Madonna's new album MDNA may be skyrocketing up the charts -- it's No. 2 on iTunes -- but the Queen of Pop's twelfth studio album has been dividing the critics.
The Los Angeles Times' Randall Roberts found MDNA to be too generic for the entertainer, who at one point in her career set the standards for pop music. Now, points out Roberts, Madge sounds like every other popstar in the music industry.
"But the Madonna of today has lost the art of surprise, and the shock and awe she used to inspire with each new move have gone the way of her bullet bra and taffeta skirts," he writes. "More important, Madge seems to have lost her ability to create in that magical space that pushes pop forward while remaining completely of the moment."
Gareth Grundy, of the UK newspaper The Guardian, echoes some of Roberts' sentiments. While he doesn't necessarily praise the overproduced MDNA, he does find that the "more relaxed, less stentorian tracks sparkle."
"'Falling Free' is one of her better ballads – just voice, strings and a credible sense of vulnerability," he writes. "It's a glimpse of a fascinating possible future, of a grownup Madonna at ease with herself, trusting her talent over passing trends. It makes you crave her next album, not this one."
However, the Associated Press didn't seem to mind Madonna's so-called pop regression. "Madonna says it best on the opening track of her twelfth album: 'No one can put out my fire,'" Mesfin Fekadu writes. "At 53, she's still got it going on. And thankfully so."
And Rolling Stone added that MDNA is an album that benefits from repeated listening. "Hooks emerge quickly; there's lots of naughtiness for the DJ to bring back, and the music has depth that rewards repeated listening."
Check out more mixed Twitter reactions to MDNA below.