Madonna
Erotica


4.0
excellent

Review

by Get Low USER (46 Reviews)
April 18th, 2021 | 14 replies


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Colonel Sanders said it best: "Finger-lickin' good."

Madonna's album Erotica is her fifth, following a string of successful chart-topping albums throughout the eighties. Known throughout this decade as a pop idol for younger girls and women, Madonna decided to undergo a change of persona at the turn of the decade. In 1990, she released a music video for her song Justify My Love, that contained images of sadomasochism, bondage, and nudity, and which would eventually draw a ban from MTV. Gone was any semblance of the innocent Material Girl, and in her place was the reverent Mistress Dita, the dominatrix persona adopted by Madonna for Erotica, as well as it's accompanying book, aptly titled Sex.

Erotica begins with the title-track, which was the lead single for the album, and which also yielded a music video with a wealth of sadomasochistic imagery. Lyrically, the song is about inflicting physical pain while also finding a balance of sexual pleasure. Surprisingly, there is only one other track on Erotica that matches the blatantly explicit nature of these lyrics, which is Where Life Begins. This track details Madonna's…excuse me, Mistress Dita's insatiable desire to receive oral sex. Other topics on the album include relationship strain (Bye Bye Baby), self-medicating to mask sadness (Bad Girl), and experiencing loss due to the AIDS epidemic (In This Life).

Sonically, Erotica sounds much more mature than her previous output, adopting aspects of house, techno, and new jack swing in combination with her then-signature brand of upbeat dance-pop. The production, which was taken care of by Madonna herself with the help of Shep Pettibone, is light and airy, finding just the right balance between treble and bass without one overstepping the other. Madonna's vocal delivery is more subdued than it was on her eighties albums, to properly convey the sexual and seductive over- and undertones on the album, as well as to lie pleasantly upon the smooth and sensuous beats.

Song lengths on Erotica average around five and a half minutes, as repetition of beats and hooks is favored, albeit not at all to the album's detriment. The total runtime of the album is an hour and ten minutes (if you listen to the non-explicit version, which I recommend due to it lacking the mediocre hip-hop track Did You Do It?, which has no business being on the album). This would begin a trend of Madonna attempting longer and more decadent albums, in this case succeeding with consistency, but not always. While a lot of Madonna's music, older and newer, is meant to be sung along to, I feel that Erotica's trance-like nature begs a more passive approach to listening.

I want to conclude by expressing my thoughts on Erotica in the overall pool of Madonna's vast discography. I don't think that Erotica is any better or worse than her eighties albums, although it was important for Madonna to experiment and take risks with her sound at this point in her career. Erotica was followed up by the forgettable Bedtime Stories, which also attempted to play into the sexual aesthetic, but much less remarkably. She delivered her masterpiece Ray of Light in 1998, and then we entered a new millennium with Madonna struggling to match the quality of any of her eighties and nineties albums, with the exception of her largely popular Confessions on the Dancefloor. So overall, for anyone who is searching for the good Madonna albums apart from the bad, Erotica is one of the uniquely good, and should absolutely be given a chance.



Recent reviews by this author
Nujabes Modal Soul ClassicsNovelists FR Novelists Demo
Kim Petras ClarityBrett Black the Silent Musician Silent Tracks of Various Useful Lengths
Iggy Azalea In My DefenseLil Uzi Vert Lil Uzi Vert vs. The World
user ratings (219)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Get Low
April 18th 2021


10039 Comments


erotica, romance

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
April 18th 2021


15208 Comments


i’m watching a league of their own right this second

Digging: Jeff Rosenstock - SKA DREAM

Get Low
April 18th 2021


10039 Comments


Nice! I've never seen it.

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
April 18th 2021


15208 Comments


it’s p good. madonna is in it. good review

MillionDead
April 18th 2021


3757 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The t/t is an 11/10 pop song

CaliggyJack
April 19th 2021


6435 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yis

Get Low
April 19th 2021


10039 Comments


"it’s p good. madonna is in it. good review"

I know, and thank you!

DivergentThinking
Contributing Reviewer
April 19th 2021


9289 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great writeup, and I'm kinda astonished that this never got a review before

CaliggyJack
April 19th 2021


6435 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I sort of want you to leave it up cuz it's kinda funny. But you have it written "Finger Licklin' Good" in the summary LMAO

Get Low
April 19th 2021


10039 Comments


Thanks Divergent! The surprising thing to me is how few people on this site over the years have given a shit about Madonna. She doesn't have a single album above a 3.9 avg which is a travesty.

"I sort of want you to leave it up cuz it's kinda funny. But you have it written "Finger Licklin' Good" in the summary LMAO"

hahahahaha thank you for pointing that out; unfortunately I am going to fix it, but the typo will forever remain in your comment


Parallels
April 19th 2021


9048 Comments


It's gotten a review before, I swear it got deleted a long time ago.

Eminem said it best: Madonna is so old she looks like outlived a life sentence.

Digging: Fates Warning - Theories of Flight

bloc
April 19th 2021


65448 Comments


Solid ass album

Digging: Anthony1 / Exodia / Sienna Sleep - Ateriavia

normaloctagon
April 19th 2021


5575 Comments


pos'd

Get Low
April 20th 2021


10039 Comments


^ ty bb

"Eminem said it best: Madonna is so old she looks like outlived a life sentence."

The same could be said about Eminem's washed up ass.





You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy