REVIEW: ‘American Life’ – Madonna

Written by The Lazy Music Reviewer

This is the latest review by the Lazy Music Reviewer. He is too busy listening to and promoting lots of awesome music (ahem and has a full time job) that he simply doesn’t have time to do an in-depth review (or maybe he is just not a good enough writer to write one – you decide) but he still wants to “review”.

So, the way he works is he will sum up each song in just a few words (sometimes even one word – he’s just that lazy) and then also link via other people’s words to other more in depth reviews (because he’s wicked and he’s lazy) for your reading pleasure because it’s always good to get more than one person’s opinion, right?

Queen Of Pop, Madonna, is hopefully releasing new music this year so let’s take this opportunity to look back at Madge’s awesome career.

“American Life” is the ninth studio album by Madonna. This album is taking the electronic vibe and the acoustic vibe from previous albums and combining them together to create a brand new sound in a way that only the Queen Of Pop could.

Released on April 21, 2003, the album peaked at number one in fourteen countries. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and British Phonographic Industry (BPI) both certified it platinum in recognition of one million shipments in the United States, and 300,000 shipments in the United Kingdom, respectively. The album became the 32nd-best-selling album of 2003 and has sold five million copies to date. American Life garnered two nominations at the 46th Grammy Awards in 2004.

1 – American Life

“all the hooks had me hooked!”, The Lazy Music Reviewer

a halfhearted will to puzzle things out in public with a vocoder”, The Rolling Stone

“the lip-smacking first track unfurls the album’s bejewelled, multi-textured cloth”, Drowned In Sound

2 – Hollywood

Done with taking a pop at politicians and religious figures she’s now having a go at the celebrity lifestyle. This is a good song and I think it still sounds very current – but here’s a tip…if Madge ever comes round your house don’t let her anywhere near the TV and definitely don’t let her use your phone.

“if Madge ever comes round your house don’t let her anywhere near the TV and definitely don’t let her use your phone”, The Lazy Music Reviewer

“could only be hated by a dullard or a churl”, Drowned In Sound

a 44-year-old woman should never sing in a high-pitched little-girl voice, unless someone is forcing her to do so at gunpoint“, The Guardian

3 – I’m So Stupid

I really like this, again – it’s combining different styles of music and possibly has the longest lasting  “Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii’m” ever!

“and the award for longest ‘Iiiiiiii’m’ in a song goes to the Queen Of Pop”, The Lazy Music Reviewer

“Mirwais’ fiercest nu-old skool rhythms are striking are slicing are squawking are sparking”, Drowned In Sound

“a track with a decidedly punk-rock sensibility on which she reassesses the value of the material world”, Slant Magazine

4 – Love Profusion

A fairly happy and positive song compared to the previous tracks. Madge must be in a better mood now as she’s even wearing a nice summer dress in the video.

“Madge must be in a better mood now as she’s even wearing a nice summer dress in the video”, The Lazy Music Reviewer

“a surprising and welcome change of pace. Sung to a lover, Madonna’s vocals are warm and affecting”, Sputnik Music

“nectar-laden pop blooms which have all the dashing whirl and giddying pull of a fairground waltzer”, Drowned In Sound

5 – Nobody Knows Me

“f***ing the vocoder in the ass before anyone else knew what a vocoder was”, The Lazy Music Reviewer

“life – it’s a rum do, and no mistake

” Vocoder effects, spacey synths, bubbly bass all make this a great song to dance to”, Sputnik Music

6 – Nothing Fails

“it’s kind of like a prayer…”, The Lazy Music Reviewer

“who else would have the brassneck in hiring the London Community Gospel Choir just to get them all to sing “I’m not religious” only Madge!”, Drowned In Sound

“much closer to what she’s become good at: the idea of secular transfiguration through love”, Rolling Stone

7 – Intervention

“simple and sweet”, The Lazy Music Reviewer

“how love can change us, and Madonna’s need to save the one she loves”, Sputnik Music

“marries a New Order-like ambience to a chorus that one of those Swedish pop factories would kill to come up with”, The Guardian

8 – X-Static Process

“my 25th most scrobbled song says it all really”, The Lazy Music Reviewer

“a hymnal folk ballad”, Sputnik Music

“a move away from the pulsebeat, an acoustic, tender, wistful waves fragile as a fading rainbow”, Drowned In Sound

9 – Mother and Father

“bringing the beats back”, The Lazy Music Reviewer

“Lyrically, this song is at odds with the feel of the music”, Sputnik Music

“Madonna employs a schoolyard-style chant to recount the isolation she felt as a child in the wake of her mother’s death”, Slant Magazine

10 – Die Another Day

“sorry but she should stick to the Austin Power soundtracks – love it but not Bond”, The Lazy Music Reviewer

“tacked onto the track list in a move that ultimately insured that American Life wouldn’t be Madonna’s only hitless album”, Slant Magazine

“Great use of strings, a perfect dark feel. Great start-stops”, Sputnik Music

11 – Easy Ride

“something to re-ponder”, The Lazy Music Reviewer

“takes us into introspective mode, with Madonna singing about wanting to earn the things in her life”, Sputnik Music

“It’s the complete antithesis of what it means to be a Material Girl”, Slant Magazine

What are your Madonna memories? Can you sum this album up in a few words? Go on – be lazy, you know you want to!


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