Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Material Girl: RPO Plays Music of Madonna

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The Royal Philharmonic playing Madonna. Sounds like a hoot, right? Wrong. It's soulless and dry as a bone. No humor, no clever renditions -- they just play it straight, and it's positively coma-inducing. It's elevator music, the stuff they put you on hold with. The arrangements are exact copies of Madonna's, which is fine for pop, but head-scratching for pop-as-classical. It's not cheeky enough to be a parody, and not clever enough to be classy. It's simply bizarre.

"Papa Don't Preach" is completely robbed of its earnestness. The melody of "Like a Prayer" is played by a trumpet, of all things. "This Used to be my Playground" kind of works, mainly because it was orchestrated to begin with. "Into the Groove" is just weird.

This album is sure to appall Madonna fans and classical fans alike. It's good for some kitsch value, but little else.

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