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Old 03-21-2007, 11:22 PM   #1
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Rating and Raking Madonna's albums

As all of you know, the best slogan that Madonna deserves is "love it or leave it". That means that she still divides the world in two between those that like her work or those thar find her funny for the things she does and those that hate her till death do them part.

Madonna's name has occured few times in some Interference forums, but only few users have talked openly about her and show to know her work enough well.

With this thread I want you to rate her albums (10 to "the best album ever made in the world" and 0.1 to "the worst piece of crap anyone has ever released") giving it a note and, if possible, raking it.

I appeal for if the case when you don't know the album enough well (for instance, when you only know the hit singles), it's preferable no to rate it than to be imparcial.

I'm gonna give some help by giving some info about her discography:

MADONNA / THE FIRST ALBUM (July 1983)
singles: "Everybody", "Burning Up", "Holiday", "Lucky star", "Borderline"

LIKE A VIRGIN (November 1984)
singles: "Like a virgin", "Material girl", "Into the groove"*, "Angel", "Dress you up"

TRUE BLUE (June 1986)
singles: "Live To Tell", "Papa don't preach", "True blue", "Open your heart", "La isla bonita"

YOU CAN DANCE (November 1987)
* compilation of dance remixes of some hits in continuous mode
singles: "Spotlight" (Japan only)

LIKE A PRAYER (March 1989)
singles: "Like a prayer", "Express yourself", "Cherish", "Oh Father", "Dear Jessie", "Keep it together"

I'M BREATHLESS: music from and inspired by the film "Dick Tracy" (May 1990)
singles: "Vogue", "Hanky panky"

THE IMMACULATE COLLECTION (November 1990)
* the first compilation of hit singles (15 hits + 2 new tracks)
singles: "Justify my love", "Rescue me" (the two new tracks)

EROTICA (October 1992)
singles: "Erotica", "Deeper and deeper", "Bad girl", "Fever", "Rain", "Bye bye baby"

BEDTIME STORIES (October 1994)
singles: "Secret", "Take a bow", "Human nature", "Bedtime story"

SOMETHING TO REMEMBER (November 1995)
* compilation of ballads: includes for the first time in a LP previous hit singles like "This used to be my playground", "I'll remember" and "Crazy for you" (already included in The Immaculate Collection)
singles: "You'll see", "One more chance", "Love don't live here anymore", "I want you" (w/ Massive Attack)*

EVITA: music from the motion picture (October 1996)
singles: "You must love me", "Don't cry for me Argentina", "Buenos Aires", "Another suitcase in another hall"

RAY OF LIGHT (February 1998)
singles: "Frozen", "Ray of light", "Drowned world / Substitute for love", "The power of good-bye", "Nothing really matters"

MUSIC (September 2000)
singles: "American pie" (cover already released as a single for "The Next Best Thing" soundtrack", "Music", "Don't tell me", "What it feels like for a girl"

GREATEST HITS VOLUME 2 (November 2001)
* compilation of hit singles that included for the first time in an LP "Beautiful stranger", but dismissed some hit singles like The Immaculate Collection had already done before
* no singles released

AMERICAN LIFE (April 2003)
singles: "Die another day" (already released as a single a few months before for the 007 soundtrack), "American life", "Hollywood", "Nothing fails", "Love profusion"

CONFESSIONS ON A DANCEFLOOR (November 2005)
singles: "Hung up", "Sorry", "Get together", "Jump"

I'M GOING TO TELL YOU A SECRET [CD version - audio cut from some live performances] (June 2006)

THE CONFESSIONS TOUR [CD version - audio cut from some live performances] (January 2007)



I didn't include Who's That Girl? because in 9 songs, Madonna only sings 4 (I never understood why it's always listed as a Madonna album). I didn't include too the EP "Remixed & Revisited".
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Old 03-22-2007, 12:22 AM   #2
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Re: Rating and Raking Madonna's albums

Quote:
Originally posted by Aygo
As all of you know, the best slogan that Madonna deserves is "love it or leave it". That means that she still divides the world in two between those that like her work or those thar find her funny for the things she does and those that hate her till death do them part.

Madonna's name has occured few times in some Interference forums, but only few users have talked openly about her and show to know her work enough well.

With this thread I want you to rate her albums (10 to "the best album ever made in the world" and 0.1 to "the worst piece of crap anyone has ever released") giving it a note and, if possible, raking it.

I appeal for if the case when you don't know the album enough well (for instance, when you only know the hit singles), it's preferable no to rate it than to be imparcial.

I'm gonna give some help by giving some info about her discography:

MADONNA / THE FIRST ALBUM (July 1983)
singles: "Everybody", "Burning Up", "Holiday", "Lucky star", "Borderline"

LIKE A VIRGIN (November 1984)
singles: "Like a virgin", "Material girl", "Into the groove"*, "Angel", "Dress you up"

TRUE BLUE (June 1986)
singles: "Live To Tell", "Papa don't preach", "True blue", "Open your heart", "La isla bonita"

YOU CAN DANCE (November 1987)
* compilation of dance remixes of some hits in continuous mode
singles: "Spotlight" (Japan only)

LIKE A PRAYER (March 1989)
singles: "Like a prayer", "Express yourself", "Cherish", "Oh Father", "Dear Jessie", "Keep it together"

I'M BREATHLESS: music from and inspired by the film "Dick Tracy" (May 1990)
singles: "Vogue", "Hanky panky"

THE IMMACULATE COLLECTION (November 1990)
singles: "Justify my love", "Rescue me" (the two new tracks)

EROTICA (October 1992)
singles: "Erotica", "Deeper and deeper", "Bad girl", "Fever", "Rain", "Bye bye baby"

BEDTIME STORIES (October 1994)
singles: "Secret", "Take a bow", "Human nature", "Bedtime story"

SOMETHING TO REMEMBER (November 1995)
* compilation of ballads: includes for the first time in a LP hit singles like "This used to be my playground", "I'll remember" and "Crazy for you" (already included in The Immaculate Collection)
singles: "You'll see", "One more chance", "Love don't live here anymore", "I want you" (w/ Massive Attack)*

EVITA: music from the motion picture (October 1996)
singles: "You must love me", "Don't cry for me Argentina", "Buenos Aires", "Another suitcase in another hall"

RAY OF LIGHT (February 1998)
singles: "Frozen", "Ray of light", "Drowned world / Substitute for love", "The power of good-bye", "Nothing really matters"

MUSIC (September 2000)
singles: "American pie" (cover already released as a single for "The Next Best Thing" soundtrack", "Music", "Don't tell me", "What it feels like for a girl"

GREATEST HITS VOLUME 2 (November 2001)
* compilation of hit singles that included for the first time in an LP "Beautiful stranger", but dismissed some hit singles like The Immaculate Collection had already done before
* no singles released

AMERICAN LIFE (April 2003)
singles: "Die another day" (already released as a single a few months before for the 007 soundtrack), "American life", "Hollywood", "Nothing fails", "Love profusion"

CONFESSIONS ON A DANCEFLOOR (November 2005)
singles: "Hung up", "Sorry", "Get together", "Jump"

I'M GOING TO TELL YOU A SECRET [audio cut from some live performances] (June 2006)

THE CONFESSIONS TOUR [audio cut from some live performances] (January 2007)



I didn't include Who's That Girl? because in 9 songs, Madonna only sings 4 (I never understood why it's always listed as a Madonna album). I didn't include too the EP "Remixed & Revisited".
8.. Madonna. A terrifc pop debut album. It was a dance mix from start to finish. It came off as original, fun, and almost daring.
Standouts for me are "Burning Up", "Holiday", "I Know It", "Lucky Star", etc.If you compare it to the debut album for today's pop artists they look utter shite next to this.

9. Like A Virgin- Madonna stepped it up in terms of more control in writing lyrics and vocals ("Like A Virgin" and "Material Girl" do not reflect this, but they're brilliant pop songs) She showed her vocal chops on "Love Don't Live Here Anymore", and the emotion showed. I love "Over and Over" as well, a great message and showed Madonna wasn't going to be pushed down or looked at as some silly little pop star. This one's a classic.

7. True Blue- The title track is fun and a great tribut e to her th en husband Sean Penn. "White Heat" was her best dance song to date and the dialogue from the movie was a brilliant add-on. "Open Your Heart" is fun, and "Papa Don't Preach" showed her tackling a bigger issue, namely abortion. "Love Makes The World Go Round" was a great way to tackle peace, in a fun way. "Live To Tell" is STiLL her most brilliant song. The vocals, the lyrics, the message are timeless and stunning. I'm not crazy about the rest of the songs, but they're fun.

3. You Can Dance-I just don't like re-mixes. I do love that it had "Into The Groove" though.

9.5. Like A Prayer-Madonna's first masterpiece. She really started showing her chops as a lyricist. The title track gave us a song mixing religion and sexual ecstasy. Gorgeous, and often used Biblically. The video is still the best of all time , and ahead of its time. It's completely misinterpreted. The raw emotion and passion in "Oh Father" and "Promise To Try" show how the death of her mother and the lack of love from her father affected her. "Spanish Eyes" is a great track showing both doubt, and a plea for peace. "Till Death Do Us Part" would have been better as a ballad with those serious lyrics, but I still love it. Clearly, the divorce was tearing her up. "Express Yourself" was a brilliant anthem of female empowerment. "Love Song" had that dark, love quality and I'm one of the few that loved it. "Cherish" was just adorable, and reminiscent of a 60s pop song but with that Madonna oomph!. "Act of Contrition" is not one of my favs.

7. I'm Breathless-She brought back the 40s vibe long before Christina. I'm not crazy about many of the songs, but it's got "Vogue". That song is pure genius from start to finish.

6. The Immaculate Collection-I loved every song on it, but I wish there were more. "Justify My Love" is sexy, and bold. "Rescue Me' sounded like nothing she'd done, and I loved it.

9. Erotica-I absolutely love it. Yet another masterpiece! I stupidly thought it was about sex alone, and I avoided it for awhile. However, it contained the essence of what she was going through in the press with "Bad Girl". I think that sums up what she was feeling at the time, along with "Words". I think "Rain" is one of the most beautiful romance ballads of all time. "Waiting" and "Bye Bye Baby" were sassy yet showed pain at the same time. "Thief of Hearts" was a lot better than it gets credit for, and says something. "Secret Garden" was unique and sort of dark at the same time, I loved the mix of talking and soft vocals. "Fever" is still my favorite version of that song. I love the vocals. "Erotica" is not a song I'm crazy about, neither is "Where Life Begins". "Deeper and Deeper" was full of pain and confusion. "In This Life" is heartbreaking showing the pain of losing friends from AIDS. Her skills as a vocalist and lyricist continued to grow

9. Bedtime Stories- It was the softer side of Madonna with a heavy R&B influence. The title track had that Bjork influence, that was great. "Forbidden Love", "Love Tried To Welcome Me", "Inside of Me" and especially "Take A Bow" are some of the best ballads of her career. I hate "Human Nature" which puts me in the minority. "Survival" is not a fav. but tolerable. I think the music bothers me. "Secret" has that great message of loving yourself. "Don't Stop" was a hot slower dance grind. "Sanctuary" was dark and brilliant. It would get a 10 if "HN" and "Survival" had been replaced with their much better unreleased counterparts "Your Honesty" and "Let Down Your Guard."

8.5 Something To Remember-I wish it would have been all original ballads, However it did include "This Used To Be My Playground" which is one of my favorites. It's criminally underrated. "One More Chance" is just hauntingly beautiful. "You'll See" is a great companion to "Take A Bow" from "Bedtime Stories" I love the backing music from Massive Attack on "I Want You" "I'll Remember" is a great song too, it reminds me of high schoo. memories. I like the older vibe of the title track.

7. Evita-I don't care for many of the songs aside from "Don't Cry For Me Argentina. It gets a high rating because of the stunning vocals.

10. Ray of Light- With the exception of "Shanti" an absolute masterpiece. The themes of redemption "Swim", the trappings of fame, "Drowned World/Substitute For Love", Parenthood, "Little Star", Enlightenment, "Ray of Light", "Sky Fits Heaven", Loss and Longing "Frozen", "The Power of Good-Bye", " etc. it was genius. Lyrically and vocally, Lady M at the top of her game.

8. Music- A return to the "fun" Madonna with the title track. "What It Feels Like For A Girl" is a song every young woman needs to hear. It's one of my favorites. "Gone" and "I Deserve It" are beautiful vocals and lyrics. I love her acoustically. "Runaway Lover" and "Impressive Instant" had a great electronic vibe and great lyrics. "Amazing" was a great pop vocal. "Nobody's Perfect" had a great message and beautiful lyrics. I love the country vibe of "Don't Tell Me"

5. GHV2- I was pretty disappointed in this one. I hated all the radio edits as opposed to full versions, and it should have had more songs. However it did have "Beautiful Stranger" so it gets major props for that.

10. American Life- Another masterpiece. It was ahead of his time. I loved the statement of the title track and the trappings of fame on "Hollywood". "Die Another Day" is a great one, absolutely kick-ass. I loved the acoustic feel of "Love Profusion, and the unique lyrics. "Intervention" had a beautiful ambiguous message and once again great lyrics. "Nothing Fails" is one of my top Madonna songs. It's a beautiful, acoustic love song with brilliant lyrics and I love the choir. "Easy Ride" and "Nobody Knows Me" had that awesome, intangible, confident Madonna vibe. I thought "Mother and Father" was a great way to combine and go in a different musical direction from her previous parental songs. I thought "I'm So Stupid" was a great look-back and and a way of owning up to previous behavior.

9. Confessions On A Dance Floor- With the exception of the lyrical mess of "I Love New York" a brilliant dance album from start to finish. "Issac" has stunning lyrics and I love the spirituality. Once again the fleeting nature of fame and fortune came through on "Let It Will Be" and "How High" "Like It Or Not" was a great message to all those who hate her about her willingness to be who she is regardless of public opinion. "Push" is one of my favorites and could be addressed to anyone who keeps us going in life. "Jump" had a great message about taking risks. I love "Forbidden Love" It's so different lyrically and vocally from the "Bedtime Stories" song, and it's one of my favs. on the album. "Hung Up", "Get Together" and "Sorry" are the trifecta of perfect pop/dance songs. "Future Lover" is different and I love the lyrics, especially the spoken intro.

All in all, Madonna has had a brilliant career and in many instances is terribly underrated as a vocalist, and lyricist.
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Old 03-22-2007, 12:30 AM   #3
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It's been AGES since I've heard anything but the hits off her earlier albums. I remember liking Bedtime Stories quite a bit, but for some reason I don't have it anymore.

American Life did nothing for me at first, but it's really started to grow on me.

Like a Prayer is amazing, as are Ray of Light and Confessions On a Dance Floor.

And I can't even tell you how in love with the Confessions Tour CD/DVD I am.

I also really love Evita - my good friend and I saw it multiple times in the theaters when it came out. But Antonio Banderas was a big reason for that. But I still sing along with it all the time.

"I'm ... their ... SAVIOR! That's what they call me! So Lauren Bacall me! Anything goes ... I have to be dazzling! I have to be RAINBOOOOOW HIIIIIIGH!!!!!"

I'm going to have to put the other Madonna CDs I don't have on my wish list and pick them up used one of these days.
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Old 03-22-2007, 03:22 AM   #4
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I'm a fairly casual fan of Madonna and haven't got any of her 80s albums. The Immaculate Collection though is pure pop genius,

I really like Ray of Light, though to be honest personally I've always found Madonna's soul-baring and attempts at being "deep" rather hollow and unconvincing. I just always have a feeling that she's trying to show what she hasn't really got (as an artist, obviously, not as a person). Still, a great album. Really like Music too.

I thought that American Life was pretty much rubbish; kinda like Music Part II without any memorable songs bar Nothing Fails. And don't start me on that wretched Bond theme, But Confessions on A Dance Floor is fantastic IMO, brilliant party album from start to finish. Great for parties.
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Old 03-22-2007, 11:21 AM   #5
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Yeah, "Die Another Day" is pretty crummy.

And honestly, that rapping bit in "American Life" is embarrassing. But the rest of the song is awesome enough to make up for it.
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Old 03-22-2007, 12:43 PM   #6
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Ray Of Light is easily her best album all the way through.
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Old 03-22-2007, 02:21 PM   #7
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MADONNA / THE FIRST ALBUM (July 1983) --- 8.5

LIKE A VIRGIN (November 1984) --- 8


TRUE BLUE (June 1986) --- 8

YOU CAN DANCE (November 1987) --- 6.5


LIKE A PRAYER (March 1989) --- 10

I'M BREATHLESS: music from and inspired by the film "Dick Tracy" (May 1990) --- 5.5


THE IMMACULATE COLLECTION (November 1990) --- 10

EROTICA (October 1992) --- 9

BEDTIME STORIES (October 1994) --- 9


SOMETHING TO REMEMBER (November 1995) --- 7.5


EVITA: music from the motion picture (October 1996) --- 9


RAY OF LIGHT (February 1998) --- 10

MUSIC (September 2000) --- 10

GREATEST HITS VOLUME 2 (November 2001) --- 10


AMERICAN LIFE (April 2003) ---
"American Life" is probably the most difficult to judge. If it was a different music artist other than Madonna talking about fame and fortune, people would have accepted it a lot more. Also, if the "Thin White Duck Mix" of the song "Hollywood" had been the first single, I think it would have been a massive success. It's also funny how Madonna, the Dixie Chicks, and other artists got so much crap for their political statements at the time, but a band like Green Day did the same exact thing with "American Idiot" a year later yet they were acclaimed for it.

CONFESSIONS ON A DANCEFLOOR (November 2005) --- 10

I'M GOING TO TELL YOU A SECRET [CD version - audio cut from some live performances] (June 2006) --- 8.5

THE CONFESSIONS TOUR [CD version - audio cut from some live performances] (January 2007) --- 10
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Old 03-23-2007, 12:04 AM   #8
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Well, I opened the thread, so now it's my turn...

MADONNA / THE FIRST ALBUM ( 6.8/10 )

For a first album that came from a girl that used to dance in gay clubs and that musical experience was only some NY bands as a drummer and rhythm guitar, the album is okay. Produced by John "Jellybean" Benitez and Reggie Lucas, this is a good effort. The lyrics are very "pop", the songs very simple, but for those that always liked the disco sound of the late 70's / early 80's, this album has some great tunes, maybe a musthave. The best tracks are the singles, and I'd add the groovy "Physical attraction", but my fav ones are the catchiest "Everybody" (her first single, released a year before the album) and "Holiday". On the other hand "I know it" and "Think of me" are the worse ones.


LIKE A VIRGIN ( 6.0/10 )

Ok, this album established Madonna as an icon and it's one of the most sold recores, but... this album is very weak. I'd dare to say that this as weak as the first Britney Spears' albums. It seems to me that at the time, Nile Rogers made a better production job with David Bowie than he did with Madonna. "Shoo-be-doo" and "Pretender" are very very weak tracks, with very simple instrumental and chewing-gum lyrics; I dismiss them. Yeah, the title track, "Material girl" and "Into the groove" are very poppy too, but these songs are icons like Madonna is and the pop music scene wouldn't be the same without these tunes. Plus, these are the songs that make the album worthy. The difference between Like A Virgin and The First Album is that the first releasement has more charisma, more cohesive and the songs work better. My favourite song on the album is "Dress you up".


TRUE BLUE ( 7.2/10 )

Outselling Like A Virgin and estabilishing itself as Madonna's most sold album (of originals, The Immaculate Collection is Madonna's best-seller), this is definitely an improvement from its predecessors. The album still has got a very teenage-pop-radiofrendly sound, but all the songs - with no exception - are much better produced, better conceived, she wrote better lyrics that deal with new themes. "True blue", "Love makes the world go round" and "White heat" are very good pop tracks ("Papa don't preach" is just great!...). However, nothing erases the charisma of the latino-guitar "La isla bonita" (which doesn't mean that it's amongst my favourite songs) and the attitude of "Live to tell". I dare to say that "Live to tell" is probably Madonna's best ballad and one of the best singles of the 1980's. Nobody knows what these song is really about (some claim that it's about abortion, others say that it's about hiding AIDS), but Madonna gave it recently a new meaning. This was Madonna's first attempt to distance herself slowly from the teenage idol image, searching influences in the 1950's fashion and in Betty Boop dool.


YOU CAN DANCE ( 5.8/10 )

It's not that this album is bad, which is not. But... these are songs that people already knew, they're only remixed and printed in continous mode (curiously just like Madonna's latest album), plus instrumental dub versions of 3 tracks. The positive thing in the album is that the money raised with sales (1M) were for charity and that the album can addict those who like this genre because of its continuity. The new track, "Spotlight", is nice, it's an outtake from True Blue.


LIKE A PRAYER ( 8.4/10 )

Madonna's second attempt to distance herself from the teenage idol image. It worked. Madonna added burning crosses, verbal fights with the Pope, kisses with a black saint, feminism and personal (family) controversy to make the things work out. What's true is that the album was very well received at the time and that I consider it one of Madonna's masterpieces and one of the best popmusic albums of the last 25 years.
"Like a prayer": forget that crappy remix you use to listen on the radio (included in the first compilation), because the album/video version is just great. With "Express yourself" it's the inverse: it sucks on the album but the radio/video version is awesome. "Dear Jessie" brings some Sgt. Peppers' memories sometimes because of its arrangement, "Pray for spanish eyes" is beautiful too, but my favourite Madonna song ever is "Oh Father". I have to admit that it's one of the few songs that can really make me cry some teardrops (the promotional video helps too, David Fincher made a great job). It's Madonna's first really mature album that even deals with physical violence ("Till death do us part"), refering herself to the then-recent divorce with Sean Penn. It's probably her most personal album.
Honorable mentions to "Love song" with Prince (very good song too) and to "Act of Contrition" that it's a very funny/serious way to end the album and to lead back again to thr first track.


I'M BREATHLESS ( 8.5/10 )

You liked Christina Aguilera's latest album, Back To Basics? If so, forget it, you'll love this - much better - 1990 releasement. 3 of the tracks come from the "Dick Tracy" movie, the other 9 were "inpired by the film". This was the first time that Madonna proved that she was not that bad singer. You don't believe in it? Take a listen to Madonna's vibrattos and good vocal skills, specially in tracks like "Hanky panky", "More", "He's a man", "Sooner or later". Just two curiosities: Breathless refers to Madonna's character, Breathless Mahoney. "Vogue" was supposed to be a b-side of the "Keep it together" single, but the track was so good and fit in this album that it was decided to save it. It is one of Madonna's biggest hits today.
The styles goes around the 1940's, and we can hear lots of jazz, some rare blues, Broadway-style mainly.


THE IMMACULATE COLLECTION ( 8.1/10 )

This is Madonna's best-selling album and it's always listed in the charts of the best-selling albums ever by anartist. I just have to say that it's the perfect hits compilation if you want to start to discover Madonna's work and if, at present, you just hate her. It worked with me, believe me. I only think the album missed some 1980's hits like "Who's that girl?", "True blue", "Dress you up", "Everybody" and that some remixes were unnecessary (I prefer the album edits). The new tracks are the cherry in the cake: "Rescue me" is a good dance track (similar to "Vogue") and "Justify my love" (co-written with Lenny Kravitz) was totaly innovative at the time and the sexual controversy around the video helped a lot to push it to #1.


EROTICA ( 8.6/10 )

Madonna has got a couple of albums in her catalogue that are unfairly underrated and bashed by critics at the time. Erotica is the first one of them. This is an album that suffered with the choking "sexual campaign" Madonna made at the time. First the quickselling "Sex" book, then the poor "Body Of Evidence" movie. It's has a great production job, it's innovative and it succeded in a perfect way the how to fuse in a perfect way such distinct genres like Jazz, Dance music, Hip-hop and pop. "Erotica" is a fucking great song and it wouldn't be such a great track if Madonna was not moaning and whispering/rapping all the time. "Deeper and deeper" is reminiscent of "Vogue" but deals with homossexuality. IMO, the best tracks are the superb final track "Secret garden" and the hit single "Rain". "Bad girl" is very good too and the video is awesome. I'd only dismiss "Waiting" (and it's "Did you do it?" version) and would improve "Thief of hearts". "Where life begins" is very... metaphoric. The curiosity: the "Fever" cover was not supposed to get in the album; Madonna started to improvise, singing the lyrics, and it worked well...


BEDTIME STORIES ( 8.0/10 )

Another great album that sold less than what was expected, although it was generally well received. You know what? With the hype that Hiphop and R&B gets today, this album would sell like hotcakes if it was released in 2007. The R&B style is present from the beggining 'till the end - that's probably what can make the album tiring for some, specially if you're used to have different styles in a Madonna album. The best tracks are the lead-single "Secret", "Forbidden love" and "Sanctuary". I would include "Take a bow", but this song is tiring for the number of times the chorus is sung.
However... my fav track is the title track, "Bedtime story". If you don't know, this song was a Bjork b-side that Madonna reworked and rewrote, adding then one of the best videos of the 1990's. It has nothing to do with the rest of the album, it was almost nothing of R&B, but a lot of Bjork's breakthough sonority. It's just a shame that "Your Honesty" never made the final cut, neither as a b-side.


SOMETHING TO REMEMBER ( 7.5/10 )

A compilation of ballads. What makes me not to rank this album higher is that... Madonna is not a ballad singer. However, her reputation was not great at the time, she desperately wanted the role in "Evita" and singers like Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston were on the top. So, Madonna attached herself to that image. The strategy worked. "You'll see" came as a continuation of "Take a bow", and Madonna added the alternative "I want you" (made with Massive Attack), the very beautiful "One more chance" and a new version of the poor "Love don't live here anymore" (original from Like A Virgin album). One of the best things in this ballad compilation is that it reunited for the first time in CD some songs that were only available as singles; songs like "This used to be my playground", "I'll remember" and "Crazy for you" (for those who don't have The Immaculate Collection).


EVITA ( 7.4/10 )

I have to admit: I liked the "Evita" movie and Madonna's performance and effort in it, but I'm not a fan of its soundtrack. The positive side is that Madonna showed her plenty (and pregnant) vocal habilities, turning down the noses that accused her of being a bad singer and it "cleaned" her image from the succesive scandals and controversies the had been raising.
The negative side is that the album can become boring for some who are not used to this side of Madonna, specially in the double CD version.
The best tracks are "Lament", "You must love me" and the version made of "Don't cry for me Argentina". "Another suitcase in another hall" is good too.


RAY OF LIGHT ( 8.6/10 )

Definitely, one of Madonna's best albums, although I don't say it's her best one. It was a huge improvement from what she had done until here. The production work is great and it doesn't sound like... a Madonna album, despite it is very personal too, judging by some lyrics. It opens with two slow/dead tracks. What gives magic to the album is the oriental/mystic feeling she gave to the songs. The best tracks IMO are "Nothing really matters", "Drowned world / Substitute for love", "Ray of light" and "Skin". But the best track is... "Swim". Great lyrics, great arrangement, it sounds like a Alanis Morissette ("Candy perfume girl" has this reminiscence too) slow track, just great!!
"Shanti / Ashtangi" is very funny too, and although it sounds weird and it's not sung in english, it fits in the spirit of the album.


MUSIC ( 7.8/10 )

Music was the best way Madonna got not to fade away after the Ray Of Light applause. What divides me and made me rate it a bit lower is the duality of the album. We have two big groups: the electronic-dance influenced songs, and the country-based songs. It seems that the album can't decide between one of the group. However, almost all of these songs are great, even those that are more "back to chewing-gum pop" (like "Music" and "Amazing"). The best tracks in the album are "Impressive instant", "Nobody's perfect" and "Paradise (not for me)", but the best song for me is the final song and very simple "Gone". Mirways showed, anyway, his abbilities as a great producer.


GREATEST HITS VOLUME 2 ( 7.9/10 )

If The Immaculate Collection worked to make you get in Madonna's music, GHV2 works the exact same way and it makes his job as good as the "Volume 1" does. It reunited her best singles from 1992 to 2001, but I have some remakrs to make. I don't care much about almost all the track being radio edits, because most of the buyers are not real fans and they just want to listen to the songs. First, it didn't have any promotional single (why didn't she bring back a track from Music - maybe "Impressive instant", "Nobody's perfect", "Paradise (not for me)" - that has a video - to promote it?). Secondly, she punished some tracks that were big singles in the 90's like "This used to be my playground", "Rain", "You'll see" and the cover for "American pie".
It had, however, "Beautiful stranger" for the first time in an album.


AMERICAN LIFE ( 8.8/10 )

Remember when I talked about a couple of unfairly underrated albums? Erotica is the bride, American Life is the groom. And everything was because of the controversy around the single for the title track, the promotional video and because Madonna appears with a Che Guevara-art like in the cover.
It is - like Like A Prayer - the other of Madonna's most personal albums. I dare to say that American Life goes even further with that. You think that this is a political album against Bush? You're wrong. This is the album where a tired Madonna exposes to everyone her scars of a life in showbusiness.
I never understood what's wrong about the rap section in the title track, I actually like it, it makes makes me think of Debra Harris.
The best tracks in the album are "Nobody knows me" (which I hated in the beggining), "Intervention" and "Easy ride". The songs must have some Mirways electronic work in it, but it's easy to see that this album has got an acoustic base. It's too bad that it's so underrated, it's my favourite album from her catalogue.


CONFESSIONS ON A DANCEFLOOR ( 8.6/10 )

There was no better way for Madonna to recover from the backlash of the previous album. Getting back to the roots. Have you ever saw that Confessions On A Dancefloor looks exactily like the setlist of a DJ in a club? It starts slowly with a groovy disco track and it ends with more chilled (but still dancy) tunes. The idea of making the album this way and to put the songs in continuos mode was perfect and it makes the perfect fluence between the tracks.
Not only the songs have great production and arrangement but they never sound equal or similar - although spinning around the same genre. "Hung up" will turn another classic like "Vogue" was. The best songs are "Isaac", "Future lovers" and "Get together" and I think that it hasn't got any real weak tracks. It's another must have, and a great album from a woman in her almost 50's.


I'M GOING TO TELL YOU A SECRET (audio cut) ( 7.4/10 )

The first live audio recording. For me it's great because it brings me to my mind the shows the gave in Lisbon back in 2004, it was awesome!
Plus, it was very good new versions of some songs and some older classics. It opens with the stunning instrumental of "The Beast Within" (a remix of "Justify my love" in which she reads an excerpt of the Bible), segues into "Vogue" and in the great live version of "Nobody knows me" (it was necessary for me to see this song live to make me like it, believe me!). "American life" brings a metal/rock version and we see included the cover of Lennon's "Imagine".


THE CONFESSIONS TOUR (audio cut) ( 7.0/10 )

Second live audio recording. This is one of the cases where the DVD is fucking great but the audio CD is no big deal in comparison.
"Future lovers / I feel love" brings me down and Madonna singing a Holidayesque-version of "Like a virgin" brings me down. Another highlight is the live version of "Isaac" and "Live to tell" where Madonna sings in the controverse cross with a thorn-crown representing God before AIDS, but it's a great version anyway.
I just didn't like the new version of "Music", called "Music Inferno" and the new version of "Erotica", called "You thrill me" where the moans and the typical singing dissapeared.
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