February 6th, 2012
10:07 AM ET
Yes, there was a game on last night, but let's focus on the
The 53-year-old trumpeted her nervousness right up to Sunday's anticipated performance, but she didn't make a timid entrance. Cloaked in a gold robe and wearing regal headgear, Madge swept onto the field atop a throne as gladiators led the way.
Madonna had promised a performance without scandal, and for the most part that's what she gave (one of the singer's many guest performers, M.I.A., apparently didn't get the memo).
Running through hits like "Vogue," "Music" and "Like A Prayer" in addition to her new single "Give Me All Your Luvin'" and a little shufflin' with LMFAO, Madge certainly proved her pop star status atop some very tall heels...even if she didn't exactly wow the critics.
"Madonna wasn’t the indefatigable trouper of years past. Though she’s still lithe, she measured her moves, letting her supporting cast offer distractions," said the New York Times in a review. "The bad girl is a grown up now, like it or not."
Indeed, notes the Chicago Tribune, 20 years ago you would've expected it to be Madonna who would have networks issuing apologies over a rude hand gesture, but this time, she left the antics to her guests.
"Madonna has never really been about 'live' performance; her concerts are essentially theatrical exhibitions accompanied by piped in music," the Tribune says, adding that that was the case for the Super Bowl show. The new single "Give Me All Your Luvin'" "just [wasn't] arresting in the way prime Madonna could be," the review continues. "It was the Material Girl who couldn’t deliver the goods."
The Los Angeles Times argues that she did deliver, but on the advertising front for the release of her new album "M.D.N.A." in March.
"Despite its success and extravagance, this whole halftime package most of all was little more than an ingeniously well planned — and shockingly transparent — advertisement for 'M.D.N.A.,' and not much more," the review says. "Talk about marketing to a lot of eyeballs."
The song choices weren't surprising, Time says, "but it all could have been much worse. Have we forgotten the Black Eyed Peas already?"
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