Released: 21st April 2003.
Two decades after her debut, 44-year-old Madonna still remains the most successful female pop artist of all times. To celebrate her 21st anniversary as the Queen of Pop here is she again with her tenth album, "American Life", the second co-produced by the French electronic music guru Mirwais Ahmadzai.
She wouldn't get more than 50 hits under her belt without having an uncanny sense of timing. No one can deny that Madonna has always had the unique instinct to stay ahead of her competitors. And while this may be stating the obvious, if you have already heard "American Life", you might be left wondering if this still applies to the 21st century Mrs Guy Ritchie. Because "American Life" is definitely not a classic pop album. With "American Life" Madonna has taken her trip into electronic music even further.
But let's think about the past for a second. Because every opinion on a new piece of work is going to be based on what we already know and feel. So can you really expect a new Madonna album to live up to the past? Can it ever be as good as "Like A Prayer", "Ray of Light" or "Music"? Her thriving dedication to innovation has made Madonna one of the few contemporary artists able to put out the best works of her career almost 20 years after its start. And setting the bar so high with her last two efforts might have made the follow-up, "American Life," a disappointment by definition.
The eleven tracks of "American Life" are extremely varied and the lyrics rank among her most revealing ones. After listening to it, you feel like you were allowed access into Madonna's private world. This is an excellent album musically, but more importantly, it is a groundbreaking concept, where music lovers and the artist all win. And then you ask yourself: Why isn't everybody doing this?
Not being American, I definitely like this one a lot. And I also like the rap. And anyone who doesn't like the rap, just doesn't get it! (5/5)
"Push The Button, Don't Push The Button, Trip The Station, Change The Channel" Miles away from "American Life" and the second single from the album, you will find in this one an acoustic guitar and some upbeat drums. No effects on Madonna's voice which makes it sound unlike it has ever sounded before. Don't you also see a hint of Sheryl Crow or Jewel here? (5/5)
I'm So Stupid
One of the strangest in the album, with a very rock vibe in it. (2/5)
Again a mix of guitar and singing, with the vocal leading straight into the song, this is a definite highlight. (4/5)
Nobody Knows Me
The drums here are very hard sounding and with a slight breakbeat effect, making this a very funky club sounding song. It has so much energy in it that you can imagine getting hot and sweaty to this one! (4/5)
Folky like "Don't Tell Me", Madonna's voice is again deep and rich and free of effects. A guitar, some drums.. and then the choir. Some say it's amazing. For me not that much. (4/5)
With the electric guitar riff from "Under The Bridge", this is the hidden treasure of the album. Beautiful melody, marvelous song, hopefully a single. (5/5)
A classical guitar sound with a calm and dry vocal. The weakest on the album for me. (2/5)
Mother & Father
Amazing! The most original sound and style I have heard for a long time. A sweet vocal that quite reminds me of a certain Ms Minogue in her recent masterpiece "Fever". (5/5)
Die Another Day
Nothing quite new to add here. Just ask yourself how many "James Bond" themes made it to the very top of the UK Singles Chart. (5/5)
Feels like you are watching a musical. This is how an "Evita" song might have sounded had Mirwais recorded it. A perfect album end. (5/5)
You should have guessed by now what my opinion of this album is. Yes, "American Life" is truly amazing and I am blown away by the maturity of its sound. It is one of the best pieces of work Madonna has ever produced. It is 1980s sounding but yet very modern, homogeneously sounding, but yet full of style diversity, acoustic but yet electronic! I just hope that you will feel like I feel when you listen to this masterpiece.