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
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
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.
2. Impressive instant
3. Runaway lover
4. I Deserve it
6. Nobody's perfect
7. Don't tell me
8. What it feels like for a girl
9. Paradise (not for me)
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)