Some might recoil at the idea of a 50-plus woman indulging in bouncy, ridiculous pop music, a reaction perhaps related to the fact that it's unusual for a woman to have such a long and successful career at the epicentre of a musical genre. Profound and understated do not a good Madonna album make, and fortunately she's largely resisted the urge to slow the tempo on her 12th album.
Following the ho-hum hip-hop-influenced Hard Candy album, Madonna is back in fine form on MDNA. The real action begins after the dull club jam Girl Gone Wild, with Gang Bang's ass-pounding house beat and ridonkulous "Drive bitch!" soliloquy. Turn Up The Radio is pop escapism at its best; I'm A Sinner pairs a pleasant bounce with an anti-parochial message, while the lighthearted Superstar recalls True Blue-era Madonna and contains - wait for it - age-appropriate lyrics.
A few breakdowns and builds fly off the rails on the clubbier numbers, but the better songs balance shiny, modern production with exuberant melodies and timeless songwriting.
Top track: Superstar