Madonna evokes pain of divorce

MATURE: Madonna
MATURE: Madonna

JOSTLING for space with younger rivals like Lady Gaga, Madonna brings a grown woman's voice to her new album, MDNA , out today, on which the 53-year-old Queen of Pop evokes the pain of her divorce.

Since her last album, the dance-flavoured Hard Candy in 2008, new faces have crowded into the space long ruled by the Material Girl: Rihanna for sexiness, Lana Del Rey for edgy glamour, and the ever-theatrical Lady Gaga.

So when Madonna announced she was working on a new album the music world raised a sceptical eyebrow: put frankly, can a woman in her 50s still set the pace in the youth-driven pop world?

The first track from the album, Give Me All Your Luvin, which Madonna performed at the Superbowl last month, failed to win over the music press.

But critics have since given a thumbs up to Madonna's 12th studio album, which leaked on the Internet last week ahead of its release.

The album - the title of which is a play on the nightclub drug MDMA - is peppered with hedonistic dance tracks, but they share space with highly personal pieces in which Madonna alludes to her 2008 divorce from Guy Ritchie.

Madonna kicks off a tour on May 29 in Tel Aviv - her first since her wildly successful Sticky and Sweet outing in 2008. She will go on to perform in Abu Dhabi and Istanbul. - Sapa-AFP