"Linda Ronstadt is a genius. Few other artists have successfully explored as many genres as she, from here very popular though perhaps slightly pedestrian rock hits in the '70s and early '802, through bluegrass, Mexican, Cajun and Latin jazz, kids lullabies, big ballads, bid band, the woman can not only master anything but - although she chooses to record very infrequently these days, she also improves indisputably with age.So, my bias is, I am a fan.That aside, this 1980 album was a major change of pace for Linda and one which still sounds incredibly fresh today. I really like her working of Neil Young's "Look Out For My Love", and the songs "Cost of Love" and "Can't Let Go". You don't need to be a student or even particularly a fan of New Wave to enjoy this great little album. I know Linda has definitely moved away from this type of music now, and who can begrude such a talented lady wanting to constantly progress and evolve artistically (particularly when that evolution includes gems such as the uptempo "Frenesi" album, the first of the two Trio albums, and the wonderfully moving '99 duo album with Emmylou Harris), but still it seems a shame that she didn't make at least one more New Wave album like "Mad Love"."
Holds up better than you'd expect
Scott A. Humphries | 06/20/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Linda Ronstadt caught a lot of flack with this album for daring to jump on the punk/new wave bandwagon in the 80's, but for all that, this album stands up better than many others from that era. For one thing, Ronstadt has talent, something most of the other acts from that time were lacking. Granted, the title song is bombastic overkill and Elvis Costello's "Talking in the Dark" is a throwaway. But her take on his "Party Girl" is powerful and "Girls Talk" is as terrific as Dave Edmonds version. "How Do I Make You" is awesome: a very convincingly hard-edged rocker. She also puts an edgy spin on her remakes of The Hollies "Can't Let Go" and Little Anthony and the Imperials "Hurts So Bad" that, in my opinion, top the originals. It probably was wrong for this album to get tagged as punk when really its your basic power pop, done with the same taste and professionalism Ronstadt has shown thoughout her career."
Without a doubt- her hardest rocking album
K. Cooper | Phila. area | 03/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In a long career filled with many styles and many CDs, this is her hardest rocking album. It was 1980 and new wave was popular and for this album, they tried a harder rocking peppier style. Linda even covered Elvis Costello's "Girls Talk" (very well).. The style fits like a glove on the title track, "How Do I Make You" , and the other songs. She would soon be off into standards and Mexican songs and this is the ONLY one of its kind. Wish she had made more like this! I'd buy a "Mad Love 2"."
Linda goes New Wave
Paul D. Rasmussen Jr. | Pittsburgh PA, United States | 07/06/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"She got some fairly bad reviews for Mad Love as I recall. It doesn't matter. This is a great CD to take in Ronstadt's immense range. She does a beautiful job with all the material, much of it ear candy. My faves: "Girl Talk", "Look Out For My Love" and "I Can't Let Go". If you enjoy the writing of Elvis Costello and Neil Young, the backing vocals of Nicollette Larson and the genius of Peter Asher, this is your kind of music."
It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad (Love) World
P. Thomas | Koreatown-LA, CA United States | 03/04/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With apologies to the reviewer who apparently woke up to find a lump of coal in his/her stocking one Xmas morning and decided to take it out on Linda, the girl rocks the house with this effort. I was in high school when this came out and I really only knew Linda from "When Will I Be Loved?" back when it was repeatedly blaring out over the beach a few summers earlier. Flash forward a few years and I can hear her saying, "hey that New Wave sounds fun, let's make that the next album." In terms of the Mad Love cd, I remember one reviewer writing something like "As frustrating as it may be to Pat Benatar as pretender to the throne, it's Linda Ronstadt who has the chops to be the Queen of Rock." No, not Courtney Love rocks, not Sleater Kinney rocks, but a great shimmy-shimmy-cocoa-puff-power-pop-with-an edge rocks here. I love the infectious energy in most of the up-tempo tracks like "How Do I Make You?" and "Justine" and "I Can't Let Go" and yet they contrast so well with the aching ballads like "Hurt So Bad" and the Elvis Costello cover "Party Girl". We are blessed in that Linda's love of many different types of music, coupled with that amazing VOICE, have allowed us all to reap the rewards, year after year."