Top 40 single reviews
Published on June 22, 2013 By Dusk411 In Music


Turn Up The Radio

Album: MDNA

Year: 2012

                   A majority of the Maroon 5 review is written. It's going to be delayed until Monday. Other than that, everything is back up again. Yay!


            Madonna takes a long drive to escape, never to return in the sedated “Turn Up The Radio” 

                Brittle synths open the single, setting a claustrophobic tone. It figures today she gets a phone call from her ex, explaining the people who bought their house a month ago are saying they didn’t disclose everything. The roof is leaking and they want them to fix it. The electricity has been out at her house for a couple days, spoiling groceries. She asks him if he could speak louder.  There are two men next to her having a loud debate about over something that happened on television last night. There’s a woman humming to herself across from her and two teenagers giggling over a video on Youtube. She tells him she’ll call him back later, gets off on her next stop and calls her best friend.  From her apartment, the streetlights glimmer from corner to corner, connecting to the bridge, forming its own constellation. Once her friend arrives in her convertible, she gets in, puts her head back, and looks into the nighttime sky. Wisps of blond hair fly around her face as the wind grazes her skin. For the first time in weeks, time has slowed down. (“When the world starts to get you down/And nothing seems to go your way/And the noise of the maddening crowd/Makes you feel like you're going to go insane/There's a glow of a distant light/Calling you to come outside/To feel the wind on your face and your skin/And it's here I begin my story.”)


              In the chorus, she hears one of her favorite songs and asks her friend to change the volume. By the end of the night, she wants to ears to ring. As her friend starts to fiddle with the GPS, she tells her they aren’t heading to their usual 24 hour diner to hang out. She simply wants to drive. (“Turn up the radio/Turn up the radio/Don't ask me where I wanna go/We gotta turn up the radio.”)


            On the street, she sees people standing out smoking outside the bar, trying to hook up between puffs. There are some tourists trying to ask people questions about where they are, fingering lines on the screens of their phones. There’s a young couple making out in full view. She used to be those people. Having her early memories of moving to the city reflected back to her, she can view them without any smudges. It gave her a lot of interesting stories to tell but nothing of substance. The city seemed invincible to her once, a place she’s linked to through an expired dream. It’s not home for her anymore. Sometime within the last couple months, the skyscrapers and constant traffic began to enclose on her. (“It was time that I opened my eyes/I'm leaving the past behind/Nothing's ever what it seems/Including this time and this crazy scene/I'm stuck like a moth to a flame/I'm so tired of playing this game/I don't know how I got to this state/Let me out of my cage cause I'm dying.”)

           The chorus is sung twice.  

              In the bridge, she wants to pick up and leave without any destination in mind. All she knows is she has to get away from the city. She has given her job two weeks notice. She has paid off her rent. Her stuff is packed and some of it is already loaded in the car. She asks her best friend to take some vacation time and join her for the part of the trip. She no longer wants to pretend she’s happy living in her one-bedroom apartment, hoping for a raise and a pretty wedding. With her friend along for a while, every moment will be spontaneous. (“I just wanna get in my car/I wanna go fast and I gotta go far/Don't ask me to explain how I feel/Cause I don't want to say where I'm going/Turn down the noise and turn up the volume/Don't have a choice cause the temperatures pounding/Leaving this place is the last thing I do/That I want to escape with a person just like you/I'm so sick and tired of playing this game/We gotta have fun it it's all that we do/Gotta shake up the system and break all the rules/Gotta turn up the radio until the speakers blow.”)


             The chorus is sung twice.


             At the end, she clicks a button, raising the volume and closes her eyes.(“Turn up the radio/Just let me turn up the radio/Just let me turn up the radio.”)


         Madonna’s sheer, simple vocals are out of it, uncomprehending of what’s going on around her. She’s only hearing what she wants at this point. Nothing is going to change her mind. Saying she’s screwing up her life only makes her want to leave more.


           The trivial “Turn Up The Radio” is tuned out, living in its ready made fantasy world where it’s a shining star.


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