Review: Jack Foley
MADONNA seeks to gain more mileage out of her American Life
album by releasing this mixed up EP, with equally varied results.
Lead track, and the main reason for buying it, is surely the
Jason Nevins' remix of Nothing Fails, which speeds things
up and adds some beats to brilliant effect.
Nothing Fails was already one of the best tracks on the
long-player, and while the gospel element which makes it such
a stand-out has been dropped, the replacement beats and added
guitars lend it a grittier, more contemporary feel, and confirm
Nevins' reputation as one of the best mixers in the business at
It deserves recognition as a single in its own right.
The Headcleaner Rock remix of Love Profusion does exactly
what it says on the label - rocks things up considerably, so that
the track enters nu-metal territory.
And while the mere thought of this might be enough to put some
off, it actually works very well.
As does their rock remix of American Life - although Madonna's
decision to make the ill-received rap the focal point of the vocals
may appear to many as an act of defiance, rather than intelligence.
Even with a heavy guitar backdrop, the rap sounds uncomfortable,
and threatens, once again, to undermine a good track.
But the chance to hear the pop queen given a rock makeover is
too good to miss, and both Love Profusion and American
Life are worth having in any fans' collection.
The extra electronica given to Nobody Knows Me works,
too, courtesy of the Mount Sims Old School makeover, and actually
lends it a harder, funkier feel than the album version.
The EP only really begins to come unstuck during the live version
of Like A Virgin: Hollywood Medley, featuring Christina
Aguilera, Britney Spears and Missy Elliot, which was featured
at the MTV Music Awards earlier this year.
It's good fun for fans, and particularly for anyone who saw it
live, but it's far too poppy and gimmicky to really fit into this
Into The Hollywood Groove fares little better, despite
the best efforts of Missy Elliott to give it some streetwise credibility
- although, it does present quite a decent retro trip for early
Madge fans, and the chance to possess Missy Elliott's GAP rap.
The final track, Your Honesty, an unreleased offering
from the Bedtime Stories sessions, is one of those B-side efforts
which is merely average - but listenable all the same.
True to form, Madonna has flirted with new genres in a bid to
keep herself at the cutting edge of the mainstream, and just about
gets away with it.
And while there is probably enough in her back catalogue to make
a whole album of remixes and revisits a viable possibility, this
will certainly do for now.
For that Nevins makeover alone, this is worth getting hold of...