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Madonna - Music


Review: Jack Foley

SAY what you like about Madonna, but the woman has talent.

As popular today as she was when she first broke onto the music scene, she has consistently demonstrated an uncanny ability to adapt with the times.

Not content merely to peddle out the same sound which established her, Madonna likes nothing more than to re-invent herself, thereby keeping herself one step ahead of her competitors in the process.

With Ray Of Light, her last album, she showed as much, teaming up with William Orbit to deliver one of the finest albums of her career and one of the best of its year.

And with Music, her latest release, she has moved on again, teaming up with leftfield French producer Mirwais to produce a dance album which just keeps getting better with each listen.

Music, the title track and opening number, is typical of the way in which Madonna can produce songs which remain chart-friendly while never sounding tacky.

With its distorted vocals and dance inducing beats, it is a catchy number yet, ironically, nowhere near the best track on the CD. Indeed, the first three tracks are probably the weakest of the ten, particularly the William Orbit-produced Runaway Lover; but the album then slips into gear with some truly classic moments.

I Deserve It, in particular, combines a great beat with some subtle, acoustic guitar and an instantly catchy chorus. It is very French, almost ambient, and a great track to chill out to.

Amazing, the second collaboration with Orbit, raises the tempo once more, even evoking memories of the dance beat on Beautiful Stranger (the track Madonna recorded for Austin Powers 2), while Don't Tell Me is a solid mixture of folk and dance.

Madonna's willingness to experiment is also apparent on Nobody's Perfect, one of the best tracks on the CD, when she gleefully mixes up her voice to devastating effect. It is a slow-burner of a tune, best heard with the volume turned up, so that the hairs on the back of your neck can stand on end.

It is followed by the hypnotic sound of What It Feels Like To Be A Girl (the album at its most mellow); Paradise (Not For Me), which is very electronica; and Gone, the best track on the album, which combines some enchanting vocals with a great, acoustic guitar based beat.

It is a pensive, almost mournful track, which brings Music to a great close.

For Madonna fans and music fans alike, Music is essential listening. It comes strongly recommended.

Track listing
Disc: 1
1. Music
2. Impressive instant
3. Runaway lover
4. I Deserve it
5. Amazing
6. Nobody's perfect
7. Don't tell me
8. What it feels like for a girl
9. Paradise (not for me)
10. Gone

Disc: 2
1. Music (Deep Dish dot com mix)
2. Music (HQ2 club mix)
3. Don't tell me (Timo Maas mix)
4. Don't tell me (Tracy Young club mix)
5. What it feels like for a girl (Paul Oakenfold Perfecto mix)
6. What it feels like for a girl (Lo que siente la mujer)
7. What it feels like for a girl (video)

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