).

Madonna is in the arena. She has succeeded more than most, but inevitably, sometimes she fails. Last night, she failed big. But too many of we cold and timid souls sit behind our keyboards throwing shade at those like her who dare greatly. Her new tour will be in smaller, more intimate venues.  This interview shows that she knows this is another gamble for her: https://youtu.be/Iv4SgNWSR8E. I for one continue to watch with interest to see how it pans out for her.

The album Madame X will be launched on June 14, and a selection of tracks are available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music etc.

Information about the tour is available from here: http://madonna.livenation.com/