YMMV: Madonna

  • Awesome Music:
    • Her hit singles are this. Notable songs include "Like a Prayer", "Love Profusion", "Music", Like a Virgin", "Vogue", "Deeper and Deeper", "Hung Up", "Ray Of Light", "Frozen", and "4 Minutes".
    • Certain album songs equal the quality of her hit singles including "Impressive Instant", "Paradise (Not for Me)", and "Love Spent".
    • Album-wise, Like a Prayer, Ray Of Light, and Confessions on a Dance Floor are considered her finest pieces of work.
  • Broken Base: Those who like Madonna doing dance music or more traditional ballad stuff, also every single era.
    • Erotica is something of a broken base, as the album has a lot of defenders who like to point out how the album got overshadowed by the title track controversy and Madonna's Creator Breakdown.
    • "Hard Candy" is likely the most debated out of her more recent work. Some loving it and others citing it was her all time low.
  • Crazy Awesome: Seriously, Madonna is trope personified.
  • Critical Backlash: Erotica and American Life. Both albums also qualifies for Critical Dissonance.
  • Ear Worm: Considering that she's the Queen of Pop, catchy hooks are expected.
    • Quien es esa nina, who's that girl? Senorita, mas fina, who's that girl?
    • Strike a pose!
    • Like a virgin, touched for the first time~
    • Bang, bang, shot you down!
    • Hey-ey-ey-yey-yey-yey-yey, like a girl gone wild! A good girl gone wild!
    • Music makes the people come together!
    • When you call my name, it's like a little prayer. I'm down on my knees. I wanna take you there! (etc.)
    • Every little thing that you say or do, I'm hung up! I'm hung up on you!
    • Quicker than a ray of light!
    • Holiday! Celebrate!
    • You know that we are living in a material world, and I am a material girl...
    • I can't help falling in love, I fall deeper and deeper the further I go~
    • You got to- get into the groove! Boy, you got to prove! Your love to me~! Yeah!
    • And we can do drugs and we can smoke weed and we can drink whiskey, yeah, we can get high and we can get stoned. And we can sniff glue and we can do E and we can drop acid, forever be lost with no way home.
  • Ensemble Darksong:
    • "Gang Bang" gained popularity due to its Refuge in Audacity violent nature.
    • The last three songs on the standard edition of MDNA ("Love Spent", "Masterpiece", and "Falling Free") were the most critically-acclaimed songs on the album. It helps that they were produced by William Orbit, who also produced Ray of Light.
    • "Impressive Instant", which almost because the fourth single for Music.
  • Epic Riff/Throw It In: The opening riff from "Like A Prayer" was performed by Prince, who literally made it up on the spot.
  • Fetish Retardant: The video for "Human Nature". Also, the video for "Die Another Day".
    • However "Human Nature" was already kinda tongue and cheek
    • If "Where Life Begins" was trying to be a sexy tribute to cunnilingus, it failed hard. It sounds like an advert for KFC.
  • Growing the Beard: "Live To Tell" is generally considered the turning point in Madonna's career, as it was the song that had her go from a mall rat teenybopper that critics loathed, to a young adult who was capable of singing soulful ballads about serious issues of human survival and courage.
  • She Really Can Act: Maybe this trope's title is taking it too far, but even the most virulent critics of her acting would agree that she's done a decent job in a few of her movies—Desperately Seeking Susan, A League of Their Own, Dick Tracy, Evita. To the point where she won a Golden Globe and there was serious buzz about the possibility of an Oscar nomination.
    • "Who's That Girl" is an interesting case in that despite being a bomb and critical failure, her comedic timing was one of the few things praised.
  • Memetic Sex Goddess: The page quote is even a song which Robbie Williams wrote after talking with Guy Ritchie's ex-girlfriend, stating that he left her by saying "Look, you know I really love you, but she's Madonna."
  • Misaimed Fandom: "Material Girl" is actually a Stealth Parody.
  • Narm: "Where Life Begins", a tacky ode to cunnilingus which sounds more like an advert for KFC. She even says "finger lickin' good" at one point in the song.
  • Never Live It Down: Her baffling attempt to take on a British accent during her marriage to Guy Ritchie, as if people would just forget she was an extremely famous American.
  • Nightmare Face/Uncanny Valley: The "Nobody Knows Me" interlude in the MDNA Tour. It's essentially Madonna with snippets of people's faces superimposed onto her own, in addition to scribbles that make Madonna's face look skull-like. The results are unsettling, to say the least.
  • Sampled Up:
    • The Lenny Kravitz-penned "Justify My Love" was based around a sample of Public Enemy's interlude "Security of the First World". A reviewer believed that Insane Clown Posse sampled the Madonna song in ICP's "Bowling Balls", rather than the Public Enemy interlude.
    • "Hung Up" samples a riff from ABBA's "Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man after Midnight)" — a rare honor from a band not known for allowing other artists to use their work.
  • Signature Song: A lot of candidates, including "Like a Virgin", "Material Girl", "Like a Prayer", "Vogue", "Ray of Light", and "Music". She ranks among the few musical artists and bands who are famous on their own and not solely as "the guys who did that one song", though.
  • Squick: Certain things from the Sex book - like say, the image of Madonna being fondled by an unattractive and elderly man. Also, the book features analingus.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: True Blue, which grew the beard compared to her earlier output.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: "Amazing" and "I'm a Sinner" have been criticized for being too similar to "Beautiful Stranger".
    • "Has To Be", a B-side to the "Ray Of Light" single, sounds similar to Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" but at a slower tempo.
    • "Material Girl"'s synthesizer melody is based on the vocal melody of "The Name Game" by Shirley Ellis.
    • The "We can run, we can hide..." part of "Devil Pray" sounds a hell of a lot like Pinkzebra's "Larger Than Life".
  • Tear Jerker: "Oh Father", "This Used To Be My Playground", "Live To Tell", "Take A Bow", and "Promise to Try".
    • "Falling Free" made many a fan cry. Especially near the end, when she sounds like she's on the verge of tears.
    • An overlooked one due to falling on American Life, but X-Static Process seems to tell of Madonna having an existential crisis and speaks to moments of having doubts when you're alone or comparing yourself to others.
    • "I Fucked Up" has a sad and bitter vibe. Especially the part where she listens how things could have been.
    • And now, with the death of the last actress on the "Vogue" list (Lauren Bacall, August 12, 2014), you'll never listen to that song in the same way again.
    • "Joan of Arc" has so much of this with Madonna sounding desperate for comfort from a world of cruel press.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Subverted in that Madonna is an artist who has made her career on successfully reinventing her image and sound over and over again.
    • Then again, there are a lot of people who whould debate her success in reinventing herself over and over again as well, with some going so far as to thinking of her as a relic of the past desperately trying to stay relevant in the modern music world. Opinions wildly differ whether she is still actually successful or not.
  • "Weird Al" Effect: Her cover of Don McLean's American Pie came out at the same time "Weird Al" Yankovic's parody of the original, "The Saga Begins," was on heavy rotation on Radio Disney, prompting many children to complain about Madonna doing an unfunny version of a Werid Al song.