Madonna's new album is released today. I have always believed that she has at least four talents.

There are two obvious ones [shut up at the back!]: she can dance in time and she can sing in tune—albeit in a voice that induces stomach cramps in Tibetan voles.

There are two important ones: she wants to be famous more than anyone else in the World, and she has a superb instinct for choosing the people who can help her achieve that goal.

Close to her 80s peak, I vaguely remember she got herself in trouble with at least one of those gifted people downstairs by commenting that she wasn't really bothered with the music herself much; she preferred to concentrate on more important things instead (like being famous).

Yesterday I heard her latest single in the shower: not good. Lately she's been making that classic error of the 80s’ superstar: assuming greater artistic control. I am not exactly sure what contribution to a song "earns" a writing credit these days, but her latest "composition" has the same tell-tale clumsiness that marked the random insertion of the phrase "Sigmund Freud" into her Bond theme

It's ominous; look at what happened to Michael Jackson when he convinced himself that owning a large chunk of The Beatles' publishing qualified him to start writing his own songs

American rock journalists usually review popular music rather more smartly than British ones. The Americans often know one end of a musical instrument from the other and/or are familiar with words like "scansion" and "meter". Without getting too serious about the music, Time seems to have skewered Madonna's latest album well.