by lunchforthesky USER (41 Reviews)
January 21st, 2007 | 15 replies

Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Upon trawling through the reams and reams of reviews on this site I came across Urban Hymns by Brit Pop legends The Verve and more importantly Iai’s soundoff of the album where he wrote, “Were albums judged purely on their singles, Urban Hymns would be a contender for the greatest album ever released,” which in my opinion pretty much sums up 95% of modern pop albums; A series of impeccably catchy singles and seven or so filler songs. Far be it from me to cast doubt on the judgment of the mainstream media but I personally feel that Madonna’s Music (Rolling Stone’s 452nd best album of all time) while clearly ahead of the game, is still plagued by all the same troubles as so many other pop albums, it is hard to look past the singles here and the album tracks simply don’t meet the high standards set by them. Now I’m not exactly an expert on Madonna’s considerable back catalogue but like every one else who doesn’t live in the proverbial cave, I know her singles.

As an album Music has a sleazy disco feel to it but at the same time oozes with overly produced pop sheen. Where as Madonna’s previous albums had a more traditional pop feel Music embraced the thriving dance scene but maintained everything which made her a household name. Take the lead single and the title track Music, whilst being without doubt the finest gay anthem not to be sung by Cher it is also a truly brilliant pop song. The electronic rhythms pound through your speakers and without doubt this song is best heard in a club on a Saturday night. Every line glistens and sets Madonna apart by a mile when compared with her contemporaries. From the legendary opening line, “Hey Mr. DJ put a record on, I Wanna dance with my baby,” to the hook, “Music makes the people come together,” Madonna has scarcely sung a song this well, certainly not for some time at least. It’s not overly steeped in meaning but I don’t imagine fans of the genre are looking for that. It does exactly what a fine pop number should; it allows you to sing-a-long and dance your heart out!

Yet it really doesn’t stop there and although it would be near impossible to top Music, Don’t Tell Me isn’t really that far from managing it. The song has a country meets dance feel to it, although the beats are very trip hop infused the acoustic riff sounds very folksy and to her credit the combination of two rabidly different genres works excellently. As always the focus lyrically is on “Love” which irritates me slightly seen as it’s such a worn out topic but nonetheless the lyrics are reasonable, “Don’t You ever tell me love isn’t true it’s just something that we do.” As always with Madonna any lack of songwriting ability is hidden by flawless production values and her fans lack of interest in any deep meaning in her songs. The final single of perhaps my favorite is What It Feels Like For a Girl, its slightly slower and more thought provoking than other two, which perhaps explains it being the least commercially successful but all the same it’s a very catchy song and I guess showcases the feministic side of Madonna’s personality with far more subtlety than Destiny’s Child or the Spice Girls could ever muster.

For what it worth Impressive Instant and Runaway are pretty decent songs. The latter probably triumphs over the former but neither have that special feel about them that makes me think they can fill out the dance floor or even make me want to listen to them a second time through. Particularly Runaway drags on and on, ruining any of the positives that were built up by its catchy chorus. Amazing harks back to her previous album Ray of Light with an electronic feel, but sounds comparatively weak; the hook is lackluster at best. Gone closes the album on a tender note with just an acoustic guitar and a basic beat in a stripped down back to basics finale.

I can’t help but feel I've missed something here. I mean the album was well received by critics and sold tremendously but as I’ve said several times before only the singles really warrant such accolades. Amazing and Gone have their moments but opposed to Don’t Tell Me and What it Feels Like for a Girl they shouldn’t even be on the same album and all the while Music is in a league of its own.

Recommended Tracks
Don’t Tell Me
What It Feels Like For a Girl

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user ratings (201)

Comments:Add a Comment 
The Jungler
January 21st 2007


Very nice, your one of the better new reviewers on the site, even though your not really new to the site.
I'm not a huge fan of Madonna's later stuff, but I don't think I've heard anything off of this.

January 21st 2007


Your reviews are always a joy to read, you're definitely one of the best new reviewers as Jungler said.

Keep at it man

Two-Headed Boy
January 21st 2007


Eighties/Early Nineties Madonna smashes this, from what I've heard.

Dandy review.

January 21st 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

Agreed with the others, this is a really good review. A lot of people have trouble reviewing pop, they're often too dismissive of it or fail to understand that pop should not be judged by its substance or lack thereof.

This record really shouldn't be on the Rolling Stone list. It has a handful of good to great songs, like every other Madonna record, but on the whole it is dissatisfying. She has some of the best pop singles of all time, but not a single record I can hold up to the same standard of a classic like Thriller. Ray of Light, Like a Prayer and Like a Virgin have their moments, but her singles really are her best songs.

Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2007


Agreed with Moz and SOP in a combination sort of way - the singles from this were basically unremarkable and shouldn't really be on RS's Top 500 albums. Then again, it's RS, so heh.
Very good review, though.

January 21st 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

Actually, the singles from this album weren't really any good, continuing the trend she began with Ray of Light and stubbornly refuses to give up. There's some decent moments on this, but they tend to get lost as Madonna does her best to make everything sound as ridiculous as possible. I do like the Franco-disco touches, but as with all Madonna's later records and husbands she fucks it harder and harder until it sounds like utter shit all over again.

What the fuck Ray of Light's singles were great and "Don't Tell Me" is so fucking good.

Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2007


Yeah I liked "Frozen" or whatever song it was where she fell and then she turned into crows. That was a good song.

January 21st 2007


Yeah. She should give up the dance/disco and concentrate on moody songs like that. More black cloaks, less leotards

January 21st 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

go listen to steve stevens you queer face

Yeah. She should give up the dance/disco and concentrate on moody songs like that. More black cloaks, less leotards


January 21st 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks, it was interesting move away from the familiarity of pop punk and review a genre i dont really listen to much.

January 22nd 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

Great review. This album kicks all kinds of @ss. Impressive Instant is so trippy, has to be my fave non-single. I still think Like a Prayer is Madonna's best.

Oh, and I would have LOVED it if Beautiful Stranger made the tracklist. Now that's pop perfection. This Message Edited On 01.22.07This Message Edited On 01.22.07

November 30th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

This is my favorite Madonna studio album. It's fun, catchy, dancable and colorful. "Impressive Instant" is pop perfection!This Message Edited On 12.02.07

July 1st 2017


Album Rating: 3.0

album rules

Digging: FKA Twigs - M3LL155X

September 20th 2017


Album Rating: 3.5

inconsistent album, most tracks are kinda un-engaging (although musically pretty varied and interesting), but the trio of singles in 'music', 'dont tell me', and 'what it feels like for a girl' are all fantastic and carry this to a 3.3 rating or so

January 18th 2018


T/t is a banger.

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