Sunday, February 14, 2010

But in the Process I Forgot

On April 22, 2003, Madonna gave an extraordinary performance of X-static Process from her brilliant American Life album on MTV, although this performance was left off the proper broadcast. I believe they showed it later on M2.

American Life is either very loved or very disliked by fans and critics alike but I tend to believe that this is the most experimental progressive album that Madonna has ever produced. I find it as personal and introspective as Like a Prayer or Ray of Light, if not more. I name those albums because they have the all around reputation of being pioneering and confessional. In my opinion, Madonna, more often than not, writes with the honesty of her moment, therefore I find most of her songs introspective.

As for the modern, radical, wicked sound of this record, Mirwais is up there as my favorite Madonna co-producer/writer along with Stephen Bray and Pharrell Williams. Mirwais' avant garde production tendencies match the innate funk of the aforementioned. Interesting that the track X-static Process was co-written by Stuart Price, not really his style. It's in songs like this that I sense Madonna's proficiency as a powerfully skillful lyricist and record producer. Credit she rarely receives.

I believe that American Life will have the respect it deserves one day. Sometimes great work is better left out of the mainstream. This was released at the height of the hideous Boy Bands and Teen Queens phase, which inevitably lead to MTV's deterioration. She was way too ahead with this piece for common mortals.




video

46 comments:

  1. I just wanted to say that I hate that many critics and fans didn't like this album. I am about as diehard a fan as you, and I have to say American Life is my favorite album, because like you said it is very introspective. I love how deep and emotional an album it is. I was only 15 when the album came out and I got it, and even at such a young age it touched me so, and to this day I feel such a connection to her words; I find it an utter shame that many people sweep this album under the rug. I also hate that Erotica gets a bad rap (from critics and non-Madonna fans) because while it looks and seems like an intensely sexual album I found that too to have a lot of beauty and depth to it. Deeper and Deeper for instance, and Why It's Hard. Some people will never know what great an artist they are missing out on.
    Love the blog by the way ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  2. I feel the same way! I loved American Life and felt that she made some of her best music, best lyrics here.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh my dear friends... I can see that you are her greatest fans... But denying the truth is not righteous and the same time you're being dishonest. Real criticism always inspires a star. Seeing my t-shirt itself you can make out how much i love Madonna. No doubt there's no other female (or even male after the demise of Michael jackson) artist as influential as madonna. Yet i cannot say that american life is such an exquisite work by her because it's not worthy for such a comment. I can point out the drawbacks of this album-
    1. The track I'M SO STUPID. As the title itself , the song sounds utterly stupid.
    2.The edited video of American life. There is nothing potent to provoke the thought as it's lyrics or even it's first uncensored video.
    3. The lyrics of Die another may. Does it have any meaning? I don't think...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Next i'd love to mention the good attributes of that album-
    1. American life track. That was a fruitful effort. It was really a spank on those war loving butts of america.
    2. American life video. I mean the first uncensored version, not the new one. I wonder what's wrong in that video. Everything she wanted to show through that video was absolutely right. It was all about a small category of politicians, not about the entire americans. She cannot slam americans because she herself is an american and she's always loyal.
    3. Love profusion track. The song was sweet. I love the video also.
    4. Even though i don't like the lyrics of Die another day, i was really astonished by it's music. Madonna also sung well...

    ReplyDelete
  5. You've hit the nail on the head, as they say. When I first listened to American Life, I was blown away, in a way I hadn't been by a Madonna album in a long time. I remember thinking each song was amazing and just had it on a loop for weeks.

    Lots of people at the time were saying it was her best album yet, then all of a sudden everything went quite. I picked up a copy of Q magazine which had a so-so review. I was shocked.

    It seemed like an eternity before 'Hollywood' was released and then the album seemed to fizzle out. Due to public reaction or simply bad marketing ...who knows?

    I agree that the album was ahead of it's time and was a bit too 'deep' for the general public who probably expected 'Music Vol.2'.

    The bad reputation this album had really hit me when a year or so after the release Q Magazine ran a jokey article entitled '10 Worst things that could happen in music.' One of them had the American Life album cover with 'Part 2' under the title, with the caption 'Oh no, not again!'

    Did people really think the album was THAT bad?

    Even though it's her weakest selling album, I believe it to be her richest in quality. Sadly, it seems, the negative reaction to the album has sent her in the opposite direction, musically.

    My only hope is that we DO get 'American Life Part 2' in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes! American Life is one of her most beautiful albums, heartfelt, vulnerable and sincere, in particular the guitar driven mid section of Nothing Fails, Intervention and X-Static Process.
    It is remeniscent of Like a Prayer not just in it's introspection, but also sonically and in it's use of a gospel choir for the 1st time since '89.
    Millions of us adore the album and it has a special, warm place in our hearts, regardless of the mean, harsh, short sighted critics.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think everybody took me in the wrong sense. I still insist that American life and I'm breathless are the only albums that i don't like much. It doesn't mean that i HATE these albums. If i had hated, would i wait for her later albums like confessions(wow... It really drove me crazy), hard candy and celebration? I have all her songs... And i'll not stop collecting them until i die. But i'll be always telling the truth. My album review: Madonna-9/10, like a virgin- 10/10, true blue- 10/10, Like a prayer- 10/10, I'm breathless- 5/10, Erotica-10/10, Bedtime stories- 9/10, ray of light- 10/10, music-10/10, american life- 8/10, confessions- 10/10, hard candy- 9/10.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Peroxide, Coca, JP, rl, ivor!!!! It's wonderful to hear others that adore this album. There's a purity to it, isnt there? I always think that she relearned music during this time - there was something Emmy-like about it.

    It should also be mentioned that while Madonna was second guessing fame and fortune, really the only credible person that could do so, the rise of the 'famous for nothing' reality tv star was happening. Everyone wanted a piece. Andy Warhol made his prediction, Madonna had been dictating stardom for the last 20 years, everyone was following and then Madonna was now saying, "no, wait...its scary up in here." I think she kind of freaked people out.

    ReplyDelete
  9. American Life love profusion Mother and Father easy ride = masterpiece

    ReplyDelete
  10. I hate American Life. It's not that confessional and the songs are tiring, it's overproduced and I don't think Madonna knew what she was getting into with that album. At the end of the day Madonna is a popstar, and the brilliance of Ray of Light and Like A Prayer is that they are ART and deep without leaving the pop sensibility on the side. American Life was Madonna's effort to put the commercial/pop aspect aside but I don't think it worked.

    I'll also forever hate American Life because it's the one time where Madonna compromised her own artistic integrity, by censoring the american life video, she says it was out of respect, but I think she was afraid of the huge backlash that other people had suffered for their anti Bush views, it was quite embarassing, it's a lowpoint for Madonna in my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I totally agree with you. I've always thought that American Life was probably the most brilliant of her albums. I actually have been listening to American Life in my car to and from university for the past week, so it's funny that you should write this! Every song is so touching to me and means so much. I hate that it has a bad reputation for "that album where Madonna raps"…

    And I know what you mean about Madonna relearning music during this time… it does sound sot of Emmy-esque… there's something so pure and beautiful about it all.

    I loved the last two albums, (Confessions more than Hard Candy) but I hope that one day soon Madonna can be inspired again to write another album as beautiful as this one.

    Thanks for writing this =)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Madonna is a pop star. Her music doesn't have to have any reasoning or points. While, 'American Life' isn't a favorite album of mine, it has some catchy beats and, 'Die Another Day' is easily a Madonna classic. This MTV special, though, for whatever reason, is about the only one I can't watch. I think it is because of how she looks. Not sure. Also, the way she looked during the American Life Matt Lauer interview. Yikes!

    Thank you for posting this performance, Pud. I do not think I have seen it since 2003. She sounds great.

    ReplyDelete
  13. this is my first time posting here but i've been visiting since the beginning almost. i really love this blog. it's this warm and fuzzy nostalgic corner of the web that appreciates this woman like no other m blog i've come across. pud, your memories are priceless. thanks for creating this space.

    ok, must comment on the song xstatic process - easily one of my favourite m songs. mirwais' production really captured the warmth of the guitar and i love how her vocals are right on the surface. what a gorgeous piece of music. the lyrics, its intimacy. 'vulnerable madonna' - my favourite kind. i also really appreciate the album. it saddens me that she diverted musically afterwards, as if twice shy to go there again.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  15. also - interested to hear what it is about pharrell that makes you consider him one of your favourite m collaborators?

    ReplyDelete
  16. the song and the "american life" album have always been huge favorites of mine. i'm an odd madonna fan, i'll admit it. i'm not the biggest fan of 80's madonna (it's was fun and all, but knowing now what she has turned into and seeing the brilliant work she's done makes me sort of by-pass the 80's madonna)
    i do love "like a prayer" very much (so much i have a tattoo from the album... it's the pic of her with the praying hands... and i'm soooo proud of it too). i feel that a lot of her music goes under the radar for most. i get sick of people saying the almost cliche "i like her 80's stuff but don't care for her recent music"... i think a lot say that cause they haven't really heard enough to make a judgement. i feel in a way that "ray of light", "music", and "american life" are a bit of a trilogy. i could go on and on but i do agree about the song and album. one of my favorite madonna periods for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  17. evrybdygegeget - ive always wondered what road madonna would have taken musically had american life been a hit, too. since ray of light, she seemed to be going into a different direction. i also wonder what that tour (RIT) would have been like. personally, i think she would have picked up where dwt left off. i think the albums reception and the NY Times piece - she lost footing.

    and im glad you like it here. xoxooxo

    ReplyDelete
  18. It comes down to our own personal opinions and feelings. Munawar and Ramon, I am happy to hear you have Madonna favorites and understand that you have least favorites as well. Athough I respect your opinions, I don't agree. This is Madonna's most amazing piece of work for me. Yes, I get how pivotal Like A Prayer was and that album is so special to me. I understand the importance of Ray of Light - its lyrics and music and how overwhelmed I was when I first heard it. Again, a very special place in my heart for that album as well. What people missed in American Life was the urgency of the lyrics. Not just politically but emotionally. I'm So Stupid was my least favorite song when I first heard the album. Today, I have no least favorite song. This album confirmed Madonna as a lyrical genuis. Yes, Ray of Light did the same but this album hit me hard! If you have to ask if Die Aother Day had a point lyrically, you didn't get it. And that's ok. Not everyone will. I think the people who LOVED this album took it personal and I think that's why you love it or hate it. I don't mind the whole censoring of the video. I believe her answer about trying to protect her family. I do love the unedited video though...INCREDIBLE!

    I have been a fan since January 1984. Saw her on AB and it was all love since then. I have collected eveyrthing from vinyl to books to magazines to posters and buttons. I've seen her live 15 times, attended the Evita premiere through an ICON contest, was in the pit for one of the RIT shows in CA, etc. I have had a long term relationship with her like many of you. American Life is VITAL to understanding Madonna. I love her more because of it. It was so important to me and I appreciate you Pud for not only loving this but posting it!

    ReplyDelete
  19. buster - glad youre back - thought we lost you forever to joanne. love you love AMERICAN LIFE! tell me about the evita premiere. that premiere was like the premieres of The Hollywood Palaces Premieres in Downtown LA of the 20's and 30's!!! total chaos!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ha ha ha...you could never lose me! I may have "crushes" on other female artists but Madonna is my TRUE LOVE! She was in 84 and she is today and always!!! That premiere was INSANE! A friend of mine is the one who won the contest and I was his guest. It was INCREDIBLE! The only celebrity I remember seeing was Greg Louganis...I was so wrapped up in seeing Madonna that I wasn't interested in seeing anyone else. We sat in the bleachers and waited for her to show up and of course, as you know, she was GORGEOUS! Everyone was in street clothes but we were in our tuxs because after the bleachers, we were headed inside to see the film. Watching the film for the first time before it was released and watching it with Madonna herself 7 rows in front of us...MAKES ME WANNA PEE IN MY PANTS ALL OVER AGAIN! I cried and was so proud of her! She didn't speak to the crowd before or after the show. At the end, everyone clapped and she waved as she left her seat with Carlos. She had a row to herself it seemed like because her dad and other family members sat with her. AMAZING!!!! I have a few pics too but I am not sure I can attach them to this comment.

    Thanks again Pud for all you do! I love love LOVE your site and you remind me every day why I love her!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. So Buster, what is the point of Die Another Day? I resent that whole "oh you didn't get it that is why you don't like it" logic, it's usually for the people who don't even know why they like something, they use that as a defense against people who don't like whatever it is that they like.

    Anyway, I got the point of the album, and it's a bad album. Lyrically it's not her best, it's not poetic, it's not deep, the same with the production, it's just too much. It's not a good pop album, and it's also not a good "art" album.

    And American Life was trully the beginning of Madonna's "uninspired" period. I mean seriously, have we even got a decent video since what it feels like for a girl?? besides from american life, we haven't.

    It almost seems like Madonna is not that interested in the muysic or the visuals, only the live shows.

    ReplyDelete
  22. The point of the song, FOR ME, is about self-destruction but not the way most people think of it. Its in a good way.

    "I'm gonna avoid the cliché
    I'm gonna suspend my senses
    I'm gonna delay my pleasure
    I'm gonna close my body now"

    She is talking about disconnecting from her physical world and connecting to her spiritual world. The things she is doing in the physical world are "killing" her although not literally. So, she is trying to change. Making different choices, cutting the cord on the desire to receive for the self alone.

    "I'm gonna break the cycle
    I'm gonna shake up the system
    I'm gonna destroy my ego
    I'm gonna close my body now"

    By the way, this is MY meaning of the song. If you have a different meaning, by all means, post it however don't tell me I am wrong about mine because I don't expect you to subsrcibe to my view. I find it quite deep and incredibley poetic and I'm sorry you missed out on that. I am curious what you find to be poetic if not this album. Maybe it isn't a good pop album or even a good "art" album (what's that?) but it was an AMAZING album period! Videos is another post, another subject.

    Ramon, I didn't simply say "you don't get it" because I didn't know what to say to someone who disagreed with me. I know what I like and will defend it whether it fits in your box or not. There are many songs I don't understand from other artists but that doesn't mean that artist didn't write the most amazing piece of work for someone else to understand. Like I said, it comes down to a preference and yours and mine are not the same...and I am very thankful for that.

    But since you "got the whole album," I would love to hear what you got from it.

    Well, it sounds like you have checked out and haven't found a reason to appreciate Madonna since "What It Feels Like For A Girl" video and I am not interested it making you see otherwise...its too exausting and I simply don't care. It doesn't change how important this album was for me. If anything, it reminds me why I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  23. "Music" and the, "American Life" album are both duds. They both have a few good songs, but the rest sucks compared to all her brillaitn albums before those, "Madonna, "LAV", "True Blue", "Erotica" and especially, "Like a Prayer".

    "Music" was cold and emotionless. So mechanical. Not my kinda album. Same can be said for AL. I'd put, "Music" and, "AL" together as close cousins. Even though "Ray of Light" is far from my favorite M album, it does not belong next to, "Music" or, "American Life".

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh buster... I envy how lucky you guy are! You've seen madonna live 15times. It's one of my ambition to watch her live.
    When i criticize this american life album, everybody thinks that i'm not a madonna fan. Well that doesn't matter. What i do is criticizing positively. Because i have some standard expectations for her. For this album, i've felt that she is not that successful to reach that usual level. But surely not that bad like I'm breathless(yet breathless has some good songs). It's been only since 98 i'm her fan. But since then she's MY NUMBER 1.
    Then a friend told- music is mechanical. NOT AT ALL... Listen to it carefully you'll understand. Music makes the people come together. Yeah? Yeah? Yeah? Definitely. That's why we all strangers from different corners of the world came together here.
    Thank you buster once again for sharing your perception of die another day meaning. I think you're right...

    ReplyDelete
  25. Ok, first of all there is nothing that I "missed" or "didn't get" from American Life, because it's not that complicated. Lyrically speaking it's her least metaphotical album. The lyrics are very matter of factly, what it says is what it is, it's not something like Ray of Light where you had really ambiguous songs like Candy Perfume Girl or Skin where you gave the song your own meaning, that's not the case with AL, the songs are about different yet specific topics and there is not much room for free interpretation so it's not like I didn't get it like you are implying.

    Having said that, the message of American Life, that material possesions don't give you happiness or purpose or value, amongst other messages, is not new. On top of that, Madonna decided to convey it in a very preachy, entitled way, almost as if she thought her words were groundbreaking, and she just comes across as a dellusional person.

    I know that it might've been hard for Madonna to realize at the time, but most people have a lot of real problems, a lot of real bills to pay, a lot of real economic threats to their livelihoods, basically what I'm trying to say is that it's very easy to be all Kabbalah, and introspective and go all zen in life when you have a fortune of 300 million dollars, when she was starving in new york and early in her career, she sang a different tune regarding money.

    And that is the precise reason why the album trully bombed, it was Madonna at her hypocritical worse. It was Madonna posing herself as this new prophet for enlightenment, totally oblivious to the fact that we have heard that message over and over again, and oblivious to the fact that she was just being a false prophet, pretty much like the beasts she references in the beast within.

    Also, American Life was like the antithesis of everything Madonna ever stood for, and that is not good. Madonna's music has been at times, light and profound but always hopeful and always deep. Madonna's music has the power to take you out of your world, take you in a journey where you can come back and see your situation with new eyes and do something to improve it and the world around it. That's what Express Yourself and Vogue and Ray of Light and all her best songs where all about.

    American Life is just the spoiled california rich girl playing dress up and trying to be counterculture and revolutionary and looking down on you for not doing the same because you have bills to pay and you live in the real world. It's a horrible album.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Tony, I disagree. Music was her last relevant album, both artistically and commercially. When it came out, everyone and their mother where rocking the disco cowgirl look, and artists were trying to copy her sound and influences.

    Not even COADF managed to have such impact. Hard Candy neither. American Life doesn't even count.

    I also find it's her most honest album. There is no pretense to Music, it's like going to the core, songs like I deserve it make me feel like I'm looking at Madonna's soul. It's a minimalist album, and I adore it.

    ReplyDelete
  27. buster - i love your evita story!! i want to see those pics!!!

    -----

    Ramòn - funny, as much as i love the album american life - i loathe the video for the single. i think it should have been more literal to the social commentary of the song. the war theme as just dumb to me - like a culture club war song video. i think people pedestal it for the fact that it was banned. in actuality, its crap.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Pud, that is one more reason I hate the whole period, the song had nothing to do with war, and the video, while it's good in my opinion, is totally forced and contrived for the song.

    I made my own video in my head, it has Madonna in a 50's home, all very technicolor and she is waxy and plastic like a Stepford Wife, doing chores, and in the chorus she is washing the dishes.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Pud you didn't mention which version of american life video you hate... Definitely the first, uncensored video was really something that provokes thoughts. See it once more... American people laughing at the moaning and dying eastern people in the screen and bush lighting his cigar with a grenade-like lighter(which means he would blast a bomb just to fire a cigar from it)... I got goose flesh with sympathy seeing that video.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I can see this post going to 100 or 200 comments at some point. We all love her and love different times of her life more than others. That's a great thing! I am not going to deny the importance of all the other albums and songs of her career. There is a reason we all have loved her for this long! The one thing I will point out is about one of the comments that Ramon made. With American Life, I think she did come from a place of knowledge and reference and maybe she came off as "preachy" to many people. If you look back at most of anything Madonna has ever done, she has always done it with knowledge and reference. When she did Erotica and the SEX book, she did as if she were the expert on it. People hated it but her fans loved it and didn't question whether or not she was being too preachy. When you read or see an interview, a video, the concept of her albums, her performances...she ALWAYS comes at us as an expert of what she is talking about. You don't have to agree but you have to admit that she does her research. I am not sure what you mean by her looking down on us for having bills to pay and living in the real world. I don't understand what American Life, Kabbalah, and Madonna have to do with that.

    Again, many thanks to Pud for posting something he was thinking about and starting a conversation with people who agree and disagree and having the freedom discuss it!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Sorry, Buster. I don't like, "Music". COADF was FAR better and Hung Up was everywhere.

    I loved the Mad TV parody of the, "Music" video far more then the real video itself. 'Just keep hitting the same note over and over and over.. (casio keyboard)". So true! LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  32. But what knowledge and what reference are you talking about?? yes she is rich and famous but is she the only person to know those two things? no. But she thinks she is. There was nothing new about the message in American Life, and what's worse, it was presented in a way that no one could relate to.

    Madonna has lost a connection with the real world. And no, going to Malawi does not mean you are connected to reality. Ever since she got into Kabbalah she has been like a robot, or a scratched record.

    Of course I don't know her, but I have read her interviews and there is a very black and white difference between before kabbalah and after it, before she was so immersed in the world, in politics, in art, in books, everything, reading her interviews would always lead me on a new path of discovery, both spiritual and creative, like when I found out who Remedios Varo was because of her, and that was the magic of Madonna, she was a true preacher for enlightenment.

    Now it's all kabbalh, kabbalah, malawi, kabbalah, malawi, kabbalah, kabbalah, kabbalah, it's trite, and it's dark, it's not enlighting and it's depressing. She doesn't read a book, she doesn't get involved in politics, she is just completely out of tune with reality and with the world.

    And on another note, I saw I am because we are and it's dillusional. But that's like a whole new subject and we will never finish if I get into it, the thing is that Madonna's worked has suffered because of her change.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Tony, no apologies to me. I don't care if people liked Music or not. I loved it...its all I need to know.

    Ramon,
    It has nothing to do with being rich and famous. It has everything to do with having the attention of the public for a long time. NO, she is not the only person that knows things. She is one person who has an opinion and perspective about those things. She shares it with her fans and it reaches far more people than most other attempts.

    I love the Madonna of the 80's and 90's. I truly did. In an interview she did in 2004, she talked about those periods of shocking people for the sake of shocking them. She said she wasn't offering an alternative. She took her clothes off and then what? It was entertaining and I loved it. Now, she is smarter and likes to share it. She is at a place where it doesn't matter if her album is a commercial success or not. If she has another #1 single or not. Sure its great but because she has earned her dues, it doesn't matter. She gets to do the kind of music she wants and how she wants to do it. She can't be everything you want her to be. You take the good with the bad or you walk away. Sounds like you have been out of love with her for almost 12 years now if Ray of Light was your last love. If you are finding her less inspiring, not entertaining, and delusional, then I suggest you find another route to satisfy your desire for inspiration and entertainment.

    ReplyDelete
  34. to Ramòn - why does madonna's world have to be completely steeped in your reality? her world is her world. her songs are from her personal experiences and tribulations - privelaged or otherwise. it's not definitive or absolute. it is just her chapter.

    the album has a very tender side too. do you have such disdain for those songs as well? are you looking at the album wholey and objectively, or on account of public perception and the lead video/single?

    personally, though it's not necessarily my favourite madonna album, and though there are things I would have done differently in terms of promotion, I appreciate AL for its sense of enlightenment, it's sparseness in sound/production, it's combination of acoustics and electronics, and for it's delicate and exposed moments (god bless kaballah, i say, for informing songs like intervention, x-static process, die another day - possibly her last great, subversive single - etc). the blood, sweat and tears in this album is palpable.

    of course fans don't have to like it - that goes without saying. it's just a shame people are not able to at least appreciate a part of something, from their distance.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Buster, when COADF became number 1 she said that she still very much cared about the charts, so your point is?

    ReplyDelete
  36. I didn't say she had to be immersed in my reality, just on reality. I was also criticizing the album as a whole. Intervention and XStatic Process are good, maybe the only real good songs on the album but they are still not that compelling in my opinion.

    Oh and Nothing Fails, that one is really good.

    I think the whole single choices simply show how confused Madonna was at the time, so out of touch with reality and with what people wanted to hear or look for at that point.

    I mean the whole album and everything it spawned seemed to be this whole antiBush/materialism accusation and there are like no songs on the album about those things, even on the re invention tour, the whole war theme seems utterly out of place, I mean it wasn't vietnam, it's just so weird.

    And I think that the fact that she didn't open or closed the show with a song from American Life shows how unpopular and lacking it is.

    ReplyDelete
  37. the album's lyrics explore many topics - the illusion of hollywood and what it symbolises, society's unhealthy quest for fame, for material posessions, the media feeding us one image, radio playing the same songs, our need to feed our ego, the american dream, and the falsity of it all. it also explores the topic of spirituality, reassessing what is really important, redefining your life away from the influence of society... wanting to connect to something higher. i mean, do i have to spell it out? it's right there in the lyrics. so it makes sense to me that she would connect that with imagery of war (a dramatised manifestation of some of the above themes), catwalks, celebrities, fashion, beauty. it's pretty astonishing if you cannot recognised that and make the connection.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Ramon, with every single word you type, you want her immersed in your reality. Its clear you like her to be very literal. If she makes a video about war, every single line of the song has to be about war and the song should be titled "War!" I can see you want it simple and your way. Too bad. She is an artist and although I am sure she cares about her fans, she doesn't make music for the sole purpose of making sure that YOU like it. If you could put your aversion for the video aside and really listen to the music. I am not saying Madonna doesn't make mistakes, I am saying with or without your approval, she will make any kind of record she wants. I dare you to go and find another artist who has been consistent with change and growth for the last 26 years. Go ahead...go out and find them.

    American Life was released in April 2003 and RIT kicked off over a year later in May 2004. I don't ever remember her claiming that tour to be in support of the American Life album just like Girlie SHow was not in support soley of Erotica. Confessions and Hard Candy had tours to promote those albums. Again, wanting her to follow a formula that works soley for you will not happen.

    evrybdygegeget pointed out some great messages and references in the music on this album so its there. You don't have to see it or even want to see it. You already made up your mind the album is crap - great. So, don't listen to it. That's the beauty of all of this - you are free to love and listen to whatever you like. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Holy shit... I think this debate is going in a wrong, unhealthy direction.... Why can't we stop it friends? Anyway we all are great fans of our queen but as buster has just said before, even madonna makes mistake (that's what even us said in our previous comments not that we hate her. Understand?) I wish if madonna happens to read all these comments so that she can understand what her fans need and keep reigning at top. I know it's not gonna happen ever... And pud, Be proud to be yourself, see the response of the world to your thoughts and ideas. Hats off... Anyway i had a wonderful experience and i'm happy that i could be an active person to comment here :-)

    ReplyDelete
  40. so many interesting comments. i will try and address some and add my opinions a little later. xo

    ReplyDelete
  41. Wow, are you serious? way to start a personal attack and judgement against me. She doesn't have to do what I like, she's an artist, but I'm not going to sit and pretend I like an album wich I think is total rubbish and to blindly repeat every single thing that she says in interviews, because all of what you are saying are like exact quotes of what Madonna says in interviews to justify her work. Of course her opinion is important but I also think that one should make his or her own opinions and judge the work for what it is, not to blindly worship someone and everything he or she produces as if this were a cult. No wonder Madonna despises 90% of her fans and believe me she does, she's given proof of it over and over again.

    And Buster, it's really funny that you are "daring" me to find out other artists that have evolved and grown like Madonna has.

    I love Madonna, she'll always have a special place in my heart and when I was like 16 to like 24 or something I thought she was THE THING, I kinda still do, but I have evolved and realized that there is a whole world out there, and a lot of really amazing female artists just as great or even greater than Madonna, I suggest you explore other artforms as well.

    I remember the Matt Lauer interview when he just full on questioned Madonna's rather ridiculous and pathetic statements during this period, like when he asked her about the whole I was a bufoon till I was 40 comment, who strives to be a bufoon?? I mean it's so sad that she actually thinks so lowly of her achievements, at least up to that point, but the interview showcases Madonna with this album, it's Madonna going off the deep end and not in a good way.

    ReplyDelete
  42. to Ramòn - she doesn't think lowly of her achievements. she's talking about how she earned things, how she treated people and how she lived her life semi-blindly. anyway, you're exhausting, and not worth my time anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Ramon, this is the very reason I said "you are free to love and listen to whatever you like." I don't expect you to like everything she does. I have personal favorties and pieces of work that are better than others. There are some things that I flat out don't like. It isn't funny at all that I dared you to find the artist like Madonna. What's funny is that you can't name one. I live in the real world you speak of. I have other interests and artists I appreciate. As of today, I have 30, 431 songs on my iTunes. Everything from hip hop to rock to international to electronic to folk to anything else I want. I have a range of music that I don't really need to defend to you. Madonna just happens to be the artist I grew up with over a 26 year period. I don't defend everything she does but I have respect for her art. And if my answers sound like Madonna interviews, its only because I agree with her on those items. By the way, the Matt Lauer interview? Your interpretation is funny.

    Again, hate the album. I don't care. Its your right! I love it. I always will!

    ReplyDelete
  44. mun - "Pud you didn't mention which version of american life video you hate... Definitely the first, uncensored video was really something that provokes thoughts. See it once more..."

    im not fond of the one she pulled. or the directors cut. since the conversation in here has turned into 'should haves' - i think the video should have been more in line with the lyrical matter of the song. a visual social commentary with the obsession of fame.

    i also think the first three songs of American Life dealt with a similar subject. it would have been cool had she picked the best of those three - Hollywood - and released that as the lead single and like Oh Father - in which the video basically merged the subject matter of Promise to Try, Till Death do Us Part and Oh Father - she could have done the same thing by releasing Hollywood and merging the lyrical imagery of American Life, Hollywood and I'm So Stupid.

    somehow i think had that been the case - the record would have been received differently. the song American Life is not anti american as the press made it out to be. and unfortunately people are sheep and parrot the sound bytes they hear. the majority think of American Life as Madonna's anti american record - which obviously isnt the case, at all.

    just my perspective. however, that said, im glad the album didnt have powerful overplayed videos. in fact, i feel thats why maybe i like it so much. basically, my mind created the visuals rather than them being created for me. the music stands alone, which i love. xo

    ReplyDelete