Last week was a big one in the pop world, said Neil McCormick in The Daily Telegraph.
On 13 October, a concert film of the most popular female artist of her generation, Taylor Swift, opened in cinemas around the world. Only a day later, the best-selling female recording artist of all time, Madonna, launched her postponed Celebration tour in London, "kicking off a 78-date global trot that will see her perform to over a million fans".
At 33, Swift is almost half Madonna's age, yet like Lady Gaga and almost every other modern female artist, she owes a huge debt to the older singer. Madonna was "really the first female global superstar". With her catalogue of monster hits, her influence on dance and fashion, her constant image reinventions and defiance of norms, the "Queen of Pop" paved the way for a host of others to follow.
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'Onstage smut and snogging'
I was among the faithful at London's O2 Arena for Madonna's concert, said Sarah Vine in the Daily Mail – and great fun it was. The place was a "sea of lace fingerless gloves and giant crucifixes", leather jackets, white tulle and conical bras. The audience loved the songs and the costumes and the nostalgia, but there was something "slightly embarrassing" about the "onstage smut and snogging".
Does Madonna really need to keep trying to prove how "edgy" she is, by writhing about on beds and cavorting with oiled-up and topless dancers? Now that she's a grown woman and a "global icon", rather than a boundary-breaking young artist, can't she move on and start acting more her own age?
'Still got the chutzpah'
Madonna could have taken "the Barbra Streisand route and headed towards intimate cabaret performances for her loyal fans", said Will Hodgkinson in The Sunday Times. Instead, she's sticking unashamedly to her formula. And since she can still carry it off, vocally and physically, why not?
Quite, said Eleanor Mills in The Independent. The Rolling Stones are still prancing about in tight leather trousers in their 80s and nobody is telling them to "grow up". Madonna has always loved outraging people. If she's "still got the chutzpah and the stamina to raise the roof" at the relatively tender age of 65, good luck to her.
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