Pop superstar Madonna's RE-INVENTION tour has been slammed by American critics - for overloading the show with "naive" political statements.

The AMERICAN LIFE singer, 45, kicked off the US leg of her tour in California on Monday (24MAY04) but failed to impress critics with her attempts to "wipe the slate clean" by ditching her trademark raunchy routines.

The LOS ANGELES TIMES sniped, "This promised to be Madonna's tour de force, a reappraisal that put her work in new and revealing contexts. But time and again she fell short of the challenge."

Many critics were unimpressed by the images of the Iraq war, injured civilian children and US soldiers, saying Madonna should look back to her past concert tours for inspiration.

Others suggested her cover of John Lennon classic IMAGINE, throughout which a hard-hitting video featuring Israeli and Palestinian children walking hand in hand was played, was ill-conceived.

The Californian newspaper added, "Madonna traded most of the old sexual teasing for social commentary, and she's no John Lennon, friends."

The NEW YORK TIMES concurred, "Madonna is far too slippery - and far too savvy - for this sort of faux-naive sentimentalism."

Tabloid THE NEW YORK POST added, "Madonna's blonde ambition is fading to bland."

27/05/2004 13:37