Music Montag: Ballet School vs. Madonna vs. Beyoncé

by James Glazebrook

Since Ballet School dropped this a couple of weeks back, it hasn’t left our virtual turntable: their cover of Madonna’s “Justify My Love” and Beyoncé’s “Partition”. Something of a statement of intent ahead of the band’s US tour, their dream pop mashup of Ms Ciccone’s critically-panned creative peak and undeniable, world-domination Bey comes with good reason. Here’s singer Rosie Blair:

When “Justify My Love” came out, it made perfect sense because it is the sound of the world’s most powerful woman reaching her early thirties sexual peak. Like, it figures. For about five years after this Madonna released nothing but explicitly sexual music and was totally punished for it. She rarely refers to it now but it was the lowest period of her career, critically speaking. Every time she did an interview one of the questions would invariably be “Do you think your career is over?” I mean, how rude. Beyonce’s “Partition” is the same vibe, a woman in her early thirties reaching maximum velocity with her sexuality except this time, Beyonce was critically acclaimed for her work. The juxtaposition between the two songs is one that is just as important for me culturally as it is musically. It makes me think that it’s worth putting your ideas and perspectives out there as a female even if you get a kicking, ’cause there’s always a bigger picture. This is the definition of “influence.”