Madonna has received cautious praise from critics for her latest album Mdna, which hits shelves on Monday (March 19, 2012). Madonna, 53, has attempted to keep up with the likes of Lady GaGa in terms of "shock factor" in recent years, and most critics were expecting the new record to be a little too try-hard.
Her recent records, American Life (2003), Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005) and the generic Hard Candy (2008) were all criticized despite big sales, though critics appear to be giving Madonna an easier ride with Mdna. Bbc Music assessed the album in terms of the singer's previous efforts, saying, "It's got its faults, but Mdna isn't just a good pop album, it's a good Madonna album too", while The Independent offered, "Mdna represents a determined, no-nonsense restatement of the Madonna brand". The UK's Guardian were a little more reluctant to heap superlatives on the actual music, saying, "Mdna turns out to be just another Madonna album. It's already had the biggest single-day pre-order in iTunes history: business as usual for the most remarkable business enterprise in pop".
After a couple of years away to work on her movie W.E, Madonna once again hit the headlines with a half-time show at the Super Bowl earlier this year, though her performance was overshadowed by the antics of Mia. The singer signed a reported $120 million deal with Live Nation in 2007.