She’s done it again! Madonna has continued amazing me since her first album, Madonna, was released in 1983. Back then, my idea of music was classical, and her songs sounded wildly exotic to me.
Over time, she was always able to capture my imagination, with songs like Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Vogue, Ray of Light. Lately her albums had been a little on the thin side, artistically, but with this latest one, she’s outdone herself.
The two singles spun off from the CD are vibrant in a disco beat that, like most of the work, reminds one of the Pet Shop Boys of the 90es. Madonna admits to allowing influences from all over the map into the music, and mentions Giorgio Moroder explicitly.
Hung Up, a worldwide No. 1 hit, uses a sample from Abba’s Gimme Gimme, a device that works incredibly well. The precise swing of the sample fits perfectly in the rhythm of the song, imitating the working of a clock. Hung Up ends up being a revelrie on the concept of time and waiting that convinces with the same devices that propelled the Pet Shop Boys’ amazing album Introspective.
Sorry, just about to be released, is much faster paced and is driven by a maniacal rhythmic device in which the lyrics collaborate with the synths to tighten the pace. Sorry is convincing, although it doesn’t sound like Madonna at all.
Confessions has become a cult hit of colossal proportion, getting to No. 1 on the charts of every major market the moment it was released. Frankly, this is both an indication of the quality of the album and of the dire state of music in general. If you look at other albums available at this moment, you notice there is something terribly wrong with music, and a musically backward album like Confessions hits a nerve. Again, Madonna succeeds in choosing the way of music for the next few years, but for the first time, she has to look back because there seems to be nothing interesting in the future.
Oh, and one passing item of criticism: some of the lyrics are really amateurish. I mean, when you listen to something like: "I like New York / Other places make me feel like a dork…" Not pretty. And that’s not the only song that could use a serious overhaul in lyricism.