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  • Hard Candy > American Life

    Link to the Billboard article above:

    https://www.billboard.com/articles/colu ... fe-revisit

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    • https://instagram.com/p/Bh1ug6khgcH/

      People in line today to buy Madonna records this morning in LA

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      • Her post about Avicii on IG may become or already is her most liked post. He was obviously very popular. I enjoyed him myself very much.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by AlphaMale
          Divisive Album 15 Years Later

          4/21/2018 by Chuck Arnold, Billboard

          While American Life certainly wasn't the kiss of death for Madonna, her ninth studio album did end one of the winningest streaks in the history of pop. Although the LP—which was released 15 years ago on April 21, 2003—did debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, it became the lowest-selling studio LP of her career up to that point. And the reviews were mixed at best.

          The title-track lead single was one of Madonna’s first bona-fide flops, certainly by her standards. It barely cracked the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 37. Even worse, it was the object of derision for her stiff, silly rap in the second half where she rhymes “latte” with “shoté” and “MINI Cooper” with “super-duper” and “trooper.” No one wants to hear Madonna rap about her lawyer, manager, agent, chef, nannies, assistant, driver, jet, trainer, butler, bodyguards, gardener and stylist. Not then, and not now. The failure of “American Life” made it hard for the album to recover with subsequent singles “Hollywood,” “Nothing Fails” and “Love Profusion” missing the Hot 100.

          But revisiting American Life 15 years later, it deserves more love than it has gotten -- it's perhaps the most underappreciated album of Madonna’s catalog. Listening to it now, it certainly bests Rebel Heart and MDNA, and from a lyrical standpoint, it probably beats 2008’s Hard Candy and maybe even 2005’s beloved Confessions on a Dance Floor. In fact, with its confessional tone and commentary on the American Dream in the President George W. Bush era, American Life is easily one of Madonna’s better lyrical outings.

          The strong lyrical perspective is complemented by the cohesive musical vision. Madonna worked with one producer, French electronic savant Mirwais Ahmadzaï, for the entire album—although there was additional production by Mark “Spike” Spent on “I’m So Stupid” and “Nothing Fails”—and they expanded on the folktronica experimentation they did on 2000’s Music. Indeed, if there is one Music song that served as the biggest touchstone for American Life, it's “Don’t Tell Me,” with its twangy trip-hop. Madonna and Mirwais—who are back in the studio working on new music together in 2018—also co-wrote all but three of 11 songs together. With such a tight team, not one of the songs feels out of place (although the dramatic “Die Another Day” from the James Bond film of the same name feels like it should have been sequenced earlier in the record).

          In retrospect, American Life—the last truly ambitious album that Madonna has made—also marked the end of a very important phase of her career. Having achieved new artistic depth with 1998’s Ray of Light and continued that creative spirit with Music, she was very much still in risk-taking mode on American Life. You might say those three albums—starting from an electronica base but veering in different directions—amounted to her Berlin Trilogy. On an aesthetic level, this period was Madonna at her Bowie-est.

          “Love Profusion,” “Nobody Knows Me” and “Nothing Fails” make for a thrilling three-song sequence that displays varied moods and styles. While glowing with its sweet strumminess, “Love Profusion” faces some troubling uncertainties: “There are too many questions/There is not one solution/There is no resurrection/There is so much confusion.” The zig-zagging “Nobody Knows Me” packs a rock thump and a sense of disillusionment: “This world is not so kind/People trap your mind/It’s so hard to find/Someone to admire.” And “Nothing Fails”—the glorious, gospel-infused centerpiece of American Life—is nothing short of a latter-day “Like a Prayer.”

          Elsewhere, “X-Static Process”—co-written by Stuart Price, who Madonna would go on to work with for much of Confessions on a Dance Floor—is a beautiful ballad rich in harmony and emotional directness. You can almost hear echoes of R.E.M. on that and the previous track, “Intervention.” Meanwhile, the solemn, string-laden “Easy Ride” may be one of the best album closers of Madonna’s career. The lyric nods to her notorious work ethic: “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.”

          American Life—which still sounds very modern and, in some ways, seems eerily prescient of Trump-era despair—feels more like the Madonna album for now than her recent efforts. It’s not a perfect album—“I’m So Stupid” is still irritating—but it’s the sound of Madonna challenging herself, and us.

          Billboard

          I could not have said it better.
          I'm like a dream within a dream that's been decoded

          #FreeBritney

          Comment


          • Originally posted by menime123
            Originally posted by Westen
            Watch her promote RH now on instagram....
            What a stupid thing to say. If she says she worked with him on an album, that’s not promoting the album - it’s honouring him through his work.... most of which we know he had to scrap through health issues.
            Verne Troyer who played mini me and was in the Beautiful Stranger video has passed away. Uh oh..madonna is going to promote her song now.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by AlphaMale
              Divisive Album 15 Years Later

              4/21/2018 by Chuck Arnold, Billboard

              But revisiting American Life 15 years later, it deserves more love than it has gotten -- it's perhaps the most underappreciated album of Madonna’s catalog. Listening to it now, it certainly bests Rebel Heart and MDNA, and from a lyrical standpoint, it probably beats 2008’s Hard Candy and maybe even 2005’s beloved Confessions on a Dance Floor.

              In retrospect, American Life—the last truly ambitious album that Madonna has made—also marked the end of a very important phase of her career.
              This is exactly how I feel. I loved the COADF era, but it was Madonna in damage control, making an album she didn’t want to make. Whilst it is undoubtably a brilliant album and era (and CT imo proved Madonna was very proud of it), Madonna has never been as creative on a record since AL.

              This is why I’m so excited about Madonna working with him again. Everything they did was golden and in the interim, Mirwais has largely remained underground doing what he was doing before he worked with her.

              This isn’t like going back to Orbit and expecting ROL2, or grabbing Stuart Price again for COADF2. Both of those used the platform Madonna gave them and instantly started working with big names in music. Not Mirwais, meaning he might still have something to say musically for her.

              But what excites me the most is that his music isn’t light. It isn’t fluffy. It’s dark and serious and instantly Madonna has to up her game lyrically to make the songs work.

              American Life is an album before it’s time. It was released at a time when the world was starting to become obsessed with reality stars, in a world where the West was feeling rather strongly about trying to protect its identity and way of life, and just before the world has decided it had had enough of disposable manufactured music.

              The album covers fame, celebrity, money, love, her relationship with her parents, her children and - ultimately - her relationship with herself and what she wants from her life. I have always called it her midlife crisis album.

              I accept it isn’t the album fans wanted and for some, remains as such. But for me it’s her magnum opus. Her life had been a rollercoaster up until that point in her life, and she took a pause to evaluate who she was as a result. When people think of ‘their Madonna’, this is mine.

              Her life has changed in every single way since she made AL, and aside from a few songs about her divorce on MDNA (and one or two releasing songs olabout her marriage on HC), she hasn’t really written about her life since. RH has a few songs that touched upon a few things, but mostly they were held off the actual album.

              I’m just convinced she has something to say with this next album. I know people trash her Instagram, but between the bathroom selfies, proud mother moments and MDNA promotion, nuggets of
              insight appear and I genuinely feel like she’s inspired this time around.
              I'm like a dream within a dream that's been decoded

              #FreeBritney

              Comment


              • Re: Madonna

                What do you guys think happened with her creative spirit after AL, and with her career after COADF?
                2019 Year End Charts: The 20/20 Experience

                Comment


                • Re: Madonna

                  She lost plot of the American market - the biggest, most prestigious and her homeland. That's why "Hard Candy" happened and she sacrificed her creativity in order to jump on the bandwagon and release whatever was hot. "Hard Candy" doesn't feel like a Madonna album.

                  That being said, "American Life" is still a tremendous album and one of the most underrated in her discography. Glad people are finally getting it and showing love.
                  You ain't gotta break down,
                  YOU'RE TOO STRONG!"

                  Comment


                  • Wow, even her 'flop' and 'forgotten' albums are getting attention from repected press

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                    • She's in the studio again
                      New stories posted now

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by NothingFails
                        Anyone go to Record Store Day today? I went after work and got the picture disc of her debut and the repressing of You Can Dance (I normally don't get the reissues, but in that case, my old YCD had seen way better days and the new copy was only $15, plus had a poster and red wax)

                        Nice finds! My friend got the Madonna vinyls. I'm jealous lol

                        Comment


                        • Re: Madonna

                          ^ Great finds indeed!!!
                          Originally posted by SummerPeur
                          Time stops for the Kween everytime WBT is performed.
                          Originally posted by Goldmoney
                          So does her microphone

                          Comment


                          • God,you guys are so lucky to live in the US and get all those stuff for such a low price.
                            I'd kill for that picture vinyl of her debut album. What a treasure !

                            Comment


                            • I remember months before the Rebel Heart release she made reference on istangram of many titles or lyrics of new songs, this time it’s all so quite..... we only know she is in the studio......

                              That makes me even more excited: can’t wait!

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by BlueScorpion
                                She lost plot of the American market - the biggest, most prestigious and her homeland. That's why "Hard Candy" happened and she sacrificed her creativity in order to jump on the bandwagon and release whatever was hot. "Hard Candy" doesn't feel like a Madonna album.

                                That being said, "American Life" is still a tremendous album and one of the most underrated in her discography. Glad people are finally getting it and showing love.
                                I think it has more to do with radio not playing her songs. She didn't need that in Europe, most of the singles she released became instant hits but in US a song's success depended heavily on radio. Hung Up could've been a #1 hit if radios supported the song.
                                Cha Cha Instructor

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by spiritboy
                                  Originally posted by BlueScorpion
                                  She lost plot of the American market - the biggest, most prestigious and her homeland. That's why "Hard Candy" happened and she sacrificed her creativity in order to jump on the bandwagon and release whatever was hot. "Hard Candy" doesn't feel like a Madonna album.

                                  That being said, "American Life" is still a tremendous album and one of the most underrated in her discography. Glad people are finally getting it and showing love.
                                  I think it has more to do with radio not playing her songs. She didn't need that in Europe, most of the singles she released became instant hits but in US a song's success depended heavily on radio. Hung Up could've been a #1 hit if radios supported the song.
                                  Same for 4Minutes: I remember at the time, it sold more copies than Touch My Body ( released simultaneously) but didn’t have the same radio support!!

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by BlueScorpion
                                    She lost plot of the American market - the biggest, most prestigious and her homeland. That's why "Hard Candy" happened and she sacrificed her creativity in order to jump on the bandwagon and release whatever was hot. "Hard Candy" doesn't feel like a Madonna album.

                                    That being said, "American Life" is still a tremendous album and one of the most underrated in her discography. Glad people are finally getting it and showing love.

                                    hard candy is AMAZING

                                    its one of her best.


                                    shes not me
                                    give it to me
                                    the beat goes on
                                    heart beat
                                    incrediable
                                    miles away


                                    THOSE ARE GEMS


                                    i hated music and Americsn life.
                                    cinfessions had some good songs but wasnt that good too
                                    YOU cant blame nobody but YOU

                                    Comment


                                    • You are making a late April's fools' post right?
                                      jio CHARTS NOW: 17/8/2021: https://www.ukmix.org/forum/chart-di...3#post10690993

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by jio
                                        From wikipedia "Nothing Fails" peaked at #36 in Germany. I think that that song is the biggest wasted opportunity of her career. It could have been huge and it should have been first or at least second single off "American Life" with a huge video to promote it.
                                        My Instagram... - Click here

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by jio
                                          You are making a late April's fools' post right?
                                          I have to say instead that that doesn’t sound as surprise to me

                                          Usually , especially non fans or casual listeners, or at least a great part of them, tend to love the fun track and overlook or skip the rest.....

                                          Comment


                                          • Re: Madonna

                                            Wasn't Nothing Fails huge in Japan?
                                            Cha Cha Instructor

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                                            • Oh, American Life... My favorite album by her. Her artistic peak with best melodies and lyrics in her career so far. Too bad people at the time were focused on everything but music, which is brilliant.
                                              When we lose what we love
                                              Don't think anything will ever taste the same
                                              When we lose what we love
                                              Don't think anything will ever feel as good again

                                              Comment


                                              • Originally posted by CandyShop
                                                I remember months before the Rebel Heart release she made reference on istangram of many titles or lyrics of new songs, this time it’s all so quite..... we only know she is in the studio......

                                                That makes me even more excited: can’t wait!
                                                Indeed,CS ! Same here.
                                                I'm loving that she's keeping those stupid hashtags off her posts and only teasing us with pics

                                                Comment


                                                • Re: Madonna

                                                  Just heard secret on radio. My mother knew the song, she didn't recognize Madonna in it tho

                                                  Comment


                                                  • Originally posted by jio
                                                    You are making a late April's fools' post right?
                                                    I love Hard Candy too ^^
                                                    I am not trying to seduce you... Would you like me to seduce you? Is that what you're trying to tell me?

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