See, that's the crazy thing - you wouldn't expect a 60-year-old woman with a penis to be a "sex symbol," but sometimes a generation just gets so caught up in the flash and pizzazz and lack of anything interesting happening elsewhere in the mainstream music world that it just latches onto the first effeminate object that makes its way down the street. Alanis, for example. That broad in No Doubt, for another example. Man, I dig the word "broad." Madonna actually is capable of writing (or at least co-writing) a great song; she's proven that time and time and time after time again. But I'll be hogtied if she can figure out the difference between "worthwhile music" and "dullsville filler." If you're not in the mood to read the rest of this review, just go buy the greatest hits album. It's pretty friggin' great.
Madonna With Otto Von Wernherr - Pilz.
Was I talking about anything at all? Oh yes! This CD. Well, it's a ripoff. A way to cheat you and I, the foolish consumers. See, I was checking out the $6.00 CDs at a street fair the other day and hooee! But it had some good stuff! Lots of stuff I already had like Yes' Close To The Edge and Ministry's The Land Of Rape And Honey, but I also ran across some killer cheapies that I'd never seen used before, like The Damned's Music For Pleasure (which is supposed to suck, but I enjoyed it quite a bit!) and the Angry Samoans' Unboxed Set, which is basically every song they ever recorded on one disc. Ha! So anyway, I've got those two, then I'm kinda considering this Swans CD and the Chuck D solo album when I run across this CD. It's got a big picture of Madonna on the top, and all the songs seem to have a dance theme. So three things run through my mind. (1) I have to pick a third CD because it's 3 for $15, so I'd only be hurting myself by leaving it at two for $12. (2) I could review the Madonna CD, and hey! Maybe it's as good as You Can Dance! (3) My girlfriend is looking really pissed off because it's about a trillion degrees and we're supposed to be walking to Central Park to watch dogs swim. So I paid for it and we went on our way. And the CD is completely fucking awful. It's this stupid early '80s-sounding shit German new wave moronic piece of shit crap ass with background vocals by a woman who may or may not be "Madonna." You'd have to ask her. Dear God, this fucking blows. Again, don't be tricked by the huge pic of Madonna on the cover. If this is actually her singing back-up, it's the most annoying performance of her career (followed closely by I'm Breathless). Consider yourself warned!
And an asshole!
Oh, okay. Not an asshole.
Madonna - Sire 1983.
Until that day, we can only swoon at the obnoxious beauty of this 25-year-old's ridiculous attempts to imitate a randy 15-year-old girl. Your "Lucky Star," your "Borderline," your "Burning Up," your "Holiday" - all interchangeable, all huge hits. Dude, even the filler rules on this one. Easily the only highly-recommendable album she has recorded to this very very very day. And why? 'Cuz it's fun! No snoreland ballads, no laughable social conscience, no idiotic sultry whispering - just straight-up dance-til-you-pass-out goodtime pre-teen girlie girl funion. I'd give it a ten, but all my friends would call me a fag.
The filler, though, does not rule. It fills. When was the last time you caught yourself humming Think of Me or Everybody?
And what about that sound? Either I'm ignorant or that's one fantastic industrial-disco hybrid going on there. Both probably.
Remember Madonna this way, not by some Drowned Ray of Candy Pie or whatever horror she's going to inflict on us next.
Granted, all of these people were capable of destroying Western civilization as we knew it. And they did get a lot of attention. The person who would destroy Western civilization, however, slipped quietly under the radar screen that month and only got folks to pay attention to her much later. It was then that. . .Madonna issued her debut album.
Reagan would eventually leave office without doing anything Bill Clinton would reverse. Andropov was sign for the last time in public in August 1983 and would be dead in six months. Duran Duran and Pia Zadora would become eighties jokes, the musical and cinematic equivalents of a Members Only jacket. Madonna, however, is still with us!
I remember when my kid sister got Madonna's debut record and played it on the living stereo ad infinitum, ad nauseum. The synthesizer lines were horrible, the vocals were annoying and snide, and the songs themselves were mostly juvenile. It all seemed harmless enough, though -- a novelty-act dance popster making fun of her given name by acting nothing like a virgin. So what? Not a threat to the Republic, or to popular music in general. How wrong I was! The future of popular music was right here, on this album, in all of its unlistenable and spectacularly putrid and foul horror, and thinking it was a minor record from a minor performer, I did nothing to help stop it. Now Madonna has wiped out folk rock, annihilated heavy blues rock, made it easy for anyone with a hook to sing a ballad, made a mockery of rhythm and blues, made videos more important than the music itself, and made the world safe for hip-hop-dance-popsters of her ilk. She cleared the stage of every form of pop that made life worth living, and now there's no one to speak for me.
Madonna's first album is a collection of Stalinesque Five-Year Plans at turning popular music into Britney Spearsean-Christina Aguileran-Backstreet Boysian wonderland. Why didn't I do something about it when I had the chance?
Guess I was too busy paying attention to Duran Duran.
Anyway, I think this is her only strong early album. It's got 1 bad track (whose title I forget), but the other 7 range from good to remarkable.
Madonna is a bit conceptualized, at least sonically. The tracks are long and elliptical post-disco dance tracks that don't have a problem rounding out the time factor, as benefits extended mix tracks. The best track, "Holiday," felt like a great 1-shot wonder when it was released, yet it became her first "classic" single. The others, especially physical attraction (where the lyric prophesizes Madonna's transgressive sexual persona, where she basically says she doesn't mind being pounded and thrown out in the morning because she herself wants it that way too!), aren't far behind.
A good one though, well worth owning. I wouldn't bother with the next 2 albums Like a Virgin or True Blue - there isn't a good album track on either, and the phenomenal singles off True Blue are available elsewhere.
I give it 8.
Like A Virgin - Sire 1984.
Weird how everything goes away. I don't feel like killing myself any more, but that's only because of my girlfriend. If she were to suddenly break up with me, I'd be right back where I was before - going through the motions with nothing worthwhile to throw my heart into. I tried rock and roll, but it let me down. Not it, really. I just got lazy and bored with it. I'll try again some day, but not 'til I have more money. My point, of course, is that at one point in my life, there is no way I would have even considered doing Madonna reviews, but now I'm older, wiser, and much less prejudiced towards such art, mostly 'cuz now I can bitch and moan about "alternative" every fucking second of my life, since it of course inundates my entire fucking existence. Oh, I do despise it so.
Now then, the problem with Like A Virgin is that almost half of the songs (mostly on side two) just suck ass. I mean, you can tell that they're Madonna songs, but the final terrible trio, "Shoo-Bee-Doo," "Pretender," and "Stay," constitutes one of the most miserable nosedives ever taken by any album ever made. So skip it. Let's call this an EP and hop up and down at the giddy prom qualities of "Material Girl," "Angel," "Like A Virgin," and "Dress You Up," maybe giggle a little but still enjoy the living dead out of "Over And Over," and, of course, just scratch our heads and wonder why the hell the worthless ballad "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" is on here in the first place. The hits are the shit, but the filler is a killer, diller. If nothin' else, those last three songs make it blatantly obvious that if Maronda don't change her tune soon, the balloon's gonna swoon, june.
This isn't bad per se... just a little formulaic and under-written. Why though is it consistently rated higher than True Blue? It shrivels like a salted snail in comparison with that near-masterpiece.
Well worth your money. If you see it cheap.
True Blue - Sire 1986.
And you want more? How about the chillingly beautiful piano ballad "Live To Tell," which, though admittedly overdramatic, is still by far my favorite Madonna tune ever? It brings tears to my eyes, bumps to my skin, chills to my soul, mayonnaise to my sandwich, lambs to my slaughter, skips to my lou, angel of death, monarch to my kingdom of the dead, but unfortunately, the filler's pretty worthless. "Where's The Party?" is fun in the traditional sense, but "White Heat" and the last couple o' numbers kinda reek. Good album, though, for the most part. I know I'll listen to it again some day before I die. IT'S JUST THAT GOOD!
I will happily give it an eight. This is the best album ever!!
...by an Italian. Bon Jovi can suck my lozenge.
You Can Dance - Sire 1987.
Like A Prayer - Sire 1989.
As always, the hits ("Like A Prayer," "Express Yourself," "Cherish," "Keep It Together," and "Oh Father") are fantastic; as on True Blue, they are varied, creative, and eminently enjoyable little pop tunes. The rest of the album, however, just lumbers along like a dang ELP album. Now, nobody understands more than me an artist's urge to grow - nobody wants to do the same thing over and over and over again (except The Ramones, but let's ignore them for the time being) - but recording more "serious" songs does not necessarily make one a "better" artist, regardless of all them zany critics that went hogwash over this basically mediocre little LP.
Nevertheless, it smells fantastic!!!!!
Seriously, I think Like a Prayer the song is one of the very greatest things ever recorded. By anyone. The Beatles, Kate Bush, Mahler, Pink Floyd, The Undertones, Stevie Wonder, Vangelis, Slayer, Leonard Cohen - they've just got nothing that can compete! This song is SENSATIONAL, always has been and God willing ever more shall be. I shudder to think that there are people out there who only know Madonna by her last two (atrocious) records while this rots on the music shop shelf. Some things are very wrong in this world.
Sure, Love Song is dreadful (and a rip-off of Peter Gabriel's Walk Through The Fire), Pray for Spanish Eyes twice as bad and a couple of others pretty poor, but everything else - Oh Father, Cherish, Til Death Do Us Part, is quality stuff - not as fun as True Blue maybe, but well-made music. And that's something already.
Ah, 1989. What a year it was.
I give this about 8.5
So I thought I would do a Youtube search to see "what was up". So I watched the performance of ultra-pop-hit "Like A Prayer" that took place in my country about two days ago?
It was a silly techno dance version, and she was dancing around with a posse of gimps (MAYBE IT WAS "NAME OF LAME BAND" LOLZOZLZOLZ!) and she had an old woman voice, because she is an old woman apparently.
Now someone at the gig may have been a bit angry that she did some silly techno dance version of her mega-pop-hit. I think they should have gone up on stage and STOLE ONE OF HER SHOES! Think about this for a minute. This would put her at a great disadvantage assuming her next costume change isn't near. Not only would her FASHION be destroyed, but her DANCE moves would be all wonky! Unless she has been trained by Rolf Harris. And you could also sell the shoe to a strange man!
This is about the best method of disruption I can could up with, without you actually needing anything, like itching powder. You could also punch her in the face, but that's never nice!
I'm Breathless - Sire 1990.
* The Immaculate Collection - Sire 1990.
There. That should pretty much do it. Unless you intend to buy the preceding six albums, go buy this one now. Madonna ain't just Madonna 'cuz she's got good PR; she's got a whole truckload of amazing pop/dance songs to back up her status as cultural icon. Now I for one feel a little pissy about the absence of "Burnin' Up," "Dress You Up," and "Who's That Girl?" but I'm not gonna sit here and bitch about it. I am, however, gonna bitch about the fact that "Rescue Me" is a boring worthless piece of hobnob that ends a fine fine collection on a sour sour note. Can't stop the tennage, though!!!! No one is qualified to call Madonna a talentless artist unless they can listen to this album and somehow honestly tell me that it doesn't deserve a ten. It's fantastic. I'd like it better if it had a lot of really loud distorted guitars and a guy drumming about ninety miles an hour, but I guess I can't have my cake and eat me too.
I do have to give you credit though - the reviews are more entertaining than her crummy records.
I do have two minor qualms, though. The songs are all remixed, and while it's usually subtle, it's unnecessary. Also, Mark was right in saying that "Rescue Me" is complete shite, but I have zero time for "Justify My Love", too. Those two are unwelcome reminders of Madonna's "I'm so fuckin' hardcore, fuck the Pope!" period, and should have been left in a dark, moist room under the earth. But, besides that...10/10.
1. Live To Tell
2. Material Girl
3. Into The Groove
4. Like A Virgin
5. Open Your Heart
This is a good compliation of those interested in her music. Another good compliation is Something to Remember (1995) which has all of her ballads.
1.holiday!(madonna) you know the tune catchy fizzy pop with no britnyness!
2.LUCKY STAR!(MADONNA) a woosh of a synthesizer blasts in the middle then BAM!!!!!!! dance tune galore hahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!!!
3.borderline.(MADONNA) a cute fizzy number with chirpy synths happy vocals and maybe some sugar spice and everything nice kind of thing with a little sex appeal
4.like a virgin.(LIKE A VIRGIN) you heard this too
5.MATERIAL GIRL(LIKE A VIRGIN) ah.... i knew you were gonna drool on that video
6.crazy for you.(VISION QUEST)
the film bombed but the sountrack worked
7.into the groove.(DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN & U CAN DANCE)
this made madonna a sex symbol and a star but later her film career was going down the shitter
8.LIVE TO TELL.(TRUE BLUE)
a dark haunting ballad like mark said man it was beautiful it puts ray of light to shame!
9.papa don't preach.(TRUE BLUE) i like it better than kelly ''the f word '' osbourne's version abortion warnings never sounded so good
10.OPEN YOUR HEART.(TRUE BLUE)
oooooooohhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! so sexy!!!!!!!! i want to bang her now!!!
11.la isla bonita.(TRUE BLUE)
remind me this is not ricky martin!
12.LIKE A PRAYER.(LIKE A PRAYER)
the video was soooooooooooo controversial back then but hey fuck your laws mother fuckers!!! madonna wins again!!!!!!!!! with the mtv video music award
13.express yourself.(LIKE A PRAYER) glossy dance track with alot of synthesizers and drum machines and the video also got heavy rotation
14.cherish.(LIKE A PRAYER) fizzyness continiues with this cute and sassy number
15.VOUGE.(IMMACULATE COLLECTION & I"M BREATHLESS)
BOOM you know the dance track was everywhere thanks to top dj requests supermodel music and soundtracks who says no one danced the vouge right now fuckers!
16.JUSTIFY MY LOVE(IMMACULATE COLLECTON) se sex sex is that all you ever think about well don't waste your time prindull your penis may grow but no one will bang you
17.RESCUE ME.(IMMACULATE COLLECTION) kind of a dark way to end the album then we end it but it takes years before madonna will get back with energized music
in the end madonna will be inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame oooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! yeah LATER
If you ever get around to covering Michael Jackson or Prince, let me know.
Erotica - Sire 1992.
Erotica's best songs are among her finest ever. I just love hip Meat Beat Manifesto-like samples and fast beats and whowherewhy. But the bad ones are right up there with I'm Breathless. I won't name names, but it would behoove Miss Ciccone to stay as far away as possible from trying to make "important social commentary." It doesn't work, Lashonda; you sound overdramatic and awkward; stick to peddlin' smut to little boys, tootsie roll.
And there are some decent melodies here too, which is nice - classy songs like Deeper and Deeper and the stunning Rain, which is my favourite Madonna song alongside the negro Christ ditty.
Yes... I think this was definitely her last good record. It's getting increasingly hard to enjoy her good records though, as she unleashes a new artistic disaster on the world every two years, all the while ageing visibly in the manner of the Nazi lady at the end of 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade'.
She is closer to sixty than twenty now. Time to call it a day, my dear, motherhood will occupy you henceforth.
Bedtime Stories - Sire 1994.
The only hit on this one was "Take A Bow." If you like that one, you'll like at least half of the record. It gets kinda samey as it goes along, though, unfortunately. The weaker tracks just sit there on their asses like the apathetic youth of today. But, ooooh! That title track! Gotta love that one. Sounds like Bjork. Which is appropriate, since Bjork wrote it.
In conclusion, I should mention that Madonna opened the door for woman in this country to dress like sluts and write songs about cunnilingus. Good night!
And the bitch has won a Golden Globe - fuck shit! If Madonna discovers the fountain of youth I guess we will have to stand her at least one more century.
Secret and Take a Bow are undemonstrative classiness personified, and whilst the title track is not a total success (sounds too much like a singer singing a superior songwriter's song and knowing it), it has driving power, which always helps. And Survival is a 100% Chester classic.
So yes, maybe six. But a healthy, high six, not a craven, crabbed six. Pick it up! She really lost the plot after this one!!
Evita - Warner Brothers 1996.
And NOBODY rocks like Madonna!!!!!!!?
My wife had 2 nag me 4 about a decade 2 listen 2 this woman, & Like A Prayer is the album I started with -- adore the title track ('specially the last 3 or 4 minutes--what a rush!), "Dear Jessie," "Oh Father," "Express Yourself," "Til Death Do Us Part." Also like some of her older stuff -- "Open Your Heart" is great, as is "Dress You Up." More recently she's hit the mark with me on "Rain" and the BRILLIANT "Bad Girl."
By the way, if U like "Vogue," have you heard/seen Julie Brown's parody called "Vague"? Pretty hilarious. It's in Brown's Medusa: Dare To be Truthful video....
Don't know about her acting abilities (the only person in Evita who seemed 2 B having a good time was Antonio Banderas....), but yr right, This Woman Has Talent. MayB it won't take me 10 years 2 catch on next time....
but whoever said this ridiculous version is better than the original might be a crack-abuser, since Madonna's singing skills are actually very average at best and she sings the songs weakly.
Ray Of Light - Warner Brothers 1998.
Now then, about Ray Of Light. It is EXACTLY what the ordinary everyday "critic" is looking for - "sincere, serious" lyrics oversung in a pretentious, emotional manner with "hip" '90s "electronic" sounds backing it up. But it SUCKS!!!! I have been a Madonna semi-fan for long enough to vehemently argue that this is one of the biggest pieces of shit she has ever come up with. First of all, did any of you notice that about half of the songs utilize the SAME EXACT ascending vocal melody? That sorrowful "I was in Evita and now I've learned the importance of love and selflessness through the experience of motherhood" melody? You know, the forgettable one backed up by NO RIFF WHATSOEVER??? Okay then. Secondly, did anybody notice that all of the songs are either very, very slow and lifeless ballads or "techno" songs driven by laughably dated "techno" beats that plant the entire CD square in 1992? And finally -- oh, finally -- these "serious, introspective" lyrics are just more teen-level saccharine shit. Sample lyric: "I traded fame for love/Without a second thought/It all became a silly game/Some things cannot be bought." I wrote better "poetry" when I was 15 and I'm a HIDEOUS poet. But what do you expect from critics? They loved the "mature" lyricism of Like A Prayer too. Me, I prefer a little fun and some actual melodies every once in awhile, rather than just a self-important ambient journey through the dark alleyways of no ideas.
So yeah, the album fucking blows, with the exception of maybe two songs. I apologize for all the quotation marks in this review, but HTML doesn't allow me to make those little bouncy finger "quote-unquote" motions.
Fucking HTML!!! Oh, how I long for the good old days of Tandys.
Then the terror onslaught began. A ballad for her daughter. A Yoga ritual of some sort. A fake-ass Goth song ("Frozen"). Jesus almighty, this album just drags and drags. See, what is lost on many artists is that, okay, prettiness is good, but you've gotta KEEP THE SONGS MOVING or else they will just collapse under their "airy textures". It is beyond me why critics keep kissing ass to this record (also, the same can be said for Hole's new one, which is godawful and is probably just supported by critics because it's ***COURTNEY LOVE***, and records like Garbage's version 2.0 and techno pussies like Air and Chemical Brothers).
In conclusion, I say this to all the music lovers of the world in this, the year 1999. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to become a Buddhist, have children, do Ecstasy and use techno beats on your album to make good music. If you're like me, popular music in 1999 is bewildering and frightening to someone who has enjoyed real music his entire life and can't understand for the life of him why teens are lapping this shit up, and then try listening to timeless bands like the Meat Puppets, the Beatles, PJ Harvey and Nirvana-they don't care about trends or money.
"Overprocessed early 90's" music? Can you please define "early 90's" for me? REM in the early 90's? AC-DC in the early 90's? U2 in the early 90's? Metallica in the early 90's? I think that branding something with a time stamp is really a moot point. All that matters to me is that I've had this CD (which I actually got for free...long story) for nearly a week, and it hasn't left my CD player since. I don't care if it is "overprocessed" or not, or that nary a real instrument appears on it, but "Drowned World," "Ray of Light," "Skin," "Sky fits Heaven," and "The Power of Good-bye" have been buzzing in my head constantly. I've never been much of a techno person, but I am really glad I got this - some of these compositions are just AMAZING. Great buildups and great releases. "Ray of Light" is wonderful wake-up music. And lest I mention that her voice here is in peak form - she obviously learned a few things from Evita, and she sounds lovely. Sure, the album does drag in places, and I think it would probably benefit from the omission of "Candy Perfume Girl" and "Shanti.." But by no means bad songs at all. Annoying, yes, but good in their own right.
Mark, I want you to know I think you have an excellent site, and that you are a very thoughtful, concise reviewer, even when I disagree with you. But I have to assert that it is smart to not cloud one's perceptions by branding something with a big red "C" just because it is too commercial, or "overprocessed," or dated, or whatnot. Just listen to the MUSIC, Mark. I've been doing this for a week, and I like what I hear a great deal. 8.
Oh by the way, in these Ray of Light reviewer comments, some Alexandre Linhares Matias guy said some rather unpleasant remarks about Michael Jackson (whom I loathe, except for that happy "We Are The World" humanitarian effort). Let me see...
"There's no problem being fag in this business (see George Michael)". Goddamit I hate that word "fag"!!! Call em homers or queers or something. I got nothing against said gays, but why do they have to talk so damn annoying when they say the letter "s"? And Pete Townshend's bisexual and hes been popular for over thirty years. What about R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe??? Or the godawful Village People?? God if I hear that song YMCA one more time at a fucking baseball game I'm gonna scream. Who cares if somebody likes somebody else of the same sex?? As long as they make good music I don't care.
Yeah Ray of Light is awful, but I felt Bedtime Stories and Evita were just as bad. I guess I'm just not much for that "ballad" side of her music. Her early stuff is much more happy and danceable. Like "Into the Groove". Ever heard "Into the Groove"??? That's her best song. Too bad you can't find it anywhere except on the Immaculate Collection. I can't stand that one either. The songs are all messed up and start and stop weirdly. Don't tell me you don't know what I'm talking about, believe me it's there. I don't want to hear an unintentionally different version of the songs I've grown to know and love. So don't get it.
Instead, Madonna should have taken that money and invented a time machine so she could go back and die after her first album. Seriously, that Jellybean produced dance shit kicks such ass out of modern Madonna tracks. The Synths of the early 80s sounded so much dirtier, cheap, and slutty, which is perfect for Madonna really--not this sophisticated crappy lyrics crap she has here. I'm glad I'm not a transvestite, because if Madonna's mature garbage is supposed to be inspiring I'd be forced to decastrate myself--which is not a cheap operation I've heard. I love Britney Spears, because she had some Scandinavian genius writing all her early hits, but I stopped buying her albums when she kissed that old fag hag Madonna, the one I used to know and love. Did I mention how good Frozen is?
So the record remains overwrought and strained in some ways, especially her fixation on ballads - after Something to Remember, Bedtime Stories, and Evita, wasn't she ready to break out of that mode?? Well thank God she did for the title track, one of the record's central glories. Her singing has never been stronger or more soulful, I am dumbfounded by know-nothings who still insist on a perceived lack of talent or ability to sing a song as difficult as this track. This, more than "Frozen," or even "Beautiful Stranger" was the clear indication that she was back after having a baby and the boring Evita period. In addition, "Swim," especially "Little Star," "Sky Fits Heaven," and much of the rest are as soul-searching and beautiful as any modern music.
And I think it's silly to criticize Madonna for being praised as "hip" and such for creating a semi-electronic record, especially referring to it as "dated." My response is that when this record came out, it wasn't dated to the masses and, well, maybe to the purist it may be a bit dated, but for Madonna, a mainstream entertainer, it was audaciously bold. I, for one, concured - I would much rather hear an entertainer try to expand his/her sound rather than stay stagnant like the Jacksons or Prince or any other successful entertainer, going through the motions without a hint of inspiration or inkling to try something new. As much as one may rail against it, this record was not predictable. And this record was far from an utter failure, I think it has large segments where the fusion of a new sound and worldview mesh rather nicely.
But techno/electronic elements in mainstream music never really took off and seems more than anything to have played itself off to be a novelty. Madonna's greatest recent failure was her refusal to come to terms with this idea on her latest record American Life. That record's singles are so forced, strained and tired that I can't believe she created them, much less actually released them as her initial singles off her new record. But she did and it ended her career, at least for now, but maybe forever. But that's another matter, on this record, the production is fine, it's not dated, the lyrics are fine, the material is fine, the singing is amazing. Too many ballads, I agree, some unfinished statements and other minor flaws, but a good one overall.
I give it 7.5
But the main complaint seems to be about the music. I find the first two songs have the most effective use of electric guitar in a Madonna tune since “Like a Prayer”; however, I agree there are too many annoying beeps and machine noises. But the fact there are no real instruments playing didn’t stop everyone from loving her first album. It’s Madonna after all. What do you want, guitar solos? Did you really need to hear the solos in “Burning Up”, “Dress You Up” or “Let’s Get It Up”? The first is the very definition of “generic 80’s guitar solo” (do you remember that scene in “Boogie Nights” – no, not that one – where the boys, after being kicked out of the porn business, are trying to cut a few tracks in a studio. This is the type of music they came up with). The second is one of those worthless solos I hate that just mimic the basic melody of the verse and chorus. The last does rock surprisingly hard but the title always put me off. I’m guessing she wrote the song during the early 90’s in her “Erotica/Sex/Body of Evidence” phase. The girl was up for anything back then.
Finally there are the inevitable cheap shots. The criticism in one post of Madonna writing a song about her daughter is unbelievable. Along with the obvious bad taste of such a jab, the writer ignores rock’s history itself. There is a time honored tradition of artists writing and singing touching tributes to their daughters from Aerosmith’s “Mia” to ZZ Top’s “Tube Snake Boogie”. If you’re going to eviscerate her for blatant self-centeredness in “American Life”, perhaps you should grant a little indulgence when she expresses love for someone besides herself.
Music - Maverick 2000.
Now hold on, don't get all up in arms about this! Maybe Madonna hasn't always been a piece of shit - hell, for all I know, maybe she's only temporarily a piece of shit! But the fact remains, and believe you me, it IS a fact -- there is no arguing with me here -- Madonna is not good.
Her voice has grown tiresome and annoying, mainly because she treats every song so goddamned seriously and sings them all in the exact same way. The "electronica" beats and noises on here are boring beyond words (the first song revolves around a repeated echoey synth tone - WOW!!!!), and once again there are close to ZERO original or interesting melodies on the entire record.
Now I acknowledge the fact that this stuff clearly appeals to some people - that's obvious by the fact that that atrocious "Nobody's Perfect" song keeps getting played on the radio even though the only even semi-interesting thing about it is that disgusting vocal effect that makes me long for the halcyon days of Frampton farting through his guitar pickup. It's also obvious by the fact that people I know and even LIKE claim to really enjoy both this Madonna CD and the last one. So, yes, there ARE people who like this stuff, but there's one important thing you have to keep in mind here.....
Those people are stupid.
Hey, now don't get all uppity with me! I'm just stating the cold hard facts. For example, the fact that Madonna chose to call this CD Music and dress like a cowgirl on the front (even holding a guitar in one of the pictures!), putting forth the appearance that this CD might actually contain some organic non-processed, you know... MUSIC on it. And it does! On one song. And that song, like Madonna, is a piece of shit. It sounds like Alanis Morissette. And Alanis Morissette, like most female singer-songwriters, is no good.
Hey now don't go barkin' up my tree! You're the one who started this conversation! I'm just trying to bring down the fandom level to the point where a full 100% of everything that is stated is the exact, unquestionable truth.
I do enjoy two of the songs. Both "Amazing" and "What It Feels Like For A Girl" have really pretty, slightly off-kilter melodies with interesting vocal/music interplay. None of the other eight songs have either. In fact, regardless of the occasional appearance of an acoustic guitar (oh pardon me, i mean a SAMPLE of an acoustic guitar), most of these "songs" sound just like the crap on the last album. Which is to say that they're overly dramatic, sluggishly paced, melodically vacant, WORTHLESS wastes of the world's time.
I can only assume that the kind of people who like this sort of music are the same people who just don't know that much about music in general. Because I swear to God there's just NOTHING new going on here.
American Life - Warner Bros. 2003.
You know, a lot has happened since Madonna released her last shitty album. Let's see -- hmm. Well, there was that terrorist attack that killed a few thousand people in HER FORMER HOMETOWN. Yes there was that. Then there was that darned recession - STILL going on - that has left millions out of work while our president's business friends continue to steal more and more money for themselves. Oh yes! And then there was a war! A war in which we dropped bombs on the poverty-stricken and widowed many, many Iraqi women (killed some too). Throughout all this, we've been dealing with daily terrorist fears exacerbated by our monstrous administration and the five media companies that suck government cock every day of the year. This is a dangerous time to be an American -- and an even MORE dangerous time to live in a country that America doesn't like. Not only are you poor as dirt, but there's a good chance you're going to be buried under six feet of it within the next 12 months so Bush can keep our minds off of the economy he can't fix because he's a fucking retard.
So what does Madonna do? Well, let me put it this way -- you can tell me every fag, junglebunny and kike joke in the world and none of it is going to offend me anywhere NEAR as much as listening to some dumb rich cunt bitching and moaning about how much her life sucks for 50 fucking minutes. Before I delve into her poetry, let me preface this attack by saying that I certainly understand why an artist might choose not to address depressing social issues in their work. Entertainment is entertainment, after all, and lots of us turn to it for an escape from the disturbing reality we're experiencing. But that's not what American Life is. It is NOT escapist entertainment. It is Madonna presenting a series of dark, minor-key, UNHAPPY songs about how fake and plastic the entertainment business is and how it's not enough to make her happy. Hopefully I speak for the majority of Americans when I say BOO FUCKING HOO.
Let's start with track 1, "American Life." Aside from being almost inarguably the least catchy single Madonna has ever released, this song within the first thirty seconds makes it clear exactly how far out of touch Madonna is with real life. "Do I have to change my name? Will it get me far? Should I lose some weight? Am I gonna be a star?" THIS is American life in 2003? Who thinks like this now? Aside from the most narcissistic brain-dead failed actor, I can't imagine ANYBODY over the age of 13 seriously considering these to be important worries at this particular juncture in history. How about "Will there be any available jobs for me when I graduate college?" or "Will I ever be able to get out of this ghetto without being murdered by 'gangstas'?" or "Where is my family supposed to live now that I've been laid off and have no retirement money because the executives of my company stole all of it?"
But it gets much, MUCH worse later in the song, during the first of many unbelievably poorly conceived and humiliatingly executed raps performed by Madonna in a quite racist fake negro accent. "I got a lawyer and a manager, an agent and a chef," she brags. "Three nannies, an assistant and a driver and a jet, a trainer and a butler and a bodyguard or five, a gardener and a stylist..." before delivering the most horrifically thoughtless conclusion possible -- "Do you think I'm satisfied?"
Well, it must be nice to have the luxury to be UNSATISFIED with billions of dollars in the bank and people waiting on you hand and foot. Unfortunately, most of us actually have to work for a living - and many of us don't even have the opportunity to do that. How about asking yourself if your three nannies and assistant are satisfied? Or if your gardener and butler are satisfied? How about writing a song that doesn't include the word "I" at least forty times? Not this time. This is Madonna's time to whine about the trials of the rich -- which, I might add, is exactly what she did on Ray Of Light. And the most disturbing part is that she thinks she's speaking as a HUMAN. She's sure that she's one of US now. She has NO IDEA what being a person is like! How could she? She hasn't had a real problem in about thirty years! (My wife adds, "She hasn't had a decent SONG in about thirty years either!).
So what else does she offer on this magnum dopus: Next is "Hollywood," a quite obvious attempt to make excuses for her seemingly endless string of unsuccessful movies. "Everybody comes to Hollywood/They wanna make it in the neighbourhood/They like the smell of it in Hollywood/How could it hurt you when it looks so good?" Guess the critical reaction to "Swept Away" wasn't all she was expecting? Must be because Hollywood is cruel; couldn't be that she's a boring actress.
Next is "I'm So Stupid," which must be the tenth or twelfth song she's recorded about how materialistic and selfish she USED to be, and thank God she isn't anymore. Now she understands what's really important in life. That's why she feels the need to tell us this, over and over again. Almost as if it were a new IDENTITY that she was trying to slip into. Unfortunately, "honesty," "integrity" and "compassion" are not costumes that you can slip on and off like a bustier with gold-tipped nipples. And I'm sorry, no matter how many times she says it, I simply don't BELIEVE her when she claims, "I'm so stupid/Cause I use to live/In a tiny bubble/And I wanted to be/Like all the pretty people/That were all around me/But now I know for sure/That I was stupid." I'm not going to make a judgment call about whether Madonna is stupid or not -- but she is quite clearly as self-delusional as anybody else you're going to find in the entertainment industry. And what can you say about a person too dim to realize what even FRED DURST is able to figure out -- that American life has changed and celebrities at least have to make an effort to LOOK like they give a shit about other people?
Moving on, we come to another shallow introspection piece called "Nobody Knows Me." Well, first of all, as she has made evident for at least the past ten years of her career, there's not a whole lot to know. Monstrous ego, insatiable thirst for attention -- and that about covers it! And secondly, I don't suppose I have to explain to you exactly how it feels to hear this self-satisfied multi-billionaire sing, "I sleep much better at night/I feel closer to the light/Now I'm gonna try/To improve my life." I, I, I, my.
Pardon me one second while I count how many times Madonna uses first-person pronouns on this 50-minute release.
"American Life" = 62
"Hollywood" = 6
"I'm So Stupid" = 24
"Love Profusion" = 67
"Nobody Knows Me" = 68
"Nothing Fails" = 26
"Intervention" = 27
"X-Static Process" = 60
"Mother And Father" = 71
"Die Another Day" = 55
"Easy Ride " = 34.
Well, they say write what you know. And Madonna is all Madonna knows. Or cares about. So why shouldn't she refer to herself 507 times in 50 minutes? That's more than 10 times per minute. That means that Madonna is attempting to show that she is no longer selfish and one-dimensional -- by making a verbal reference to herself EVERY SIX SECONDS FOR THE ENTIRE CD.
There is much more about this album that repulses me. There's that fucking irritating vocal effect (the one from "Die Another Day" and about six trillion other interchangeable female-sung dance/pop songs) that I'd hoped she'd gotten enough of on Music, but no! Let's take that already-tired gimmick and use it another fifty times! After all, how could anybody get sick of hearing your sung notes flick up and down electronically, sucking out any ounce of personality your voice had left (which wasn't much anyway -- CHRIST, what happened to that peppy young girl that sang "Lucky Star"!?!?)? Then there's all the acoustic guitar playing, which is intended (I guess) to sound folky and "genuine," but ends up coming across as gimmicky and boring because the producer just samples four seconds of playing and repeats it over and over again rather than actually having a guitarist in the room during the session. There's even the fact that NONE of the songs come even CLOSE to catchy, relying instead on boring, lifeless minor-key crap for nearly all eleven songs. But I want to go watch Rollerball (the original one -- I watched High Plains Drifter last night and it KICKED ASS!!!!) and hopefully I've made my point clear by NOW. So instead I'd like to close with the biggest self-deception of all. The kind of lyric that only an inexcusably comfortable out-of-touch old sloth would even CONSIDER having the gall to utter in a song that will be heard by millions and millions of normal average people who have to work 40 or more hours a week just to keep their heads above water. Am I really the only one that wants to break into Madonna's bank account and give ALL of her money to her poor fan base when she announces, "I want the good life/But I don't want an easy ride/What I want is to work for it/Feel the blood and sweat on my fingertips/That's what I want for me."
Go ahead, read it again. Read what one of the richest human beings on the planet sings to y ou WITH A STRAIGHT FACE on her new CD. Go ahead. Read it again and again and again, and then tell me how you -- how ANYONE -- could listen to this CD without wanting to throw the fucking thing (if not the fucking WOMAN) through a plate glass window? Is it really all that different from that episode of the Simpsons where billionaire Montgomery Burns claims, "Being waited on hand and foot might be okay for the average Joe, but not for me!" (that was a paraphrase, but it was close).
Madonna has no idea what American life is like. She only knows what the life of a spoiled celebrity is like. Five years ago, I would have let her get off easy with a grade of 2 or 3. But not now. This is a pre-9/11 album in a post-9/11 world. We don't care anymore, Madonna. And I'm speaking directly to you because I know that you're totally always checking out my Madonna reviews to see if people are adding any comments.
This sucks diggety-dick to the MAX. Mark Prindle you fucken ROCK dude. Not a lot I can add to that stinging, barbed, completely justified ANNHILATION of this shite. Celebrities - earn your keep. Coz we public define your sad little insecure lives, and if we stop caring you might as well reach for the razor blades. Apparently she got Missy Elliott to try and teach her to "rap" on this. Missy must have been using the huge wad of cash Mrs Ritchie gave her to cover her uncontrollable laughter. You have NEVER heard a wacker flow. You don't start trying to rhyme at 40-odd. Master P wouldn't even sign her. Self-indulgent shite, as ably detailed above. But also, let's point out that the production tries to ape the extremely talented and inspired (even when on autopilot) Timbaland and the Neptunes, but without one single gram of innovation or SOUL. Thing is, I think this went straight to number one in my stupid England country. My theory is though, if you played Napalm Death on rotation on daytime radio for long enough people would buy it in droves. YOU FUCKING MORONS!! (..no diss, Napalm Death are cool, but you get my point).
"My father used to go to work/I used to think he was a jerk"...c'mon, Joey Ramone would have balked at that one. Madonna...you're a PENIS.
I thought at first this shit was going to be so bad that it'd be funny. I mean, damn, I've heard some really bad albums before but they always stayed in this like "bad" category and often those bad albums would be so bad they'd be funny and a novelty item--Hell, One Hot Minute I truly despise but in a way it's so bad it's just funny and still under this whole frame of "badness". American Life is so wretched, calling it "bad" or even "wretched" doesn't do it the justice it deserves.....it leaves you dumbfounded because you want to call it horrible, but you know all these words don't get to the core of how simply offensive it is.
This is something that has gone past being so bad that it's funny and you truly do, as Mark says, want to throw this fucking broad through a window. After hearing her vocal inflection at the start of "American Life" as well as the most fucking AWFUL lyrics, I knew there was great trouble, but once that rap starts, holy shit, I just want to fucking punch this bitch. What's with this whole "I live the American Dream?", and why is she STILL talking about how she's so much smarter now than she used to be, does anyone even care anymore about Madonna? Does she still think she's such a great center of attention? "I'm just living the American Dream and I'm just realizing that nothing is what it seems?". Is she aware of what's going in the world right now? What the fuck does all this shit mean? Isn't she like 50 years old or something now? And the actual music on this album goes NOWHERE--just disjointed ideas that go nowhere. Fuck, try to hum the instrumental "melodies" on this album--bet you can't.
I always thought Madonna was a smart broad. She's always been great at conforming into what is popular at the time and exploiting it to make tons of money off shitty songs in the past decade. What the fuck is this album about? I'm just in awe of what the hell she was thinking. Who was giving her thumbs up on this piece of shit? Why does this album exist? And yeah, this really is a pre September 11th album--her lyrics throughout are nothing more than a scary as fuck reflection that she is absolutely disconnected from reality.
Christ, the music alone on this record is so bad it's offensive (right now I'm listening to "Nobody Knows Me"--with all those tasteful high scratchy/buzzy sounds and little bleeps that are supposed to be melodies), but the lyrics really do it. I don't even know her and I hate her now; I feel like getting rid of my copy of the Immaculate Collection just based on this.
I don't know what else to say; I'm dumbfounded by the existence of such a tasteless, offensive, sickening record. Don't even hear this because it'll just upset you if you have any soul or taste in music. In a world now where it's become completely lucid, for once, of how corrupt everything is and how much suffering is taking place at the hands of a relative few, power hungry, pseudo-fascist, and not to mention stupid "leaders", to make an album like this now--ESPECIALLY when you're a (dare I say) cultural icon like Madonna, whining about losing weight and doing nothing more than painting out how spoiled, rich, and selfish you are--I think should warrant enough to make a public apology and quit the music business for good. Right now is a truly embarassing time to be an American--something this bitch doesn't seem to be aware of. A fucking zero, indeed.
I'd like to agree with Roland Fratzl. I'd fuck her in the ass, too. Then I'd wipe my dick across her face so she could smell what her albums sound like.
In fact you shouldn't really call yourself a reviewer...what I just finished reading was much more of a whinge than what you imply Madonnas latest album to be.
You keep going on about how you think this album is all me, me, me...what's wrong with that? Isn't that what art is all about..._expression of oneself and ones opinions? Show me a singer that doesn't create a piece of work based on his or her life experiences or based on their current state of mind. Madonna writes and sings songs from her perspective, that's why she is so interesting to so many people.
I don't understand your criticism at all when come to the lyrics in American Life - Do I have to change my name, loose weight etc... you say she is out of touch with real life with these lyrics. How so? You also say "Who thinks like this now?" You live in the fattest country on Earth, you are all thinking like this! All I see on American television is people that are too fat to too thin...you seem to thrive on it. Madonna is pointing out how shallow and superficial all that stuff is and for you to not recognise that makes you look very stupid. She's being ironic. Get it?
As for that crap about her rapping...What fake fucking Negro accent? Are you for real? She's not bragging in the rap mate, she's relaying stuff to us, her audience, she's opening up and being honest about all this shit she used to think was so important but now realises isn't, at the same she gets the message across that she could not function as a non-famous human being without all these things now, the public owns her and she needs this huge entourage of people just to live out her daily life. I would feel pretty unsatisfied if I didn't have a moments privacy, wouldn't you? Then you go on to accuse her of having billions of dollars, and not actually having to work! Tell me how do you think she got those billions of dollars if she didn't have to work? She has worked her arse off! Imagine how much work she has had to do to get where she is today by sheer determination only to have a wanker like you criticize her from your armchair position. I bet she has had to work a great deal more than you ever will. How can you assume that what Madonna has achieved hasn't involved a lot of hard work?
Madonna is speaking as a human, Just as you are. She was a human before, she is a human now, she's just singing about how her life has changed and offers us a pretty valuable insight into how unsatisfying fame can be and in a time when everyone wants to be famous just for being famous I think that's an important message to get across. It epitomizes American Life if you ask me.
Why are you bringing up all this bullshit about the war? A war happens so everyone is supposed to stop doing everything they normally do? Is Madonna supposed to stop being creative, Are doctors and nurses supposed to stop caring for the sick, were you expected to stop writing your awful reviews? What's your point here?
Maybe when Madonna is singing about Hollywood, she is singing about her own experiences with it....When she says "How can it hurt you when it looks so good?" I interpret that as her saying that she knows she has made some crap movies and obviously it does hurt to have to endure that criticism all the time but at lease she's not afraid to keep trying. That's what makes a great artist. Clearly Hollywood can be cruel....Look at all the celebs in rehab for Christ's sake.
Again you accuse Madonna of repeating herself with "I'm so stupid" People are growing all the time Mark, people are evolving and forming new ideas and opinions constantly, Madonna does not repeat herself in this track, she insults herself...It's a rare sign of regret we don't often get from Madonna...makes her more human than most other singers I think...she's been in the business long enough and earned the right to reflect a little on things that once seemed so important...don't you think? You don't have to believe her. Just listen.
This dribble that you keep going on about her singing about herself is just boring...What point are you trying to make here? It's HER album you moron...of course she's gonna sing about herself. Everyone does!
You criticize the use of the vocoder again and the acoustic guitar...which is fair enough I suppose...perhaps there was a bit of vocoder over kill but it still sounds good. Just because it's been done doesn't mean it's automatically bad. She is allowed to repeat herself if she wants to...It's artistic license. Maybe her way of being different is to do something she has done before. Irony again perhaps?
Easy ride is one of the best tunes the entire album. It's beautiful...a great end to a great album....but again you've ruined it by having the warped idea that Madonna hasn't or wouldn't know what work was. Where are you getting this misguided information from? Madonna has been famous for 20 years, that means that she was 24 when she first started becoming famous...Are you telling me that she had idea what life is like for a non-famous person? she has lived longer as a non-famous person than she has as a famous person. It sounds to me like you are Jealous. Why don't you try Britney Spears...maybe she can give you a better idea of what real life is like.
The worst part of all this, though, is that Madonna has successfully hoodwinked America into buying this trifle. Her fans dutifully trudge off to purchase this, regardless of whether or not it's shit, and some people actually think this is good...that's she's being sarcastic!? That this is the height of misunderstood protest music? It sounds like a rant against someone who gave her the wrong change at a convenience store once. Nothing more. And perhaps a whole lot less. Watch, her next album will be inaudible breakbeats over which she warbles about being "misunderstood" cause she's so brilliant and the critics will, of course, state how she's so far ahead of her time and still relevant and still challenging. Which, of course, she never was, she was only remotely enjoyable in 1983.
Of course, I haven't even heard this album, and don't ever intend to listen to it. I caught a snippet of "Hollywood" while flipping past VH1 and will try my best to avoid it.
Oh yeah, even though George W. Bush is moron, an empty suit, and a wanker, Madonna's video showing her tossing a grenade at Bush's feet, suggesting that we should assassinate him instead of merely voting him out of office, makes her kind of hard to relate to!
She's failed in every other medium, and now that she's failed in the one medium -- the recording arts -- where she's always had success, she is thoroughly fallible. Time for her to call it a day. Unlikely she will, though. She better. Yo, you stupid bitch -- please go now! And don't come back!
1. Stop giving us that > I've-been-writing-reviews-for-seven-years-I'll-be-the-first-to-admit-I-took- a-couple-of-years-off-in-the-middle-there > crap of yours. You've written it so elaborately that it sounds hardly > convincing. Like you said, one can lie about it and heck, so can you.
2. Uncreative melody - The producers are the ones to be blamed on > that one, I think. I have to agree with you though, that Madonna's music > hasn't changed for a while. And yeah, it's almost like I'm listening to the > same Madonna track over and over again. *Sigh*
3. Embarrassing production - Maybe, but that's a matter of opinion, I think. > I mean, the video and the song were re-edited, right?
4. Offensive moronic lyricism - I think that's because you only see the song > as it is and not look deeper into the words. There's more to the lyrics than > just the plain bitchy complaints about how her life sucks and if you'd just > analyze > the poetry, you'll see what I mean. But I'll get into that in a minute, > don't worry. Everything must remain in order.
5. You so blatantly speak of Bush like he's not doing anything to find the > solutions to all the problems present. BUT CAN YOU AND ARE YOU? I mean, > while you just sit there in front of your blasted laptop or whatever, > spending half of your > day, typing out your thoughts in more or less than a thousand sassy words as > to how and why some famous people (which you are not) suck, Bush on the > other hand, is actually trying to figure something out regarding many > different problems from many different countries involving the UN. It's not > just America he's dealing with, and until you learn that being the president > of the international economy isn't as easy as whining all the time and > writing and posting nasty reviews, it is best for you to just keep your > impudent mouth shut tight.
6. Next up, when you said "I certainly understand why an artist might choose > not to address depressing social issues in their work", I kinda almost threw > up. Just what the heck was that? It's not every single pop stars' desire and > idea to base up their music on anything and everything crappy that's going > on around practically almost in all places if not entirely everywhere. And > if you're talking about how the title tack of Madonna's latest album doesn't > fit with the current disasters present, think again. (See number 9)
7. Yes, entertainment is entertainment and it's not just for escape. It's > one of the major factors that keep us sane despite some people's everyday > dilemmas. What, don't tell me you don't go tapping your feet on the floor > when hearing a funky beat? Or maybe whatever that is that you prefer to > listen? And who said anything about American Life being an escapist > entertainment? It was your OWN interpretation and like I said, you don't go > deeper into the songs.
8. Actually, it is pretty obvious to many people how phony entertainment > business can be. Which I think is a good reason why a certain famous person > shouldn't feel all that happy being in the business. Sure, it can be a bitch > sometimes and that it's the celebrities' duty put up with all the > controversies and issues headlining the papers and news programs every now > and then. But that doesn't really mean they're obliged to feel happy, just > because it's > unnecessary for them to complain. But I'd doubt you'd understand. I mean, > just how would you? I mean after all, you're the almighty reviewer and > they're just celebrities anyway. It can't be that THEY know the pains of > being famous any better than YOU do, right?
9. "Do I have to change my name? Will it get me far? Should I loose some > weight?Am I gonna be a star?" - Yeah, that may not be the most relevant > thing to ask about nowadays but didn't you admit just now that the song was > practically about herself? Didn't it ever occur to you that maybe that was > the first thought that came to her mind when she arrived at New York with > only 35 > dollars in her pocket? Sure, that was over two decades ago, and probably no > one thinks like that anymore today and that when she was talking about > American life, she was talking about herself, as you've put it but track one > is also related to current events and catastrophes in another way if not the > lyrics itself. For example, the shock scene at almost the end of the > original version of the video, where Madonna throws a grenade at Bush's lap, > and later on turns out to be nothing more than a harmless little cigar > lighter, she said in an interview that it was her way of saying that there > MUST be an alternative to war. Gets?
10. "I got a lawyer and a manager an agent and a chef, three nannies an > assistant and a driver and a jet, a trainer and a butler and a bodyguard of > five, a gardener and a stylist, do you think I'm satisfied?" - Hmm. Then how > about asking if she was EVEN talking about practically wanting MORE?? She's > not > complaining about how unsatisfied she is after gaining all the things she > has now, but asking a question instead if those things she valued the most > back then, and even now, were really important, and if fame can give you > exactly what you truly > wish for. You can say > that she's just living the life of a spoiled pop star all you want, that she > doesn't know anything at all about what American life really is, and that > she still has the guts to feel unhappy with all the money and fame and all > the attentions and publicities she keeps on receiving ; whatever. But for > that I surely can't blame you, for you've spent seven years of your life > writing and posting reviews just to make a living when she on the other > hand, had done it a much, much better and practical way in her own Madonna > style.
11. And then, I think you completely missed (If not ignored, duh.) the part > of the song where Madonna so clearly says : "I tried to stay ahead, I tried > to stay on top, I tried to play the part, but somehow I forgot, just what I > did it for, and why I wanted more".
12. Ah, so you think she has no idea how to be a person? BUT DO YOU? You > have no right to say weather if she speaks like a human or not. This Madonna > review, > I actually tried hard not to vomit while reading, wasn't humane enough and > as far as I think, so does your previews ones, given that the likely highest > score you could ever give her back then was 2 or 3.
13. She has only been around for 20 years. Not 30.
14. For you to say that she hasn't had a decent song in all those 20 years > of her music career, I think you're being galling is quite out of place. You > don't even know what she's been through and after only seven years of > experience (If that's what you wanna call it.) of reviewing, which I'm sure > isn't even half of the time she spent making half of earth's people's world > go round with her music, you dare to say she hadn't experienced any real > problems. BUT HAVE YOU? I mean, what pressures did it have to write > something bad about someone? Hmm? Surely, it would've been just too easy if > you wanted to. Do you not think so? I mean, all those big time celebrities > out there, it doesn't take efforts to put them down by words. And with the > help of. oh! Things the Internet can do!!! - Well, Do you not agree?
15. "Everybody comes to Hollywood, they wanna make it in the neighborhood, > they like the smell of it in Hollywood, how could it hurt you when it looks > so good?" - Then, what about, "Music stations always play the same songs, > I'm > bored with the concept of right and wrong" and "Shine your light now, this > time it's got to be good" - Sounds kinda promising, dontcha think? And then > the > "Check it out, this bird has flown". You said she's just attempting to cover > up the > issues about her flopped movies but AREN'T YOU doing the same thing just so > you could say that her album sucks? I mean, just to remind you, my fellow > HUMAN, > you seem to have, practically every reason to hate the release and just > because you ONLY see the negative parts of the lyrics, doesn't mean you can > accuse her of not knowing anything about what American life is TODAY.
16. Is the idea of her repeatedly telling us about how much she's changed > the only thing you can say abut the track, "I'm So Stupid"? And -- um! > Costumes! You know, Madonna used to receive criticisms about what she wears > in the early eighties, and now you're complaining that "Honesty" and > "Compassion" aren't costumes you can slip on and off. People are SO weird.
17. Yeah, Madonna isn't stupid to me, either. And thank god > you did NOT.
18. Madonna is all Madonna knows. - Is it now? Hmm, WHATEVER.
19. Any personality Madonna's voice had left (Which wasn't much anyway) - I > don't know. you're not the one who sings your arse up on stage now, aren't > you? Madonna has a good voice and you-YOU DON'T.
20. Sloth? SLOTH? Right. But you know, someday you WILL be old too, and I > would definitely enjoy daring you to say that word by the time comes then. > And, she isn't trying to offend the average people when she asked "Do you > think I'm satisfied?" Take a look up there, at number 10 if you don't > remember what I said about THAT one. 'Guess Madonna's not the only one who > speaks again and again about one thing now, isn't she?
21. Well, if you hate it so much then simply DON'T ever play it EVER again. > Oh, but wait! You bought the album for the sake of your. uh. "Reviewing". > right? Uh. yeah, "review", it is, then.
22.THIS ONE'S for the NAMELES REVIEWER back there who agrees with you a > hundred and five percent : WHY? Was she even SUPPOSED to be > relevant in the 9/11 world? Honestly, like I told Mr. Prindle, just because > you see the negative parts and not the positive ones, doesn't mean you have > the right to accuse her of being oblivious. Moreover, you insulted the FANS! > How nice of you! And yeah, you can call her immoral and pathetic all you > like, but you're NOT the one with the guts to do more than a dozen daring, > seductive videos. Another thing is, if you're a man, then you don't have the > right to say Madonna's French kissing Britney and Christina on stage at the > VMAs degrades women. If I hadn't known any better, you use women too. But > then again, if you're > female and think it's weird to see two or three women kiss in the lips, then > I guess you've got some serious in-securities about your sexuality.
That is all I have to say to your kind face,Mr. Prinle and NAMELESS > REVIEWER. Have a pleasant day. ^_^
Madonna is a woman who, as a paid-up member of the Christina Aguilera/The Osbournes/MTV cabal casts a long shadow over 'popular culture'. (There are other examples outside of the music industry, but that's what I'll stick to for the sake of brevity). Generally, I avoid any of this and keep myself to myself. I rarely trouble myself to think of the logic behind the whole shebang, but Prindle summed it up pretty well in his review. For this, I thank him.
Then I read number09's comments and thought why he would bother going to such trouble just to defend a woman he presumably doesn't know, and who doesn't know him. The problem, as I see it, is that millions upon millions of people immerse themselves in this unreal culture of celebrity, seeing life lived out on a fantastic scale by these larger-than-life figures.
This divorce from reality allows the people who do have the power, the American, English, French, Russian, whatever governments, and the entire World Bank/UN/WTO junta to get away with whatever the fuck they please, and to line the pockets of the world's richest 5% at the expense of the entire rest of humanity, safe in the knowledge that people like number09 (not to victimise him or anything) will be too busy walking around with their heads in the clouds to give a shit what's going on in the world around them unless it directly affects them. This is what led to 9/11, when global issues of the past century came to a dramatic head.
This is also what leads to the rise of the right-wing, 'what's-in-it-for-me' media, (Murdoch being the chief example, but not the only one by a long way), who cover the issues which interest their readership/viewers (eg: murders, which in truth barely affect the population) rather than the global issues which affect the planet. (It has to be acknowledged that we now live as part of a global community, where the rich are as responsible for the poor in Africa as they are for those living in slums in the same town). Coincidentally, this is the same media that feeds the fire of celebrity culture, propagating the vicious circle.
And no-one notices until some religious extremists fly an aeroplane into one of dominant symbols of this culture, at which point they sit up, scream "What the fuck was that?", fly into a blind panic and give their governments free rein to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, securing footholds in the most valuable and important area on Earth and playing the dubious power-politics that got us into this shit in the first instance.
Fuck you number09, there were plenty of alternatives to going to war in Iraq, the first being NOT going to war. It's headless-chicken pieces of shit like yourself that are responsible fot this mess. Bush and Blair are corporate puppets driving us straight to hell, Madonna is one of their tools, and they use people like you like a ribbed rubber condom.
I'm just a 15-year-old boy from Manchester, England. I'm not Chomsky, or anything. I'm not even Michael Moore. People read '1984' and say "Thank God that could never happen in a country like ours", well it is happening and as long as the world is full of people willing to argue o behalf of Madonna and Bush, it will continue to happen.
This isn't a direct response to your review, but I thought it was some amusing evidence to back up your points about the ol' bag's ego. This is a press release Madonna wrote in support of Wesley Clark, as reprinted by Entertainment Weekly (all grammatical errors hers). Enjoy!
"I've never done this before. But life is about taking risks is it not? I know that people seem to pay attention to everything I do. Big or Small. Ridiculous or Sublime. So I am hoping they pay attention to this:
"I am supporting General Wesley Clark for President.
"Not only as a 'celebrity' but as an American citizen and as a mother. I want my children to grow up with the same opportunities that I had- to know and understand what's going on in the world and to travel that world safely and with pride.
"Now I'm asking you to join me....
"Our greatest risk is not terrorism and it's not Iraq or the 'Axis of Evil.' Our greatest risk is a lack of leadership, a lack of honesty and a complete lack of consciousness. Unfortunately our current government cannot see the big picture. They think too small. They suffer from the 'what's in it for me?' syndrome....
"Wesley Clark has asked for my support and now I'm asking for yours
Second, I want to agree with most of the people here and say that this album musically sucks walrus balls--but I'll be generous. I won't give it a zero. I'll give it a whopping three out of ten. Because I do think the singles are kinda catchy, albeit monotonous.
Third, I have to disagree about the "value" of the lyrics on this album. It may be true that Madonna's "out of touch" with the American public--but only with certain segments of it. Us college students, ghetto dwellers, and laid- off Enron workers put together, numerous as we are, only represent a minority of the population, so it can be safely assumed that we don't quite hold a monopoly on "American Life." She may not speak for us, but I can almost guarantee that the sentiments she mocks on here--celebrity worship, materialism, fame-seeking--ARE sought after to a fanatical degree by most of the white Americans we know of. And she's telling us that those sentiments are not worth it. You won't become happier after getting them. Sure, you won't have to worry about paying bills, buying food, raising a family, eking out day-to-day existence in the mills or streets or ghetto or whatever. Whoop-de-shit. Does that mean you'll be HAPPIER? Is it worth going through the nervous breakdowns, media frenzies, manager back-stabs, scandals, lies, death threats, hundred-hour workweeks, intrigues, heart attacks, strokes, and so forth just to be "above" "real-life" troubles? She says no, and she comes from a position of authority on the matter. Keep in mind that she probably works longer hours than we do. It may not be "honest," "real" work, and she may not do it for her "daily bread," but she DOES do it for respect, which may ultimately be just as much of a cloud over your head.
Think about it this way. Michael Moore, the man whom I would think most embodies the political viewpoint expressed by Mark (which indeed seems to constitute half his argument against the album's lyrics) is infamous for a repeated urge to Americans: Stop deluding yourself. Stop dreaming of grandeur, riches, and fame. Stop trying to better everyone else. You're not going to get rich, it's not worth it, and you're only going to degrade society by trying. So just don't do it. While that's taking it to an extreme, (and I don't necessarily agree with him on most things), I think that's exactly what Madonna's trying to get across with the lyrics on this album. Riches, fame--all a grand illusion. Not worth the effort, she says.
Ah, well. I guess the lesson we can learn from this album--and Mark and Cap’n Marvel's admittedly allergic reaction to it--is that the grass always seems greener on the other side. Let's not be too judgmental towards the chick, old and fat as she is. After all, it's not like SHE dropped bombs on Iraq. Right, Joe?
Which reminds me: fourth and final. Joe from Manchester. I would venture to propose that there might actually be WORSE things on this planet than our so- called "celebrity culture" (that Madonna, incidentally, so excoriates on this album). I would venture to guess that there may be greater threats to a bright new global future than the apathy of rich Americans, the stupidity of Republican politicians, or the market share of Rupert Murdoch. Such as, perhaps, the spread of ethnic and religious hatred throughout Europe and the Middle East, the rise of nationalist brainwashing, the cruelty and brutality of dictators who think, with no small amount of justification, that they WILL get away with their crimes, and the concurrent rash of protesters in the West who unwittingly defend those dictators, deluded into thinking that their own governments are somehow much, much worse.
Five hundred thousand Iraqis murdered and three million exiled by Hussein in 1991 after the Gulf War? Piffle. NOTHING compared to Bush's monumental crime of rejecting Kyoto and ignoring the Security Council, right? Taliban massacring ethnic groups? Oh, but that's NOTHING compared to one of Blair's advisors committing suicide. Next thing you know, Big Brother will be RAPING us!!
Sure, our leaders are idiots. Sure, they supported those governments in the 1980's. We already know that. What's your point? What exactly was staying out of Iraq and Afghanistan going to solve? Are we sinners in need of excoriation for repentance? Do we need to let oppressive governments reign so we can say "mea culpa" a million times until we have scarlet letters on all our chests? We all know by now Hussein wasn't a threat. But to whom? The people whom he ruled with a bloody fist? The prisoners in his dungeons? The Kurds whom he gassed in 1988 and 1991?
Don't insult my intelligence and claim "Those are the prisoners of US and OUR CULTURE." Not all wrong is done in this world by Rupert Murdoch, Bush, Blair, and Aznar. Not all poverty is caused by Madonna, the media, pop culture and the fucking "symbol" of the WTC. And not all right will be done by lumping together Bush, Blair, the Iraq war, Enron, Madonna, the media, and our pop culture in one big stew and dubbing it Evil Incarnate A La Mode. In fact, next to none will. Such a mindset is symptomatic of the same brainwashing you accuse us of. You might still consider it "individualistic" and "thinking for yourself". But believe me, it's not original. I know--I live in the thick of the same mentality at Rice University. Interestingly enough, none of those people are international affairs majors.
I'm not asking you to change your ideas. Just know this: there are those of us who are NOT anti-war who actually DO think for ourselves.
This album blows, though. Madonna, if this really took you that long to record this, you need to get a new career, girlfriend. Like sock-knitting. That should get you to have a “non-easy ride” for a change, heh heh heh.
Now, it goes without saying that the most mainstream middle-of-the road pop productions are rarely in possession of either lyric or musical innovations. Madonna deserves to be praised, at the very least, for striving for innovation...developing sounds. Hell, she's even learned to play the fucking guitar. Name one other "pop star" who after managing to sell shitloads of records (some admittedly shitty, some--Like a Prayer--sublime) for 20 years would bother picking up an instrument, then alone play it live in front of millions of fans. Yes, the very simple minor-key melodies on this record seem a bit mundane..probably because she had more of a hand in writing the tracks musically (she's been a lyricist, not much of a musician).
This record, compared with recent hits like Music or Ray of Light has bombed. People want Madonna to show them a good time, get them on the dancefloor. When she wants to create (or co-opt) a dancefloor anthem, she does it effortlessly. She's virtually guaranteed a number-one hit if there is a decent bassline and "get on the dancefloor" lyrics. Here she's proved that despite the consnat attacks upon her as being the most commercial of artists, she isn't willing to pander to the public's taste to just sell a few million records. She's challenging herself and her audience. The song "X-Static Process" is worth giving the album a 2. And come on, "Hollywood" has a good hook. Give the lady a break. Though the album is preachy in parts and not her most vocally inspired performance, she does have something to say to to the world. That's a hell of a lot more than one can say for Shania, Britney, Christina, Beyonce, etc., etc... And you better get used to the idea that this woman is going to be inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame in the next six or seven years.
In 1982 Madonna joined Spanish giants Barcelona for a world record transfer fee of £5.000.000. The same year the World Cup was held in Spain and Madonna made her World Cup debut at her new home ground ‘Estadio Nou Camp’. The tournament didn't end as Madonna had hoped and she was sent off against Brazil in the second phase, as Argentina bowed out.
In her first season for "Barca" she helped them win the league, leaguecup and the Super Cup. Two years later, another world record fee of £6.900.000 took him to success-starved Napoli, and in 1987 they won a league and cup double. A year earlier she had captained Argentina to a second World Cup triumph. It was a World Cup that forever will be synonymous with Madonna. She scored 5 goals in that tournament, including two against England. Both are among the most controversal in World Cup history. The first was the infamous "Hand of God" and the second probably the greatest goal ever scored in a World Cup game, as she ran from her own half, leaving seven English players for dead.
Success continued with Napoli as she again steered them to a league title in 1989 and a triumph in the UEFA cup. In 1990 the World Cup was held in Italy and Madonna captained Argentina to yet another final. The Germans were once again the opponents and this time they proved too strong for the Argentinians. That loss was to be the beginning of the end for Madonna. Two drug scandals have created black spots on his name and reputation. Several come-backs have been tried since 1991 and after helping Argentina qualifying for the 1994 World Cup in USA, Madonna looked fit for fight again. A marvellous goal against Greece in the first match game proves that.
But in the next game against Nigeria she was caught for drug abuse, and the World Cup story of Madonna came to a sad ending. That match meant that Madonna equalled the record of matches played in the World Cup of 21, held by Uwe Seeler and Wladislav Zmuda (Later beaten by Lothar Matthäus of Germany). Madonna retired from international football with a gallery of good and bad memories. She is regarded by neutral football lovers (alongside Pelé) as the greatest player of them all.
Madonna is not to be confused with Maradonna, international pop relic who sings on worthless dogshit albums like “American Life”
Wow. Mark's review was wonderful, and comments by ddickson, DisclaimerWill, JoeWilkinson, and Number09 bring up some fascinating ideas. First of all Prindle gets credit for demonizing Madonna in his review by blaming her for all the evil of 2004 (or 2003, whenever) which really isn't Madonna's fault, but his review convinced me it was anyways while I read it which I love.
If DisclaimerWill is trusted, Madonna actually isn't evil. Describing Americans the material girl surprisingly says "They think too small. They suffer from the 'what's in it for me?' syndrome". Fascinating! But this quote turns her into ddickson's opinion of Michael Moore someone JoeWilkinson would probably identify with, yet Joe Wilkinson hated Madonna's album even though he shares her political views. Hmmm. Madonna unsatisfied with the American Dream--Living to benefit just yourself is all of a sudden NOT what's important? This hints that a small portion of the sarcasm attributed to "American Life" lyrics by Madonna fans may actually be true.
But what kind of fucked up way to deliver those sentiments is Madonna attempting here?? If the sarcasm isn't obvious, most of her fans won't get it. I'm not saying she needs to write political music, but if she wants the world to be safer for her precious baby she's gonna' have to try harder than this. I mean damnit, you can say Material Girl was "sarcastic". What did it do? It caused teenagers to worship materialism and their independent feminine powers. It didn't convince cute girls to dump their rich boyfriends because Madonna enlightened them on the superficiality of their lifestyle with her brilliant sarcasm. Sheesh!
The irony is that Madonna's political beliefs are lost when she turns it into an album here. Madonna's failure to express her own beliefs--that's what's fascinating!!! Of course (counter to Prindle) everybody wakes up worrying about their weight in the US--we're 25% fat ass diabetics counting the days before our toes fall off and we're on dialysis. That is American Life. That is what the American Dream is leading us too. Greed and over-indulgence destroy Americans while much of the world still suffers from our attempts to further western over-indulgent lifestyles as we destroy our planet's resources and steal from other people with atrocious foreign policies and despicable trade laws. I'm no trade expert, but I trust Chris Martin of Coldplay (Why? I don't know?) when he said on NME.com today:
"They grow cheap tomatoes in Ghana, but I saw market stalls stacked high with cheap tinned tomatoes shipped in from Italy. If Ghana tries to export to Italy they are whacked with tariffs. It doesn't make any sense. We are making money out of these people and they can't afford to send their kids to school".
Now ddickson's post is more infuriating than number09's. The fact that so many fucking Americans don't realize the effect our greed has had on making the world a violent place in the past four years is astonishing. Is Bush Evil? Let's say no just for fun. War is fucking evil!! Just ask Metallica. Actually, if someone had turned George W. on to "One" and "Disposable Heroes" we'd never be in this mess--too bad he didn't relate to "Nothing Else Matters" and jump on the bandwagon when I did. But I digress...
Now ddickson...wow! Sounds like he'd rather have sex with Bush than Madonna. He says Madonna is fat? She's not fat--she wrote a bad album--that's a big difference!! ddickson is so brainwashed by celebrity cultural remnants of the 80s that he channeled his dislike of Madonna's music into "she's fat". Huh-fuckin-larious! This is the ignorance we now live in thanks to Madonna and all the excess materialism she spawned in her golden years. Madonna has always had it coming by the time she got older. She spread the worship of sex and beauty throughout America better than that dude in the desert who convinced Moses' buddies to worship that cow.
That was fine in the 80s, but Prindle's point is well taken; after 9/11and especially our new wars, America can't afford to act ignorant like this forever. The world has real problems, and what do people like to do with problems? Blame other people!! Blame Americans who live in a world of excess as they worship false idols and try to force western values upon other countries. If spoiled people like Madonna piss us off, what do you think other countries think about us spoiled Americans?Assholes like ddickson cannot be allowed to believe that westernization and wars solve problems. I'd like to chain him to a chair and play "Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables" at high volume for the rest of eternity, or at least until he could recite every Jello Biafra lyric by heart--then I might let him go.
I don't think ddickson is an evil guy. But war is evil! It's fucking paying people to die while they try to kill other people getting paid to try to kill the other people. That's Evil! Basically the American lifestyle is way out of control, and we have policies and political machinery doing real evil on our planet so people can get richer. Which brings me back to Madonna. She is whining on an album as one of the most succesful American women in the history of everything. What the fuck are we doing trying to westernize Iraqi politics and culture when America is such a fucking mess itself. And there's no good way to redistribute the useless resources our capitalistic country acquires. Just listen to Madonna whine about all her maids and shit that she doesn't need. If the successful American Dream leads to unhappiness, and life ain't too pretty when the American Dream fails you and leads to poverty, why the hell would Iraq want anything to do with us. Let them keep worshipping Allah, it's bound to be better than worshipping the fucking dollar bill like we do.
So yes, Mark, many Americans should feel outrage listening to Madonna choose NOW of all times to complain during a time when most American's prospects for economic security seem as unlikely as Madonna letting Jellybean write her new album; which is pretty damn unlikely. And yes you cute little Madonna fans, her heart is probably in the right place here, but as a woman of tremendous cultural power in the world the decision to release an album with personal pronouns to infinity is not the smartest way to convince her fans to break free from the "what's in it for me" syndrome. Hell, I might even listen to "Americn Life" someday now that I'm so fired up!
Actually, for your information, rowedf@EVMS.edu, I HAVE listened to Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. It's a decent freaky little punk LP, except for the fact "Your Emotions", "Funland at the Beach", and "Ill in the Head" blatantly rip off the riff of the Clash's "Protex Blue" (which, oddly enough, stole from the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop"), and the chorus of "Let's Lynch the Landlord" is a carbon copy of that from the Sex Pistols' "Pretty Vacant." Still, it's speedy and not without hooks, so it's got its merits.
(By the way, even if you forced me to listen to that album a billion times, I'd NEVER be able to recite every one of the lyrics by heart. Though maybe the general syllables. Biafra, bless his little heart, and despite his widely-touted literary genius, is one marble mouthed sumbitch. Save your ropes and chair for a more intelligible leftist. Roger Waters, maybe?)
A not-half-bad punk document. I give it an 8.
Now, about the imperialist conquest. Let's take a quote from Rowedf himself: "When the American Dream fails you and leads to poverty, why the hell would Iraq want anything to do with us? Let them keep worshipping Allah, it's bound to be better than worshipping the fucking dollar bill like we do."
Yeah, that's bound to be better, man. How's this for better?
--Not so long ago, there was an uprising against the administration in Baghdad; under the leadership of Shiite clerics, thousands of men took up arms and turned the shrine in Najaf into a fortress. Troops surrounded the mosque, and through a combination of threats and negotiation, persuaded the men to surrender. Sound familiar, right?
Well, it actually happened 13 years ago. The uprising was against Saddam's regime. Only difference--Saddam tortured and executed every single one of the surrendered men inside that mosque. He also had most of their families put to death.
Oh, and additionally, he had about 300,000 civilians executed nationwide that same year. That was in the Shiite half of the country alone.
But. . . y'know, America's SO MUCH worse.
--In the largest single monetary scandal in modern history (yep, larger than Enron, CRAZY though that sounds), from 1996 to 2003, Saddam Hussein's regime skimmed over $10 billion from the oil-for-food program set up by the UN, the only system keeping millions of Iraqis from starving to death. Meanwhile, nearly half a million Iraqis starved to death during that same period.
Sheer coincidence, right?
. . Right???
But America's SO MUCH WORSE, dammit.
--In 1978, Saddam asked a young child if she knew who he was. She responded "Yes. My father spits on the ground every time he sees you on TV."
That same day, the entire family vanished--including the child.
MAN! Why the FUCK would Iraq want to have anything to do with us? America SUCKS! Saddam kicks ASS! I mean, we've got TOM DELAY! He's history's greatest monster!!!!
Sarcasm aside, THINK for a second, Rowedf. Saddam Hussein did NOT follow the will of Allah. You want greed? Materialism? Imperialism? Death? Imperial oppression? All the so-called American values you despise and at least SEEM to blame for the world's problems? Saddam had them in spades. So if you think HIS way of doing things is better than the American Dream. . . well, what can I say. I hope you're a sado-masochist, 'cause he'll give you the pain you crave.
We are a greedy nation, I know. We kill the poor sometimes, get drafted occasionally, and don't lynch the landlord when it's necessary. And our agricultural subsidies are simply immoral to the Third World (that's what the Coldplay guy was talking about. And they ARE despicable.) But we do not commit genocide against our own people-or drag them off with their wives and children to be tortured and beaten to death. Although, considering the argument of the far left, maybe we SHOULD. Then we'd be more like the dictators they defend so faithfully.
Sorry to sound patronizing, but JEEZ-US. I've heard this same nonsense from people who claim to know a lot about how bad America is but know absolutely fucking NOTHING about Iraq. And yet think they know all they need to know. At a recent Iraq "teach-in" I attended, a man stood up and asked the "expert" lecturer about Saddam Hussein. The lecturer responded: "Look, I don't know anything about the guy. Frankly, I don't WANT to know anything about him. I'm here to talk about America's crimes. They're probably worse. Drop it. Is that clear?" Word for word.
Yes, America has problems. Yes, invading Iraq wasn't going to solve them. No, the country wasn't a threat to us. Yeah, there are a lot of capitalists, religious nuts, and drooling ignorant morons who couldn't even find CANADA on a map in the United States that I'd like to smack around. And yes, we've got poor people on the streets that need food, shelter, money, and a little compassion from the arrogant bastards who've seized control of our domestic agenda. I'm not a Republican. Fancy that.
But the "war never solves anything" dictum, like all rules, fucking HAS exceptions. Nothing short of war was going to get rid of Saddam, who, crazy though it sounds, represented a far greater evil to his people than the American Dream does today. The Iraqi people certainly weren't-the one time they tried to get rid of him, genocide was the result. And to those who say "Saddam COULDN'T have been NEARLY as bad as foreign occupation"--yes, he could have, boys and girls. Outside of Rwanda and the Congo, Iraq was the single bloodiest tyranny of the last 20 years of world history. For fuck's sake, read up on it, people. Don't repeat Jello Biafra's "teachings" your whole life. Think for yourself. Study. Ask one of the 3 million Iraqis who fled their country because of him. THEN go say, "Why couldn't we have just let that poor guy live in peace?"
To that, I reply, "What peace?"
Totalitarianism, torture, and starvation is not peace, people. It is hell on earth.
By the way, that "Madonna's fat" thing was a poor choice of words. I apologize. She's not actually fat. She's rather trim, for 45.
And come ON, Rowedf. I said a lot of other bad things about the damn album. I don't even like the '80's.
Except Tears for Fears. Shout, shout, let it all out, man. :)
And Black Flag. They rock, as it were.
After all we only killed 20,000 to 100,000 Iraqis when we invaded. That's only 1/100 or 1/20 of what Saddam did even though we did this remarkably fast. Unfortunately, nothing fuels terrorism quite like war, and Iraqi's are now far more (2.5 x, a New York times estimate) likely to die violent deaths from new terrorist attacks than under Saddam's reign. Each death on each side breeds more hate between US supporters and terrorist supporters.
So with the question (to put it nicely) "in the air" as to whether we have made the world safer for Iraqis, lets look at what we spent especially since Bush wants $80 billion more today for the war:
"The forthcoming request highlights how much war spending has soared past initial White House estimates. Early on, then-presidential economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey placed Iraq costs at $100 billion to $200 billion, only to see his comments derided by administration colleagues.
By pushing war spending beyond $300 billion, the latest proposal would approach nearly half the $613 billion the United States spent for World War I or the $623 billion it expended for the Vietnam War, when the costs of those conflicts are translated into 2005 dollars.
Republicans used the deficit figures to underscore the need to find budget savings this year, including from popular benefit programs, which include Medicaid."
What could the US do with $300 billion dollars? Say Saddam killed 3 million. We just spent 100 million dollars for every person he tortured and killed-to make Iraq maybe a bit safer, maybe a bit more dangerous--we don't really know. Now I'm the last person that wants to put money on a person's suffering but $100 million per person?!? You decide. I was at a homeless shelter last Friday night on watch, waking people up at 4 am so they could go out in the snow Saturday morning, catch a bus and go to work at a minimum wage job. Our homeless, excepting the mentally ill, usually work. And it's not pretty when you have to carry all you own on your back, and wear the same clothes for two weeks until you can afford one night at a hotel when you can finally shower. Does the government value these people's lives? Oh...let's just cut medicaire for them so we can avenge the memory of dead Iraqis with more violence at $100 million a head instead.
Since this is a music site though...I admit "Pretty Vacant" is one of my favorite songs, good for the DKs for stealing some of it. Roger Waters was a good suggestion for leftist torture, actually. Ever heard "Amused To Death"? The song "Watching TV" talks about how all of these war facts we are both throwing around really have lost their meaning. As much as I hate to admit, I may not know the truths behind suffering and war any more accurately than ddickson does. No human can comprehend the meaning of these massive statistics. So, I'll end with my own opinion, I don't claim it as fact, but I believe from my experience that violence tends to breed more fear and violence. Just look at how violent the US government has become since two planes crashed into New York City. Now some of the more impulsive Iraqi kids that we orphaned from the US war have a fair enough reason to hate the US as much as the last generation may have hated Saddam. We didn't stop terrorism folks, we're just sparking it.
Now to bring the subject back to Madonna...anyone out there do yoga? I don't. Fucking Madonna.
Is this review some sort of remnant prejudice from the mid-80s when conventional wisdom dictated that assertive women singers who sing intuitively rather than technically can't possibly craft music that is transcendent and fulfilled?
I just want to let you know that your reviews are pretty successful because they generated a lot feedback and various points of views.
Keep it up!
P.S. I think Madonna's rendition of IMAGINE is just awful.
Do I have to change my name?, Will it get me far?, Should I lost some weight?, Am I gonna be a Star?. These lyrics symbolize a mood that seems to be connected to many Americans right now in their need to want to be like what they see on TV. There are many singers/songwriters, models, and actors who are trying to make it, but find themselves depressed and longing to be heard. Hinse shows like American Idol, America's Top Model, and The Road to Stardom. Plastic Surgery is on the rise simply because people don't believe they can be happy with themselves, and millions of American's are doing diets hoping to be those figures they see on TV. Although Madonna has been apart of mainstream america there was a time when she was working at Duncan Donuts in New York playing at small ass gigs and living in a shit hole, that had only cold water to shower in. She even was somewhat chunky at that part of her life. So whether you like it or not, these are serious issues Americans face. Not every americans problem is trying to find out how there gonna find enough money to afford McDonalds.
When the hell has entertainment just been entertainment.
Artists have always used the power of music, and film to make points whether it be politically, emotionally, religiously, or morally. I'm not gonna sit here and type out all the artists that come to mind or the movies, cause I know you will do that yourself. When Madonna raps in American Life she is rapping about all the materialistic things she has, but at the end she says ''do you think im satisfied?''. She is saying that none of these things make her happy and she is trying to reach an audience and tell them to seek true happiness and stop dreaming of riches. What a dumbass to say she hasn't had a real problem in thirty years. Just because your famous doesn't mean you don't have problems, in fact you have more complex problems and thats why so many stars are depressed. My grandma who lives in a house with one bathroom, and has no cable, computer or car is probably internally happier than Madonna was a couple of years ago before she meet her husband, and had her 2 children Lourdes and Rocco. These things she has stated made her truly content and happy.
So ''I'm so Stupid is the tenth or twelth song she has recorded about how materialistic and selfish she used to be''.....whats your MOTHER FUCKING POINT. So Celine Dion's song ''A New Day'' is the 50th song she has recorded about love and relationships. Which is all an artist can record when they have nothing else to say about life. Hmmmm thats why Madonna probably sells more, because she actually has more to say, and uses her life as her art form. Smart woman..even if you don't like her.
I found out how unintelligent you really are when you had to use how many times she uses first person pronouns to put her down. I mean honestly who thinks about shit like that. I mean I can see Madonna in the studio with Mirwais her producer saying ''oh we need to make sure we use the words they, them, he, her, she, and it.'' It's album based on the experiences and problems in her life. People that relate to these songs can drive down the road and sing them in first person and relate the song to their life. If they were singing it in second or third person it may not have been as effective. Why don't you go through your records and find out how many times on each song a person uses a first person pronoun. Hell Whitney Houston holds the word I forever in the song "I will always love you'' Big Fucking deal, what a PATHETIC point to make.
She is not in a heavy metal band, or any type of rock band.
Mabye her and her producer wanted the sound of a guitar recorded over for 4 seconds and repeated. Shes a pop singer you dumbass! At least she is co writing her music which is a hell of alot more than alot of artists out there. Your obviously living in a box when it comes to music, so you have no room to open your mind to new things.
Why are you pointing Madonna out over all these other artist for being rich and famous. Yeah no shit! she has money and well all know. When you sell millions of records over the course of twenty years thats what happens. All artists are like that though. Here is difference I want you to think about though Ashlee Simpson, Enrique Igesias, Janet Jackson, and Lisa Marie Presley, what do they all have in common? They never had to work for there fame they were all in it because there family was in it and they wanted it to. Even Britney Spears had full support from her parents all the way to the top. Madonna is living the "American Dream'' she came from a mid-western town with dreams and ambitions of being big and proving that she had something to say. She worked her way to the top. There is nothing false or phony about it. Whethere you like it or not Madonna has lived the American Life and she has so much inspiration to give to people.
So for a conclusion I want you to know that I do care as well as millions of other Americans. Thats why millions of people still bought her album despite your shitty review. Even though she's famous, she's still a human and people love her for her music and always will. Long live the queen of pop!
First and most obviously of all, the rapping in American Life -Don't you get that she's taking the piss out of the whole gangsta rap thing? Look at the ridiculous things she raps about -her Mini-cooper rather than her Benz, her perving on the totty in her Pilates lessons rather than 'in da club', her drinking soy latte rather than Christal or Barcardi, 'this metaphysics shit is dope'.. ???? Cheesy for sure, but how heavily ironic does she have to be before people actually get it? Madonna may be guilty of taking herself too seriously these days, but she's not stupid enough to think she was going to take hip hop by storm with her rapping techniques. Not finding the joke funny is fine, but not getting that there's a joke there at all is inexcusably moronic.
Love Profusion -its a fantastic song, utterly fantastic. Even the silly childish lyrics work here for me. She can 'feel bad when she's in a bad mood' all she wants as far as I'm concerned, I could listen to it for hours. (Also a stunning fantasy video for this one from Luc Besson)
Hollywood -a good catchy pop song. Its not a classic, and I wont make any argument for it except to say that when they played it on a recent student club night, it had a fantastic reception and got people dancing and singing along (even if they didn't know the words), which is, after all, what pop is all about.
Nothing Fails -boring but a nice ballad.
Datedness -this is too often used as a universal criticism of something we don't like. Most electronic music refers to the 80's, but that does not make it dated. I would call the production on this album (courtesy of Mirwais) overly purist and lacking in variation, but not dated.
I think a large part of the horrified reception to this album in America was that it came at a time of great sensitivity to people having a pop at America. People said that Madonna had forgotten who brought her to the party etc etc. Well they weren't buying those cd's out of charity were they? Madonna doesn't owe them anymore than they owe her for providing great entertaining music. As far as I'm concerned, Madonna's musical efforts should be judged on their merits, not whether they stroke the American ego.
Prindle also states that Madonna is out of touch with reality. Well, if spreading a little hope is such a bad thing, then maybe people want to be out of touch. Excuse everyone else in the world if they try to brighten the day a little with a few dreams.
Another criticism of Prindle's was that Madonna said things that she did not mean. How many times do we, as Americans, say things that we do not mean just out of habit? No one is immune; as Prindle says, we are just human beings, and we do make mistakes.
Prindle also says that Madonna uses the pronoun "I" too much. Well, at least she is only speaking for herself; Prindle, on the other hand, is trying to speak for all America. Personally, I would rather someone speak about herself than have someone else speak for me where my opinion is concerned. At least Madonna does not go around downgrading other people. Prindle is just a pompous, egocentric jerk. (The language Prindle used is also a lot worse than saying "I".)
Basically, I think the best help Prindle can give right now is djust to get over himself and to quit downgrading other people. Instead of looking at the splinter in Madonna's eye, he needs to take care of the log in his own eye.
May God bless you in an infinite number of ways as we work together to leave a legacy that will last into eternity, uniting all brothers in fellowship and in love!!!
If you like this album...wait. I don't really care if you like it. You've got your own taste - I have mine. Though, Madonna's solipsism, at this juncture, reminds me somewhat of a puddle of liquid diarrhea.
Also, the music sounds constructed by a brain-damaged fourth grader who misplaced the Etch-A-Sketch and wandered into the control booth.
As stated before, though, I don't care if you do like it and like listening to it. Everyone's got their something.
But...if you feel the need to defend this album on this site, then I really think you ought to stop skinnydipping in the gene pool. The United States of America already has enough fools within it - don't do us the favor of attempting to successfully procreate.
That is all. Good day, class.
I very much enjoyed your Madonna review.
I think you might find interest in a brief essay I wrote about Madonna entitled "Inappropriate Behavior in Prime Time," at http://writingsampler.com/websamp_politicalwriter-com.html, an old site of mine.
Madonna always struck me as a "style-over-substance" artist (she was big in the '80s, after all), so I've never had any respect for her music (And before some deluded Madonna worshipper accuses me of sexism I love Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, Sleater-Kinney, Janis Joplin and so forth). Does she honestly think anyone cares? Again, to Madonna I say in a loud, defiant voice... BULLSHIT!
Okay, I'm done.
Just read the review for this cd. I have only heard the singles (against my own will) and have not thought of this album for years. When I put Prindle into google I saw you had a wikipedia and this was cited as the album with the big 0.
Can I just say, well done for this. I remember when this came out and I saw the video for the single being sick to the stomach for all the reasons you outlined. madonna bitching about not being happy, next item on the news....45,000 people die a month in the Congo! And my nanny keeps quitting! Care about me! It really does sicken me, in a big way.
If your review was a petition, I would sign the dotted line, and take it to the streets...if we could somehow impeach madonna so she had to stay in her mansions and live the hard life not bothering us... Eric Sweenor above me also hit the nail on the head - she has fooled the fucking people into buying into this shite, do they actually enjoy it? I was thinking about this the other day, most people think there are about 5 choices of music - you like rap, r n' b, pop, or the dreaded "a bit of everything". Anyone who has ever told me they like a "everything, really" inevitably thinks a mix of those 3 is everything. And U2/Keane/Coldplay if you are "alternative". How can people swallow someone like madonna coming off with this....
I also just noted Ian's comment there. Tell me it's a piss take. Now I am depressed. I wonder if he likes "a bit of everything"....
Incidentally, as I am meant to be writing my dissertation (mentioned in my comment for Ire Works...) I have skived off to read reviews a few times today, and almost everything I have read has been September 11 related (by chance I read the Rising review and then the Chris Rock section). I don't know if you want to put this end bit on the site or where, but I wanted to say that was an excellent piece of writing. I am from Belfast, Northern Ireland and at the time of the attacks even that far away there was a huge sense of dread in the air, I can't imagine what it would have been like to be that close to them. I am not going to try to wade in on the issue or your experience, I just wanted to say it was a very affecting piece.
Anyway, next time I will talk about a better record!
1. American Lice
2. American Hype
3. American Tripe
4. American Wipe
5. American Blight
6. American Pipe
7. American Knife
8. American Wife
9. American Shite
10. Americans Like (Better Music Than This)
This goes out to firstname.lastname@example.org: You had me going there and almost had me half-agreeing with you, until you threw the preceding sentence in at the end of your reader comment. Taking into account the ridiculousness of that sentence, I see two possibilities here: 1) that sentence was your way of indicating that your entire post was a joke, since no one with half a brain takes that kind of evangelical Christian shit seriously, or 2) you really mean it, you're an idiot, and your entire post should be judged with that in mind.
Either way, what Prindle said in his original review of this album is thus confirmed: the album, much like Madonna herself, is a pretentious piece of shit.
Confessions On A Dance Floor - Warner Bros. 2005
Oh hang on, there's seven other songs on this thing? One sec --
OH MY GODPPBBLBLBLGLELELLEEEEAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGHGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(*top news headline the following morning: "Entertainment Weekly Music Critic Found Drowned in Waist-High Swamp of Vomit"*)
First off, Madonna rebelled against Christian faith because that is what she was raised with (Catholicism). She wasn't raised a Muslim & didn't (as far as I know) study that religion so why would she comment on it? She does tend to comment on things that she knows about or thinks she knows about.
Second: Christians are SO EASILY pissed off! For a religion that forces it's beliefs on just about every life form on Earth, it amazes me that they get so very upset when someone has something negative to say about their religion. Get over it! Stop sticking your Christian noses in everyone else's business all over the world & maybe no one would have much to say against them.
Third: It truly amazes me that Christians (and for God's sake, the Pope! Doesn't he have more important things to do than condemning a pop star?) all over the world got so up in arms about Madonna's crucifixion scene on her Confessions Tour this past summer. With all the pedophile priest scandals rocking American churches over the past several years, THIS is what get's their blood boiling? Madonna on a cross????
Religion may be comforting to some but it's a huge scam that caused and still causes most of the world's major conflicts. I was raised Catholic and it offends me that these priests tell me what I can & can't do to live a Godly life & they can't even raise their disgust over their superiors' handling of the sex-abuse scandal. But Madonna on a cross is far more offensive, isn't it??
Give me a break! If Madonna upsets your religious sensibilities, than you really need to check your priorities in life and get offended over the things that are far more important.
I saw the show on NBC – the visual interpretation of her new material is evocative and moving, particularly “Forbidden Love.”
Hard Candy - Warner Bros. 2008
"I'll be your one-stop candy store," sings Madonna of her genitalia, blissfully unaware that used chewing tobacco doesn't qualify as 'cand
Hi, I'm Bill Penis! No, not Bull Penis! Ha ha! Why, that would be an EMBARRASSING nam
Mistaking dull midtempo beats and drab non-melodies for disco music, producers Timbaland and Justin Timberlake announce that a tree is falling whenever they call each oth
If you like hearing black men groan, breathe heavily and say the word 'Madonna,' you'll LOVE getting a phone call from the Reverend Al Sha
"You don't have to be rich and famous to be good," she sings in "Dance 2night" while demonstrating that you don't have to be good to be rich and f
"My sugar is raw, sticky and sweet," sings Madonna of her genitalia, having jammed an active beehive into the festering gape just hours b
Kanye West's stultifying guest appearance in "Beat Goes On" suggests that Bush may have been right in at least one ca
"Get stupid!," Madonna implores in "Give It 2 Me," aware of the retarded mental capacity necessary to enjoy her mus
"She doesn't have my name! She doesn't have what I have!" argues the Queen of Pop in "She's Not Me," convinced that her straying man will return if she provides him with no reason whatsoe
"Give It 2 Me" offers a funky sweaty Gap Band-esque disco beat to get your body moving and your brain wondering why, if this is a "dance" album, none of the other songs sound even remotely lik
Poppier tunes like "Incredible" and "Miles Away" prove that Madonna can return to her classic melodic mid-'80s songwriting style, and fuck that up t
"See my booty get down," she exclaims in "Heartbeat," surprised at the gravitational changes that inevitably occur with old ag
The final track, "Voices," is really fucking good, with descending minor keys and strong vocals painting an effective portrait of a worried woman. Perhaps the artistic stagnation showcased in the preceding 11 tracks is what worries her s
These songs are slow, stupid and above all BORING. I'd sooner dance to some guy rhythmically taking a crap.
I'll start with the good: the cover art, which is eye-popping and promises a much more fun and sexy album than it is. And let's give Madonna credit: ridiculous a look tho it is for a middle aged woman, in her shape-shifting career Madonna has never before been a Russ-Meyer-starlet-cum-female-wrestler. But when a Madonna album starts with a song as boring and unmemorable as "Candy Shop" we know we're in trouble. I agree with you that "Give It 2 Me" (I didn't notice how catchy that one was until it kept going through my head an hour after I listened to it) and "Voices" are probably the two most musically and lyrically interesting songs on the album. "4 Minutes" isn't the worst debut single ever from a Madonna album, but Madonna and Justin Timberlake are trying to save the world with that? Are we sure they aren't working for the terrorists? I saw Justin Timberlake on Ellen saying how deep and profound Madonna's lyrics are... how might that be? Maybe they're deep and profound if you criss-cross them in the Kaballah. A few of the songs that are almost musically interesting, like "Heartbeat" and "Incredible", are sunk by cartoonishly generic lyrics like "On any given night you see me in the club" and "Sex with you is incredible".
All in all, I give it a 4. Musically, it's not nearly the worst Madonna album of all time, and occasionally you hear the classic squiddly-diddly sounds that Madonna introduced in 80's hits like "Lucky Star" and "I Know It". But Iggy Pop is senile: there is nothing punk rock about Madonna. Actually there is! The whole message of the album is punk rock:
"We're desperate! Get used to it!!!"
10 reasons why you should NOT buy this record:
1. There are far more deserving acts out there
2. Her voice is getting worse and worse
3. She has nothing to say about anything at all except herself. She's self-obsessed and does not need the further ego-flattery of major record sales
4. Her music has not evolved in ANY WAY since '91
5. She's a desperate "Look at me-me-me!" celeb
6. She's getting too complacent: "release any old crap - they'll buy it no matter what..."
7. Sad, transparent attempts to stay relevant by dragging in "cool" contemporaries
8. She's much too rich - no one should be allowed to have that much money
9. It's really tiresome how she believes we are in the slightest bit interested in her "oh-so-fascinating" publicity-stunt-by-numbers sexuality (am I the only one who couldn't care less?)
10. It's rubbish
(a couple days later)
Actually, she should have called it Hand Shandy.
Her goal was only marginally the sonic reproduction of the psychedelic experience. Her true goal was to provide a documentary of the decadent, disaffected, cynical mood that was spreading among the intelligentsia. She is not a hippie, she is a elitist musician who is aware of the Pop music movements: She began playing (in 1965) as part of Andy Warhol's multimedia show "The Madonna Plastic Inevitable". She originated the "pessimistic" strand of pop music (as opposed to San Francisco's optimistic? strand). Madonna probably remains the most influential Human in the entire history of music. Above all else, She originated a spirit of making music (independent, nihilistic, subversive) that ten years later will be labeled "Auto-tune".
Madonna is probably the most influential Person of the entire history of music. She scavenged the narrow alleys of the bad parts of town, and scavenged the subconscious of the? urban kid, for emotional scraps that were a barbaric by-product of the original spirit of rock'n'roll.
Click here to return to a simpler time, when men were men and women were made directly from men's ribs -- Look! I just made one now!