Madonna

There's something irresistibly right about Madonna's self-confidence. Her old songs get better with time. Her sometimes desperate-sounding new ones ("I'm Addicted," "I'm a Sinner") are better already. She still sells out arenas 27 years after playing the St. Paul Civic Center with the Beastie Boys. The old fake wisdom that her provocations were cheap has long since given way to the accumulation of great melodies, which she sings attentively as if they're just within reach, and the acknowledgment that she's been good for the culture. Vocally she's forever pulling back, which evokes prayer and seduction, and maybe blank space for projection. But her naughty presence will be missed when she leaves, whether popularity is her canvas or her patron, her playground or her physical therapy. For a dancer and pop star, that's a distinction without a difference. With Paul Oakenfold. (Photo by Kevin Mazur)
Saturdays, Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Nov. 3. Continues through Nov. 4, 2012

 
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