Madonna's Music..uneven, but at times enjoyable folktronica
Written: Jan 13, 2004
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Some of her most fun and best written songs post Immaculate Collection
Cons:Some weak lyrics, filler songs, and too many vocoder effects
The Bottom Line: Madonna experiments with a new sound and the results are about 50/50. While uneven, there are stellar tracks on this album that are definitely worth having.
Coming off the huge commercial and critical success of Ray of Light, it was interesting to see what Madonna might do next. She could have easily gone on to make Ray of Light 2 with William Orbit, trying to capitalize on the previous ones sucesss, But this time around, Madonna chooses to work with French electronic music guru Mirwais Ahmadza´, responsible for modest dance hits Disco Science and Naive Song.
Where Ray of Light was about spirituality and self discovery, Music
starts out as a fun party, then ends up in introspection, forshadowing for the full self reflection of her following album, American Life.
The electronica and guitars of Ray of Light remain, but gone is the enveloping warmth and ambience of William Orbits production, in favor of crisper, colder electro/trip hop beats, vocoders blips and bleeps of Mirwais, who works a bit in that Daft Punk vain. Where Ray of Light was smooth gliding on ice, while Music bumps and stutters.
What we have is a frustrating album, that when it soars, is unbelievable, but when its stuck in the dirt, its REALLY stuck.
Music starts off promisingly with the title track, one of Madonna's best and most memorable dance tracks ever. Filled with vocoders, buzzy blips, and electro beats and a catchy melody. In the vain of Vogue, and Everybody, its a simple song where Madonna just wants you to dance and sing, get up and do your thing. Of course Madonna is the only pop artist who could get away with such a labored and pedantic line like "music makes the bourgiose and the rebel", but it works.
Impressive Instant Is 21st century cyber-disco. What shes singing about I'mnot quite sure, some kind of cosmic, trippy, looove in outerspace, but its a fun dance track.
Runaway Lover is one of the three William Orbit contributions to Music. Unfortunately, none of the material ever meets up to the high standards of Ray of Light. Its mediocre lyrically and musically, a severely watered down Sky Fits Heaven from Ray of Light.
I Deserve it Is a slow, meditative number, featuring the trademark acoustic guitar and electronic beats this album and American Life are known for. I dont particularly care for the song, but Madonnas vocals are clear and strong with little effect on them.
Amazing Is weak lyrically and too close musically to the superior Beautiful Stranger. Though it introduces us to a series of "I Love Guy Ritchie" songs
Nobodys Perfect unfortunately over uses the electronic vocal effect infamously perfected on Chers Believe. But lyrically its interesting to hear Madonna in space we rarely hear her in..apology and admitting fault ....a far cry from the "im not sorry, its Human Nature" of Bedtime Stories.
Don't Tell Me gives the album a much needed shot in the arm. Its the Madonna/Mirwais duo in its perfection..great beats and production, catchy melody, and Madonna in full vocal formand a very inventive i-think-my-cd-is-skipping cut up guitar sample. The lyrics are from brother in law Joe Henry's song Stop, but the melody,beats, and production are entirely different. Its interesting to compare and contrast the two.
The lyrics are a bit bizarre, but who cares, its sublime electronic pop.
What It Feels Like For A Girl maybe the best set of lyrics (and songs) Madonna has ever written. Its a mini fimenist anthem. Cowritten by Bjork/Seal/Mandalay collaborator Guy Sigsworth, its a soothing trip hop ballad about grrl power. Sigsworth production is lush and beautiful, keeping with the guitar and electronic blueprint but keeping with his own unique sound. Check out his own group Frou Frou which is excellent. You won't be dissapointed.
Paradise(Not For Me) which is on both Madonna and Mirwais albums sounds like Erotica in sexy electro slow motion. The vocoder effect is used again, but here it seems to fit.
Gone Has William Orbit returning to form here in a very minimalist trip hop beat and acoustic guitar. The usual Orbit spaceship noises are kept to a minimum. Its Madonna at her most honest and introspective and is a great closer for the album.
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