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Madonna Does Splits: CD Reviews



Madonna Does Splits: CD Reviews

Contrast the ovation at Byrne’s bow-out with the frustration at the start of Madonna’s “Sticky & Sweet” world tour in 2008. The 40,000-strong crowd in Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium was restive, spending 90 minutes doing bored Mexican waves until the “Queen of Pop” deigned to appear. She ended with no encores and signs aggressively flashing “game over.”

Madonna’s star was said to be fading after a split from her record company and husband. Few would have predicted that, at age 50, she was starting her most successful tour. The 32- nation extravaganza made $408 million, the highest grossing tour for a solo artist, according to promoter Live Nation Entertainment Inc.

Sandwiched between the late start and abrupt end was a high-octane, two-hour spectacular complete with lasers, strobes, dry ice and sexy dancers gyrating though break, pole and flamenco routines.

The tour’s revenue continues to grow with the inevitable concert set: a DVD or Blu-ray capturing the visual fireworks and a CD that gives a taste of the music. It’s intriguing how note-perfect Madonna is while running around and doing splits.

The show was filmed in Buenos Aires. The crowd gives a wild reception to the schmaltzy “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” a tip of the hat to Eva Peron, another former first lady.

“Madge” draws heavily on her disco-led “Confessions on a Dance Floor” and “Hard Candy” CDs and sounds a lot better than at the first show in Wales. “Candy Shop” is great and “Like a Prayer” gets turbo-charged with dance fervor.

Madonna’s next moves -- whether in Malawi, on the amorous front or in music -- will doubtless attract more headlines than Byrne. She will outsell him, of course, though she’ll never match the mad chemistry-lab of his imagination.

Rating: ** 1/2.


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