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Nocturn

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About Nocturn

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  1. Yes, it was.
  2. I have always thought it is a good song. In the past I think many fans weren't fond of it, but now it is getting a lot of praise.
  3. Not Anna Wintour editing the poll so Moo could win.
  4. It is one of her best songs in the 2000s/2010s.
  5. While American Life certainly wasn't the kiss of death for Madonna, her ninth studio album did end one of the winningest streaks in the history of pop. Although the LP—which was released 15 years ago on April 21, 2003—did debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, it became the lowest-selling studio LP of her career up to that point. And the reviews were mixed at best. The title-track lead single was one of Madonna’s first bona-fide flops, certainly by her standards. It barely cracked the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 37. Even worse, it was the object of derision for her stiff, silly rap in the second half where she rhymes “latte” with “shoté” and “MINI Cooper” with “super-duper” and “trooper.” No one wants to hear Madonna rap about her lawyer, manager, agent, chef, nannies, assistant, driver, jet, trainer, butler, bodyguards, gardener and stylist. Not then, and not now. The failure of “American Life” made it hard for the album to recover with subsequent singles “Hollywood,” “Nothing Fails” and “Love Profusion” missing the Hot 100. But revisiting American Life 15 years later, it deserves more love than it has gotten -- it's perhaps the most underappreciated album of Madonna’s catalog. Listening to it now, it certainly bests Rebel Heart and MDNA, and from a lyrical standpoint, it probably beats 2008’s Hard Candy and maybe even 2005’s beloved Confessions on a Dance Floor. In fact, with its confessional tone and commentary on the American Dream in the President George W. Bush era, American Life is easily one of Madonna’s better lyrical outings. The strong lyrical perspective is complemented by the cohesive musical vision. Madonna worked with one producer, French electronic savant Mirwais Ahmadzaï, for the entire album—although there was additional production by Mark “Spike” Spent on “I’m So Stupid” and “Nothing Fails”—and they expanded on the folktronica experimentation they did on 2000’s Music. Indeed, if there is one Music song that served as the biggest touchstone for American Life, it's “Don’t Tell Me,” with its twangy trip-hop. Madonna and Mirwais—who are back in the studio working on new music together in 2018—also co-wrote all but three of 11 songs together. With such a tight team, not one of the songs feels out of place (although the dramatic “Die Another Day” from the James Bond film of the same name feels like it should have been sequenced earlier in the record). In retrospect, American Life—the last truly ambitious album that Madonna has made—also marked the end of a very important phase of her career. Having achieved new artistic depth with 1998’s Ray of Light and continued that creative spirit with Music, she was very much still in risk-taking mode on American Life. You might say those three albums—starting from an electronica base but veering in different directions—amounted to her Berlin Trilogy. On an aesthetic level, this period was Madonna at her Bowie-est. “Love Profusion,” “Nobody Knows Me” and “Nothing Fails” make for a thrilling three-song sequence that displays varied moods and styles. While glowing with its sweet strumminess, “Love Profusion” faces some troubling uncertainties: “There are too many questions/There is not one solution/There is no resurrection/There is so much confusion.” The zig-zagging “Nobody Knows Me” packs a rock thump and a sense of disillusionment: “This world is not so kind/People trap your mind/It’s so hard to find/Someone to admire.” And “Nothing Fails”—the glorious, gospel-infused centerpiece of American Life—is nothing short of a latter-day “Like a Prayer.” Elsewhere, “X-Static Process”—co-written by Stuart Price, who Madonna would go on to work with for much of Confessions on a Dance Floor—is a beautiful ballad rich in harmony and emotional directness. You can almost hear echoes of R.E.M. on that and the previous track, “Intervention.” Meanwhile, the solemn, string-laden “Easy Ride” may be one of the best album closers of Madonna’s career. The lyric nods to her notorious work ethic: “I want the good life/But I don’t want an easy ride/What I want is to work for it/Feel the blood and sweat on my fingertips/That’s what I want for me.” American Life—which still sounds very modern and, in some ways, seems eerily prescient of Trump-era despair—feels more like the Madonna album for now than her recent efforts. It’s not a perfect album—“I’m So Stupid” is still irritating—but it’s the sound of Madonna challenging herself, and us. https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/8359092/madonna-american-life-revisit?
  6. She looks good, but I am still waiting for an album as good as J.Lo.
  7. Music, of course. Joanne has some great songs. Golden is an embarrassment.
  8. Game

    Only 4 people voted so far.
  9. Happy 15th Anniversary to Madonna’s ninth studio album American Life, originally released April 21, 2003. For close to a decade dating back to 1994’s Bedtime Stories, Madonna gracefully held the music world in the palm of her hand. With two subsequent albums and an accomplished soundtrack to an even more accomplished film (1996’s Evita), Madonna had taken back the creative power misplaced with Erotica (1992). That record sought controversy over content as its lure and failed to find followers. The anticipation for what Madonna would do next was palpable and “Die Another Day” was more than an adequate appetizer for what was to come. Unveiled in the fall of 2002, the kinetic single was both the theme song to the James Bond film of the same name and the unofficial first offering from her then untitled ninth studio album upon which it would also feature. As winter gave way to spring, Madonna was now preparing to unleash American Life and its titular track as the set's “official” debut single. The accompanying music video, directed by Jonas Åkerlund, was fitted with all the trimmings of a controversy—a rarity for Madonna during this stretch of time when the focus was on her craft, not a random firestarter. It was with that in mind that she unexpectedly pulled the plug on the original video—later subject to reshoots—and then issued the following statement on April 1st, 2003 in lieu of the burgeoning Iraq War: “I have decided not to release my new video. It was filmed before the war started and I do not believe it is appropriate to air it at this time. Due to the volatile state of the world and out of sensitivity and respect to the armed forces, who I support and pray for, I do not want to risk offending anyone who might misinterpret the meaning of this video.” Public perception toward Madonna's statement—or apology—was mixed. It was a glaring portent promising that American Life was to meet stormy waters on its April 21st, 2003 reveal date. But despite any of the difficulties that were to come for it, the record's roots were firmly planted in only the richest artistic soil, the same soil that had nurtured its preceding effort Music (2000). Music had been eagerly tended to by Madonna and the French producer/instrumentalist Mirwais Ahmadzaï. Theirs was an enthusiastic and imaginative relationship, one with an exacting eye for detail and precision and this same work ethic carried over into the very early stages of the American Life sessions in late 2001. As the long player's form began to take shape, it received embellishments and contributions from fellow songwriters, producers and musicians such as Mark “Spike” Stent, Guy Sigsworth, Jem Griffiths, Monte Pittman and Stuart Price. However, it was Madonna and Ahmadzaï that kept the overall record on track to become what is was to be—an edgy, eclectic confessional tome. Topically, everything is on the table here—Madonna's second marriage (“Love Profusion,” “Nothing Fails”), her relationship with her parents (“Mother and Father”), her place in the modern world (“American Life,” “I'm So Stupid”). Nothing was off limits. All of these lyrical battle studies regarding love, family, and self-discovery are intelligent, feeling and, sometimes, brutally candid. Musically, Madonna delves further into her own niche experimentation with electronic and guitar-flecked pop that came to life on Music, the latter genre giving way to a folk base on American Life. The genres are suited to each other, managing to function independently (“Nobody Knows Me”) and collectively (“Love Profusion”). Could a few of these songs be labeled “danceable?” Certainly they could, but, Madonna didn't restrict them to that genre box alone. In fact, their surrounding production minutiae—samples, loops, live strings and acoustic guitar—suggested an emphasis for long term listening versus momentary consumption on any dance floor. And, in a classic Ciccone chess move going all the way back to “Crazy For You,” the ballad method is utilized stunningly to showcase Madonna as a top tier vocalist in her own right, as evidenced by “Intervention,” “Nothing Fails,” “X-Static Process,” and “Easy Ride.” As a body of work, American Lifepresents itself as the product of a woman with a sense of artistic clarity and wisdom. Its only equal in Madonna's canon is Ray of Light (1998). Upon its late April 2003 unveiling, the LP immediately polarized critics and fans. Either they praised or panned it, there was little to no middle ground. Its sales were devastatingly slow. Taking into account “Die Another Day,” American Life produced six singles in all, four commercial, two promotional—almost all of the positive traction they gained happened abroad, with “Die Another Day” as the lone domestic exception. The rejection of American Life signaled the end of an era for Madonna, as she has yet to challenge herself, or her audience, as audaciously as she did on this collection. Yet, American Life has aged beautifully, the abundance of its vision to make Madonna's private challenges and triumphs into open-air personal politics that listeners could see themselves in was intimate and eloquent. It is, without question, the last album where Madonna pushed the envelope where it mattered—musically. http://www.albumism.com/features/madonnas-american-life-turns-15-anniversary-retrospective
  10. This list is so cringe. I can't at some albums being at the top. 68. Madonna, Madonna 76. Madonna, Like a Prayer 83. Madonna, Like A Virgin 115. Madonna, Ray of Light https://www.npr.org/2018/04/09/600116052/turning-the-tables-the-150-greatest-albums-made-by-women-as-chosen-by-you
  11. New single could be released in October or November. Although August would be ideal.
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