the Buzz for August 2014


Madonna — “Vogue” (from Celebration) —

This fascinating factoid churned pretty quickly through the Twittersphere, so you’d be forgiven for having missed it entirely, but just in case you, like me, were fourteen in 1990 and are given to enjoy a bit of useless trivia: tells us that, with last week’s unfortunate passing of Lauren Bacall (at age 90), all sixteen of the pop cultural icons and legends, almost all of whom were scions of Old Hollywood balls and beauty, that Miss Madonna name-checked during the thrilling climax of this instant-classic turn-of-a-decade smash — a loving, gorgeously etched homage to the movie-star era — have now shuffled off of this mortal coil. Seems a fair bet that we’ll never see the likes of Bacall and those broads ever again, and Miley and her cabal of tartlets could take a comprehensive lesson or two from their grit and grace. True glamour rarely sounded so glorious. Rest in peace, Betty. (Incidentally, if you’d care to do further reading — both on this tune and the rest of Madonna’s hit-filled career, before and after — I put together a playlist of her best-known pop classics in April 2010, and you can find that piece by clicking right cheer.)


Sinead O’Connor — “Take Me to Church”
(from I’m Not Bossy I’m the Boss) —

With its crunchy guitars and catchy pace, this tune is likely a bit jarring for those fairweather fans who only know Sinead for her gorgeously spare chartbusting epic “Nothing Compares 2 U” (echoes of whose equally stark video — which, amazingly enough, celebrates its twenty-fifth birthday next spring — seep brilliantly into this clip’s color palette), but those of us who recall O’Connor from her “Mandinka” days will no doubt feel right at home worshipping at the altar of “Church,” the irresistible lead single from Sinead’s tenth studio record I’m Not Bossy I’m the Boss (due out this Tuesday). Any random ten seconds of this late-summer gem are instantly more compelling than the whole of that nauseating nymphet Iggy Azalea’s discography, and I’m ready to fling a hallelujah up into the heavens that, with her strongest effort since at least 1997’s “This Is to Mother You,” Sinead is once again getting more attention for her music than for her musings on the sexual efficacy of yams. Amen.