Of all the things I could admire her for in the video for "Celebration," ultimately I admired Madonna for managing not to flash her lady business while wearing a dress so short God and country could she what she's got going on up there.
Granted, it's clear a little bit into the clip there's some good photoshopping going on and some black panties, but that was my take away from my first viewing. That and the fact that she's wearing magnificent Christian Louboutin boots. Whoever in his company decided that his shoes would always have red soles so they're instantly recognizable was a genius.
But back to the video, which is available for free download at iTunes now through the end of Sept. 2.
Madge is getting the party started as she dances alone in the aforementioned boots and a short, short mini-dress that looks like something straight out of an Andy Warhol party from the '60s. (Do you think it's on purpose that her much-maligned, veiny arms are covered up?).
Her contortions against a white and then black screen are intercut with various male dancers of different ethnicities (The dancers are the back up dancers from her "Sticky & Sweet" tour) popping and locking in very retro dance moves. It's so retro that I somewhat expected Re-Run from "What's Happening" to show up at any moment... and kind of wish he had.
Directed by Jonas Akerlund, who also directed "Ray of Light," the video uses quick cuts to create jerky movements (somewhat similar to "Ray of Light"). It's a visual feast, sparse yet compelling, nonetheless.
The twist here is that despite Madonna's constant exhortations to "join the party" in the upbeat dance track, she never manages to get to her own celebration. She drops in on the DJ, played by her current boy toy Jesus Luz, but in the group dance scene in the end, which the previously solo dancers have joined, Madonna is nowhere to be found.
That could be that just like being a member of Menudo or the Mickey Mouse Club, she's aged out of getting into the club. All the kids there are young enough to be her children. In fact, one of them is! Look for her daughter Lourdes in the final group sequence as the girl in the polka-dotted top, who goes into the worm. Go Lourdes! Go Lourdes!
In the end, a prisoner in her own little white room (There's no indication that Lady M even wants to join the club kids so I just made that part up to keep myself interested) Madonna slowly collapses like a wind-up doll as the song ends. Party over.