Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The 10-Second Madonna Review

I posted this in a thread on Madonna's Icon message board as a way to encourage some dicussion of Madonna's music. Everybody started chiming in with their own reviews of Madonna's albums, and it's pretty funny to see what folks have to say about her stuff. I know some people are gonna scream over Erotica being at the bottom, but oh well... it's just what I think...

Anyway, here's my critical rundown of all her CDs... with * ratings, 5 (*****) being the highest.

First Place and Sentimental favorite: Like a Prayer -- no frickin' contest! It's still her strongest and boldest artistic statement ever. ****and 1/2 out of 5

A Close Second: Ray of Light - Revisionist Madonna, claiming spirituality and growing up. ****1/4

Third Place: Confessions On a Dance Floor - Madonna as disco queen, never having so much fun. ****

Fourth Place: Madonna - The one that started it all. Simple, sometimes dated, but oh-so-lovely. ****

Fifth Place: American Life - Madonna becomes a folksinger and makes her strongest emotional impact yet; too bad folks just didn't get it. ****

Sixth Place: Music -- Wildly uneven, but shows Madonna having FUN again for the first time since Bedtime Stories; responsible for two of her best, most mature singles: "Don't Tell Me" and "What It Feels Like for a Girl". ***1/2

Seventh Place: Bedtime Stories - Sexy, sensual R&B; like American Life, often sorely underrated. ***1/2

Eigth Place: True Blue - Madonna's first stab at social commentary and reinvention; pure nostalgic fun - especially the title track. ***

Ninth Place: I'm Breathless - Silly, nonsensical, and seemingly throw-away, this is one of Madonna's biggest risks, and the gamble pays off in spades. Her vocals on "What Can You Lose" are some of the strongest of her career. ***

Tenth Place: Like a Virgin - Uneven, overly simplistic, and with few standouts (save for "Angel" and the title track); probably her silliest -- and most dated -- record ever. **1/2

Eleventh Place: Erotica - "Revisionist" faux disco too obsessed with sex and Shep Pettibone's ho-hum "the songs all sound the same" production; often leaves much to be desired; still, "Erotica," "Rain" and "Bye Bye Baby" are enough to (almost) sustain it. **1/2


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