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  1. From her FB: Not only is Spotlight coming tomorrow but may I introduce the artwork for my fourth album....What's Your Pleasure? Released 5th June , pre-order from tomorrow (blah blah blah)!!! So excited for you to hear this one; a two-year labour of love with the dream team James Ford, Shungudzo, Danny Parker, Kindness, Coffee Jr, METRONOMY, Benji B , Midland, Matty, Morgan Geist. I love it so much and these guys are so incredible. #whatsyourpleasure
  2. Often very secretive about what she is up to in the studio, Carly Rae did something she doesn't often do. She tweeted not once but twice yesterday about her and Tavish working in a Studio in Barcelona on a new song. Carly Rae Jepsen ‏@carlyraejepsen Studio day in Barcelona! Working with @iambharv and @tavishcrowe on a newbie. Yay!!! and Carly Rae Jepsen ‏@carlyraejepsen Studio!!!! http://instagr.am/p/W4nznmKVgE/ {image now deleted} BHarv tweeted this: {image now deleted} BHarv is Bernard Harvey - bassist for the Justin Bieber Tour and producer on 4 of Bieber's songs: -Under the Mistletoe -Happy New Years -Just Like Them -Fairytale A new era is beginning and the Kiss era is coming to an end. So, it looks as if Tonight I'm Getting Over You will be the 4th and last single from Kiss. She is wasting no time. It is nice to see that she is still co-writing with Tavish. Perhaps this next album will be more like her Curiosity EP and less over-produced like Kiss was. Edit: December18, 2014 Interscope has announced her next single will be called "I Really Like You" - which should be sent to radio early 2015. Also, on Twitter, she hinted that her album should be out at Easter (April 2015). SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Multi-platinum, GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen premieres her brand-new single "I Really Like You" with a performance on ABC's Good Morning America today. The song is now available for purchase HERE or streaming HERE worldwide from all digital partners. Jepsen wrote the track with J. Kash and The Cardigans' Peter Svensson, who also produced it. The '80s-inspired "I Really Like You" is the first single from Jepsen's upcoming second album, which will be released by Schoolboy Records/Interscope this summer. Check out the song HERE. Jepsen will also perform "I Really Like You" on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on March 5th on ABC. "Peter Svensson wrote one of my all-time favorite songs, 'Lovefool,' and working with him made me rediscover the joy of writing something that's just pure pop," Jepsen says. "Lyrically, it's about that time in a relationship when it's too soon to say 'I love you,' but you're well past, 'I like you' and you're at the 'I really, really like you' stage." Jepsen shot the video for "I Really Like You" last week in New York City with Tom Hanks. Her Schoolboy Records label-mate Justin Bieber also makes a cameo. The video premiere will be announced soon. The global pop sensation has been hard at work with such collaborators as Rami Yacoub (One Direction, Nicki Minaj), Dev Hynes (Blood Orange), Jack Antonoff (fun., Taylor Swift), Ariel Rechtshaid (Charli XCX, Haim), Tegan and Sara, Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij, Greg Kurstin (Sia) and 2015 Grammy winning Producer of the Year Max Martin, writing and recording the songs that will appear on the follow-up to her U.S. debut album Kiss, which featured her blockbuster break-out hit "Call Me Maybe." "Call Me Maybe" climbed to No. 1 on the iTunes Singles charts in over 47 countries and has sold over 17 million singles worldwide to date. It earned Jepsen 2012 GRAMMY nominations for Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year. Kiss also spawned the follow up hit "Good Time," a duet with Owl City, which has been certified double-platinum. Jepsen spent much of 2014 starring in the Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, earning rave reviews. Edit: March 3/15 it has been announced that the UK will get I Really Like You on April 26. Edit: March 5/15 Rumoured Tracks on album: 1. All That 2. The One 3. I Really Like You 4. Black Heart (mentioned on Twitter) 5. Boy Problems - with Sia and Greg Kurstin (mentioned on twitter) 6. Warm Blood (announced via Twitter) 7. Run Away With Me (sang LIVE) 8. Emotion (sang LIVE) 9. Your Type (sang LIVE) 10. Gimmie Love (sang LIVE) Edit May 26/15 rumoured "Fake Track List" trolling the net: Black Light | Carly Rae Jepsen, Tobias Gad, Samantha J Ronson Body Talk | Carly Rae Jepsen, Tobias Gad Angels Came Here to Dance | Carly Rae Jepsen, Jose Luis Cruz, Agostino “Tino” Zolfo Dark Blue | Carly Rae Jepsen, Lauren Christy, Andre Lidell You Hey Boy Falling for You | Carly Rae Jepsen, Jose Luis Cruz, Agostino “Tino” Zolfo I Admit That There Was Music | Carly Rae Jepsen, Lauren Christy, Chad Kroeger, Andre Lidell Martyr | Carly Rae Jepsen, Travish Joseph Crowe, Joshua Keller Ramsay Never Wanna Get Kissed Again Small Town In Me | Carly Rae Jepsen, Jonathan David Hetherington, Troy Bustos Samson Play It On Repeat | Carly Rae Jepsen, Michael Anthony James, Davor Vulama Edit June 2/15 CRJ posted the deluxe track listing on Facebook {Facebook post now deleted} Edit June 3/15 Japan iTunes Bonus Track - IRLY Liam Keegan Remix. http://youtu.be/45hss7t9yeA Edit March 6/15 Time Magazine Online: Musically, the new record further explores the 1980s pop sound Jepsen only touched on with Kiss — as if fans couldn’t tell from the retro drum beat pumping underneath “I Really Like You.” Jepsen was inspired to pursue that direction after catching a Cyndi Lauper concert in Japan, and she compares “All That,” a joint Hynes and Rechtshaid collaboration that she calls one of her favorites, to classic Prince. Jepsen estimates she’s worked on more than 250 songs for the album, and she’s planning on whittling her top 22 down to a lean 11 in the coming days. Edit April 4/15 performed on Saturday Night Live - “I Really Like You” and promo single “All That” http://youtu.be/W374tWnsk70 Edit April 10/15 Carly Rae Jepsen tweeted: I've been working on new music for awhile now... happy to finally announce that my sophomore album "E•MO•TION" will be out this summer! Standard: Deluxe: Edit: April 26/15 HMV Japan posts the album for pre-order. Release date in Japan is June 24/15. Edit: June 11/15 Carly Rae Jepsen tweeted out the release date for North America: August 21, 2015 Official Press Release: SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Multi-platinum, GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen will release her new album, E·MO·TION via Schoolboy Records/Interscope on August 21st in the U.S. The album will be available for pre-order from all retailers beginning June 23rd. Those who pre-order will receive instant downloads of "I Really Like You," "All That," and the title track, "Emotion." Fans will also be able to purchase the album as part of exclusive bundles that include special art prints, t-shirt designs and more. Jepsen has also announced her new single "Run Away With Me" will be out in July with a video to follow soon. On August 21st, Jepsen will perform "Run Away With Me," on The TODAY Show Summer Concert Series on NBC. She has recently performed on Good Morning America, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Saturday Night Live, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Dancing With The Stars. Jepsen performed her global Top 40 hit "I Really Like You" and Pitchfork's "Best New Track" "All That" on Saturday Night Live in April. The former earned the Canadian singer and songwriter a host of positive reviews with SPIN calling it "upbeat, frothy, and carefree," PEOPLE deeming it an "instant classic" and BuzzFeed declaring it "completely perfect…pop perfection." NYLON noted that Jepsen is "quickly becoming pop music's unlikeliest cool kid," while BlackBook praises her "true unmistakable talent," and PAPER proclaims "Carly Rae Jepsen returns triumphant." E•MO•TION was recorded and produced in Los Angeles, New York, and Stockholm. Jepsen co-wrote the album with with several A-list producers and co-writers, including Sia, Greg Kurstin (Kelly Clarkson "Stronger"), Peter Svensson (Cardigans, and Ariana Grande "Love Me Harder"), Ariel Rechtshaid (Haim, Madonna, Vampire Weekend, Major Lazer), Mattman & Robin (Tove Lo, Taylor Swift), Carl and Rami (Ariana Grande "One Last Time"), Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend), Devonté Hynes (Blood Orange), Shellback (Maroon 5, Taylor Swift) and more. "I took my time with this album and wanted to make a pop record that had heart to it. I was lucky enough to work with some of my favorite writers and producers and together we made a collection of songs that I couldn't be more proud of," says Jepsen. E•MO•TION is the follow-up to Jepsen's U.S. debut album Kiss, which featured her blockbuster break-out hit "Call Me Maybe." "Call Me Maybe" climbed to No. 1 on the iTunes Singles charts in over 47 countries and has sold over 17 million singles worldwide to date. It earned Jepsen 2012 GRAMMY nominations for Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year. Kiss also spawned the follow-up hit "Good Time," a duet with Owl City, which has been certified double-platinum. Jepsen spent much of 2014 starring in the Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, earning rave reviews. Edit June 11/15 According to Wikipedia, here are the song credits (so far): No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length 1. "Run Away with Me" Carly Rae Jepsen, Robin Lennart Fredriksson, Mattias Larsson, Oscar Holter, Jonnali Parmenius, Shellback Shellback 4:11 2. "E·MO·TION" Jepsen, Christopher Baran 3:17 3. "I Really Like You" Jepsen, J Kash, Peter Svensson Svensson, Halatrax 3:24 4. "Gimmie Love" Jepsen, Fredriksson, Larsson 3:22 5. "All That" Jepsen, Ariel Rechtshaid, Devonte Hynes Rechtshaid 4:38 6. "Boy Problems" Jepsen, Greg Kurstin, Sia Furler 3:42 7. "Making the Most of the Night" 3:58 8. "Your Type" Jepsen, Carl Falk, Rami Yacoub 3:19 9. "Let's Get Lost" Jepsen, Baran, Ben Romans 3:13 10. "LA Hallucinations" 3:04 11. "Warm Blood" Jepsen, Rostam Batmanglij, Tegan & Sara Quin 3:41 12. "When I Needed You" Jepsen, Rechtshaid, Nate Campany, Daniel Nigro 3:41 13. "Black Heart" 2:56 14. "I Didn't Just Come Here to Dance" Jepsen, Jose Luis Cruz, Agostino "Tino" Zolfo 3:59 15. "Favourite Colour" Jepsen, Fredriksson, Larsson 3:29 16. "Never Get to Hold You" 4:13 17. "Love Again" Jepsen, Baran, Nate Campany 3:35 Required Watching: Behind the Scenes
  3. She really served and said I won't disappoint this time. The Chromatica II - 911 transition, the visual and graphic lyrics (which I think are some of her best if not THE best), the flow of the album literally makes you ascend to an alternate universe, her vocals, the sweet melodies. The way there's not a single skip on it is astonishing for a Gaga album (we gon pretend the track after Alice and before Rain on Me doesn't exist). She said y'all need this gospel in your life and delivered this masterpiece. And of course visually speaking, this is her best album as well. The album cover alone deserves an Album of the Year grammy. Imagine dropping your best album 12 years into your career. Some of her peers WISH. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.
  4. The Ascension: 01 Make Me An Offer I Cannot Refuse 02 Run Away With Me 03 Video Game 04 Lamentations 05 Tell Me You Love Me 06 Die Happy 07 Ativan 08 Ursa Major 09 Landslide 10 Gilgamesh 11 Death Star 12 Goodbye To All That 13 Sugar 14 The Ascension 15 America
  5. 내게 들려주고 싶은 말 (Dear Me) 월식 (My Tragedy) Here I Am 불티 (Spark) Spark Love You Like Crazy 하하하 (LOL) Better Babe Wine Do You Love Me? City Love Gravity 너를 그리는 시간 (Drawing Our Moments) Blue 사계 (Four Seasons) x
  6. Phoebe

    Album

    Madonna's 3rd and best-selling studio album, True Blue, turns 34 this year. Happy birthday to this pop staple and impactful 80s masterpiece. What are your favorite songs this record? Celebrate by streaming the album: https://open.spotify.com/album/6fmnT17jc2Sc69q3nza1eD
  7. Now that this immaculate album has turned 10 years old today, how did that affect your top tracks? Mine remains the same tbh: 1. Everything Is Beautiful 2. Get Outta My Way 3. All The Lovers 4. Cupid Boy 5. Closer
  8. so now that we know that she's working on R9, why not make a thread DIPLO TINEA TAYLOR also the producer of "Cockiness (Love It) said he would absolutely work with Rihanna again
  9. Los Angeles The Steps I Know Alone Up From A Dream Gasoline 3 AM Don’t Wanna Another Try Leaning On You I’ve Been Down Man From the Magazine All That Ever Mattered FUBT Now I'm in It Hallelujah Summer Girl Singles: The Steps • I Know Alone • Don't Wanna Bonus Tracks: Now I'm in It • Hallelujah • Summer Girl
  10. Moira O'Hara

    Album

    You think you're so smart You try to manipulate me You try to humiliate with your words You think you're so chic You write me beautiful letters You think you're so much better than me But your actions speak louder than words And they're only words, unless they're true Your actions speak louder than promises You're inclined to make and inclined to break Words, they cut like a knife Cut into my life I don't want to hear your words They always attack Please take them all back If they're yours I don't want anymore Stream the best song on Erotica
  11. TRACKLIST 1 Chromatica I 2 Alice 3 Stupid Love 4 Rain On Me (w/ Ariana Grande) 5 Free Woman 6 Fun Tonight 7 Chromatica II 8 911 9 Plastic Doll 10 Sour Candy (w/ BLACKPINK) 11 Enigma 12 Replay 13 Chromatica III 14 Sine From Above (w/ Elton John) 15 1000 Doves 16 Babylon BONUS TRACKS 17 Love Me Right 18 1000 doves (Piano Demo) 19 Stupid Love (Warehouse Mix)
  12. OFFICIALLY REVEALED INFO On August 30th, 2019, Lana announced the title of her next album, White Hot Forever, in an interview with The Times. During this interview, she also stated that she would like to surprise-release the album within the next twelve or thirteen months, meaning the album may be released in September or October of 2020. Jack Antonoff is likely to be producing the album, but this is as yet unconfirmed. On October 21st, 2019, Lana's interview with Q Magazine revealed the existence of a new song titled Let Me Love You Like a Woman. On November 6th, 2019, a fan claims that Lana spoke to them and told them that her next album was no longer titled White Hot Forever. The new name of the album was not revealed. POSSIBLE TRACKS Let Me Love You Like a Woman White Hot Forever POSSIBLY RELEVANT INFO
  13. Unapologetic Bitch

    Album

    He is a guy from GOT, he played Grey Worm right hand of Mother of Dragons his music is amazing, he is primiarily a musican 1. ‘Pressure’ 2. ‘Time in a Tree’ 3. ‘Aristocrats’ 4. ‘Party Fear’ 5. ‘Worries’ 6. ‘STFU’ 7. ’27 Club’ 8. ‘Sadboi’ 9. ‘Shadow’ 10. ‘Structure (Interlude)’ 11. ‘Squares’ 12. ‘Big & Scared’ The album title was inspired from a nickname given to his grandfather, which Ritchie – real name Jacob Anderson – has since inherited. “‘Andy’ is a little wink to myself,” said Ritchie in a press statement. “It’s saying, ‘This is you speaking right now, this is you saying what you have to say.'” Jacob Anderson, who is also known for his role as Grey Worm in Game of Thrones, released his debut album ‘You’re A Man Now, Boy’ in 2016. Since then, he’s collaborated and performed with Stormzy, sold out a headlining show at London venue Shepherd’s Bush Empire and released three stand-alone singles: ‘The River,’ ‘Lonely Summer’ and ‘Time in a Tree.’ ‘Andy’ is set for release on July 26 via Alacran.
  14. Finally I'm moving it here! Here's my first ever entry for the #TamaReviews series. Check it out! REVAMPED! “Bionic” is the title of Christina Aguilera’s sixth studio album—fifth counting only English language releases, fourth excluding the Spanish language and the holiday albums—which was released on June 4th-11th 2010, depended on your country. It is the follow-up to Aguilera’s previous album, “Back to Basics”. “Bionic” served as a reinvention of Aguilera’s music, persona, and career trajectory moving forward in time. Aguilera, known as one of the leading ladies of big-voiced pop singing since the early Noughts, is famously recognized as the artsy student of pop music compared to her peers. Rather than Britney Spears’s safe but energetic dance pop songs, Aguilera would make trials of different mixture of sounds and genres as she seemed to be unafraid of neither imperfections nor errors—despite being a self-proclaimed “perfectionist”. Compared to Jessica Simpson’s similar big-voiced brand, Aguilera always seemed to make exciting innovations in her music that Simpson could never dare to try. Therefore it is fascinating to witness the evolution of Aguilera’s music; started with an R&B/Soul-inspired eponymous debut album which then followed by a similar sounding Spanish language release, a Christmas album, a mixture of both the Noughts favorite sounds as well as retro moments on “Stripped”, and later blossomed to the previously mentioned “Back to Basics” which was an album filled with more R&B/Soul music alongside sophisticated Jazz that took inspirations from American popular music 30+ years ago. However, it was not enough for Aguilera as she sat and pondered inside the recording studio. “I wonder what should I do next? What is next? Next is...the future!” she thought. She prepared a rocket ship and launched herself to an unknown future to get inspired by it. Later, as she orbited back to Earth, a huge smile could be seen upon her face as she thought, “I am the future.” Then, we arrived here. Opened with a bombastic track, aptly titled “Bionic” as the titular track, Aguilera promised to take every listeners headfirst to the future as she proclaimed, “Bionic, take ya supersonic, eh!” You might get migraines or became insane, got hit by her rocket ship and felt as time slipped, or went up in a hurricane and got lost there, but she did not care about that. She didn’t care about your thoughts or your screams, she would take you through this journey until the very end. As she sang to you that she’s not herself tonight, you would get the sense of danger as much as arousal. Aguilera took notice of that and followed with “Woohoo”, a flirty song that featured then-rookie Nicki Minaj to co-pilot for a few minutes. It was a call for celebration of lust, love, and fire as it basked in the glorious fab of an elite club’s neon lights. During the song Aguilera repeatedly told you “guys” a direct command; to dance below her and taste her “woohoo!” Similar to this is a song titled “My Girls” which featured a band named Le Tigre in production and a rapper named Peaches. Aguilera let listeners know that she’s having fun with her girls and that they are not afraid of anything as they stick together to take control. Despite the sexual nature of the album’s content, there was also a sense of doom and urgency loomed on the tracklisting. Particularly on a song titled “Lift Me Up”, which was written by longtime collaborator Linda Perry, you could hear the eagerness to express herself without judgment because something troubling had happened. As Aguilera also stated on "Prima Donna", she had worked hard in a long week and needed a couple drinks to ease herself. The chorus told you repeatedly that she is a prima-donna, and you truly did believe her. A specific part of the album which Aguilera herself had stated as “the heart of Bionic” proceeded to tell listeners about her thoughts other than sex. Co-penned with Sia and Sam Dixon, the sadness was real and present. “All I Need” and “I Am” explained the joy and the expectation, accumulating to a brief moment of hope until “You Lost Me” hit you—or rather, her—hard on the face. Aguilera sang in much anguish as she lamented loss; a forlorn protagonist who had to suffer the most as she delivered one of the best vocal performances of her career. The album resembled a riddle that Aguilera demanded us to solve. “There must be a cause to all of this, have you noticed?” she spoke in your mind. She might not be around you, but through all of these songs she has never made her presence any clearer. Listeners would take their time to analyze the tragedy that she told, or maybe feel some sarcasm as she scolded, but for every songs like “Glam”—a nice song about the joy of fashion as a freedom of expression—or “Not Myself Tonight”—a feelgood tell-all about something that’s gonna happen “tonight”—there is also an “Elastic Love” which told us about behind-the-scene and more. Perhaps the most thrilling moments of the record could be found on the deluxe side. There are five other songs that didn’t make the standard version tracklisting. “Monday Morning” opened the deluxe disc with an effervescent quality that nobody could avoid, while “Bobblehead” would make you giggle and wondered about the identity of the song’s subject as you did vogue. There is also a piece-of-art titled “Birds of Prey”—unrelated to DC’s infamous fictional villains group—that would strike listeners with its electrifying electronica as well as the lyrical work which told about danger and disappointment of a superstar’s circle of connections. There are also a stripped version of “I Am” which sounded gorgeous and an overwrought ballad titled “Stronger Than Ever”. However, the album would not necessarily end there. The last track, “Little Dreamer”, gave you the very final moment which closed the story beautifully in a mix of both bitter and sweet. There was a familiar feeling of happiness that would make you cry as the music was going to an end, and you couldn’t stop yourself from saying, “Yes, thank you so much!” to an imaginary Aguilera in your mind who smiled at you. “It is done, I have accomplished.” she said to you before walking away, tears of joy were also streaming down her beautiful face. Overall, “Bionic” is a highly recommended record for those who wanted to listen to the kind of pop music that didn’t sound bland or formless, but it would not necessarily abandon the fans of the chanteuse either. It might have been a product that had made a lot of people scratch their heads in 2010, but not ten years later. “Bionic” has never felt more at home in month June, year 2020. ----FIN---- That's it everyone. Hope you can spare a bit of your time to read this review. Love, Tama.
  15. GO生 (GO LIVE) 神메뉴 (God's Menu) Easy Pacemaker 비행기 (Airplane) 일상 (Another Day) Phobia 청사진 (Blueprint) 타 (Ta) Haven TOP SLUMP Mixtape: Gone Days Mixtape: On Track
  16. Infrared

    Album

    Lil Baby has the edge for #1 again this week with Lady Gaga again providing some tough competition. Chloe X Halle debut in the Top 20 and NCT 127’s repackage of their second album re-enters. Lil Baby (Quality Control/Motown/Capitol) 65-75k, <1k Lady Gaga (Interscope) 55-65k, 25-30k DaBaby (SCMG/Interscope) 35-40k, <1k Drake (OVO/Republic) 35-40k, <1k Post Malone (Republic) 33-38k, ~1k Future (Freebandz/Epic) 32-37k, <1k Polo G (Columbia) 30-35k, <1k Lil Uzi Vert (Generation Now/Atlantic) 30-35k, <1k Gunna (Young Stoner Life) 30-35k, <1k The Weeknd (XO/Republic) 30-35k, 2-3k Bad Bunny (Rimas) 27-30k, 1-3k Harry Styles (Columbia) 25-28k, 3-5k Roddy Ricch (Bird Vision/Atlantic) 24-27k, <1k NCT 127 (SM/Caroline) 22-25k, 20-23k Chloe X Halle (Parkwood/Columbia) 22-25k, 4-6k Luke Combs - What You See (River House/Columbia Nashville) 20-23k, 1-3k Megan Thee Stallion (Atlantic) 19-22k, <1k Anuel AA (Read Hasta La Muerte) 19-22k, <1k Billie Eilish (Darkroom/Interscope) 19-22k, 3-5k Luke Combs - This One's (River House/Columbia Nashville) 19-22k, 1-4k In comparison Joanne did 28k in its 3rd week
  17. Black excellence perhaps Oooooh, and that cover is such a serve
  18. Moist Megatron

    Album

    I’m excited for the new BEP album dropping tomorrow I’ve enjoyed their Latin flava, Ritmo is such a bop Tracklist Ritmo (Bad Boys For Life)” with J Balvin “Feel the Beat” with Maluma “Mamacita” with Ozuna & J Rey Soul “Girl Like Me” with Shakira “Vida Loca” with Nicky Jam & Tyga “No Mañana” with El Alfa “Tonta Love” with J Rey Soul “Celebrate” “Todo Bueno” “Duro Hard” with Becky G “Mabuti” with French Montana “I Woke Up” “Get Loose Now” “Action” “News Today”
  19. Chris Morlock

    Album

    Tracklist: Chromatica I Alice Stupid Love Rain on Me Free Woman Fun Tonight Chromatica II 911 Plastic Doll Sour Candy Enigma Replay Chromatica III Sine from Above 1000 Doves Babylon Love Me Right (target bonus track)
  20. Did I blink and miss it? Ugh.
  21. I'm back, people. Not that you would care but Hey Hey Hey.mp3 This time, it's Witness time! REVAMPED! Katy Perry released her fifth studio album titled “Witness” on June 9th 2017 to a rather underwhelming reception from both the critics and general public. It was supposed to be a reintroduction slash reinvention of Perry’s music and public persona after the overwhelming success of her previous album, “PRISM”. Initially, Perry had introduced a concept which she termed as “purposeful pop” for the album and had stated that it would show the “real” her that had never been exposed to the general public who have had great leisure time listening to Katy Perry’s music before. Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson—actual name of Perry—is a daughter of born-again Christian parents and once was a contemporary Christian singer herself before broke through mainstream recognition with her explicitly secular music in 2008. This is an important factor for Perry’s career as her religious root would be the first thing that listeners found on the opening track of “Witness”. The titular track introduced itself to us in a rather subdued fashion in contrast to Perry’s usual first track of her albums. “Witness” certainly sounded way more controlled and intimate compared to the bombast of “Roar” or the potency that “Teenage Dream” possessed. Perhaps lyrically resembled more of the curiosity presented on “One of the Boys” without emulating its eager Rock foundation, “Witness” served as a pleasant surprise in Perry’s discography. The surprise didn’t necessarily end there as “Hey Hey Hey” and “Roulette” continued the journey toward Perry’s real world with a strong confidence. Listeners would be entertained by the wit that Perry presented through the lyrics of these songs, especially compared to her previous music which had only got to show a small percentage of intelligence in favor of heavy sex appeal. This is not to say that sex appeal has been erased from Perry’s music, especially within songs like “Tsunami” and “Bon Appétit” which presented themselves as erotica. Theme of empowerment also ran through “Power”, with lyrics such as “I am my mother’s daughter / And there are so many things I love about her / But I have, I have to break the cycle / So I can sit first at the dinner table” aimed to liberate herself and listeners out of a difficult situation. Perry described her intention was caused by something bigger than her (“Bigger Than Me), along with an urgency to make change amidst common ignorance that permeated the world (“Chained to the Rhythm”). However, this didn’t really happen without a personal conflict, as Perry sang on “Mind Maze” about her mind resembling a maze that often confused her and made her unable to move forward. Autobiographical songs such as “Miss You More” and “Save as Draft” became the bleeding heart of “Witness” while “Chained to the Rhythm” and “Pendulum” worked as the logic that ruled. The entirety of the album would make sense once listeners found their way to sit patiently and listen wholeheartedly to Perry’s words. This condition separated “Witness” from her other albums—and for once in her lifetime, she had finally made a body of work that's worth to be appreciated not just as another product for consumerism, but perhaps as a collection of fascinating art pieces which evoked true intimacy. ----FIN---- That's it everyone. Hope you can spare a bit of your time to read this review. Love, Tama.
  22. Tied to her turn in Dick Tracy, the album offered a sneakily subversive spin on the Disney blockbuster, with songs like “Vogue,” “Hanky Panky,” and more Thirty years ago this month, Madonna released one of the most fascinating records in her catalogue, I’m Breathless. Attached to her role as the nightclub singer/femme fatale in Warren Beatty’s 1990 film Dick Tracy, I’m Breathless wasn’t necessarily a proper solo album, but one of those “Music From and Inspired By the Film” projects that the world’s biggest pop stars always seem compelled to make (see also: Prince’s Batman or, more recently, Beyoncé’s The Lion King: The Gift). Meant to match Beatty’s exorbitantly stylized adaptation of the 1930s comic strip, I’m Breathless was a collection of big, brassy tunes that recalled the Prohibition era more than anything in the contemporary zeitgeist. It was a decisively dizzying left turn for an artist who’d already built a solid career out of them. The year before, Madonna had released Like a Prayer, a critical and commercial smash, and a crowning artistic achievement to wrap up her remarkable run during the Eighties. Her cultural dominance was unparalleled; she’d brought a soft-drink conglomerate to its knees. But entering the Nineties, the one thing Madonna was not, was a movie star. It certainly wasn’t for lack of trying, but after a breakout turn in 1985’s Desperately Seeking Susan, her subsequent projects — 1986’s Shanghai Surprise, 1987’s Who’s That Girl, and 1989’s Bloodhounds of Broadway — had all been tremendous flops. In a 1989 interview with Rolling Stone, Madonna wasn’t exactly willing to cede ground when asked if she considered herself a movie star: “Yes, if I could be so immodest to say so,” she replied. Though just a moment before she acknowledged the hurdles she faced in Hollywood: “I don’t really think they understand me well enough to think of me in any way,” she said. “A lot of them see me as a singer.” That was all designed to change with Dick Tracy. The film had been a pet project of Beatty’s since the Seventies, and by the time Disney finally greenlighted the film in 1988, it seemed destined to be a summer blockbuster. Beatty would direct, produce, and star as the hard-nosed detective with the yellow cap and mac jacket; Al Pacino would play his nemesis Big Boy; and Madonna had secured the role of Breathless Mahoney, who falls hard for Tracy, tries to steal him from his girlfriend, Tess Truehart (Glenne Headly), and eventually turns out to be the conniving, merciless, faceless villain known as “The Blank.” Like any proper Disney movie, music was a crucial component of Dick Tracy, and it ended up producing three separate albums. Beatty hired Danny Elfman to handle the score (album one) and singer-songwriter Andy Paley to make an official soundtrack (album two). He also enlisted Stephen Sondheim to pen several original songs, three of which were to be sung by Breathless; and Madonna — savvy as ever — used them to anchor her own new album, I’m Breathless. At the peak of her powers, Madonna could have easily recorded the three Sondheim songs for Dick Tracy and called it a day. Instead, the Queen of Pop chose to deliver a record of big-band jazz and musical-theater pastiche, cap it all off with one of her biggest hits ever, “Vogue,” and then make those songs a tentpole of her massive Blond Ambition Tour. Coming off Like a Prayer, arguably her most personal album to date, I’m Breathless could be viewed as a pivot to the comfort of character, but as much as the album is rooted in her Dick Tracy role, it simmers with a personal touch and tension that’s distinctly Madonna Louise Ciccone. Madonna wasn’t Beatty’s first choice to play Breathless Mahoney — and she knew it. “I saw the A list and I was on the Z list. I felt like a jerk,” she told Newsweek in 1990. But with top choices like Kim Basinger and Kathleen Turner unavailable, Madonna managed to sway Beatty, and even agreed to work for scale, making just $1,440 a week on the film. Though as Forbes reported at the time, she did negotiate some extra points on the back end that certainly made it worth her while — to say nothing of the 7 million copies I’m Breathless sold worldwide. At some point, Madonna and Beatty’s working relationship became a romantic one. They dated for just 15 months, but the tabloid fodder was astronomical: Madonna had just ended her tumultuous marriage with Sean Penn; Beatty was one of Hollywood’s most prolific lovers; there were two decades in age between them; and he was directing and starring alongside her in an expensive summer flick with high expectations. The whole thing smacked of a publicity stunt. To suggest there wasn’t something mutually beneficial about it would be naive: Madonna wanted that Hollywood clout, and while Beatty could offer it, he was nevertheless coming off a massive flop of his own, 1987’s Ishtar. Considering that by 1990, he wasn’t exactly Clyde Barrow anymore either, some contemporary oomph to push Dick Tracy certainly wouldn’t hurt. Madonna said as much herself in that Newsweek story: “Disney didn’t come to me and ask me to help market the movie. Let’s just say I’m killing 12 birds with one stone. It’s a two-way street. I’m not going to overlook the fact that it’s a great opportunity for me, too. Most people don’t associate me with movies. But I know I have a much bigger following than Warren does, and a lot of my audience isn’t even aware of who he is.” But to assume their relationship was just an empty vessel for publicity feels unnecessarily jaded. It’s clear why it failed — just watch the famously private Beatty squirm every time he appears in Truth or Dare — but it also does seem like it was built on plenty of genuine mutual affection and admiration. “I don’t know that there are many people who can do as many things as Madonna can do as well,” Beatty told Vanity Fair in 1990. “People who are in a positive frame of mind, who bring as much energy and willingness to work as Madonna does. She has, in this respect, a real healthy humility about the theater. I think this is a prime requisite to be able to function in theater — or, actually, in art.… As she goes on she will gain the artistic respect that she already deserves.” Madonna’s relationship with Beatty wasn’t the sole force driving this moment in her career, but it is an important piece of it, and I’m Breathless feels not necessarily indebted to it, but crafted in its glow. Auteur that he was, Beatty was heavily involved with every aspect of production on Dick Tracy, including the music. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Patrick Leonard, one of Madonna’s go-to collaborators at that time, recalled a dinner with Madonna and Beatty to discuss ideas and reference points for I’m Breathless. Andy Paley — a go-to producer at Sire, Madonna’s label — says Beatty came to the studio on multiple occasions while he was working on the official Dick Tracy soundtrack, which the filmmaker wanted to feature all-new music that sounded as if it were released no later than 1939. “Warren came to the studio and he played piano for the guys, he really got into it,” Paley tells Rolling Stone. “He would refer us to old records that he liked [such as Bob Wills and Fletcher Henderson]. He was so invested in that project.” Along with being era-appropriate, the music for Dick Tracy had to fit its aesthetic, one in which the sets looked stripped from the Sunday funnies, every villain’s face was slathered in prosthetics, and Al Pacino could deliver 85 percent of his lines at a pitch and volume that still somehow didn’t feel half as over-the-top as everything else around him. Big-band arrangements may have been new sonic territory for Madonna, but big shows weren’t. I’m Breathless came quickly, Leonard says. Usually, he and Madonna worked at a fast clip, but where Like a Prayer took a couple of months, I’m Breathless came together in only three weeks. “It was like one-a-day for a little over a week,” he says. “I’d play her something, she’d write some lyrics, then go in and sing it. And I think in this case, many of those vocals were the final vocal. Then we just overdubbed the big band and orchestra in like one or two days.” The three Sondheim songs, though — “Sooner or Later,” “More,” and “What Can You Lose” — were a different story, recorded separately from the sessions with Leonard and produced by another regular collaborator, Bill Bottrell. For decades, Sondheim had been composing music that could challenge even the top vocalists on Broadway, and Madonna, by her own admission, was far from the best singer in the world. In interviews from that time, she was open about the challenge his work presented. “There’s not one thing that repeats itself,” she told SongTalk in June 1989. “It’s just unbelievable. When I first got them, I sat down next to him and he played them for me, and I was just dumbfounded. And then, forget about making them my own, just to learn to sing them — the rhythmic changes and the melodic changes — it was really tough. I had to go to my vocal coach and get an accompanist to slow everything down for me. I could hardly hear the notes, you know what I mean? So it was a real challenge. And they definitely grew on me.” As Robert Christgau wrote in his review of I’m Breathless, “There are no doubt hundreds of frustrated chorines who could sing the three Sondheim originals ‘better’ than the most famous person in the world.” But Madonna put in the work and came to fully embody the tracks. The least gripping of the bunch is the tender duet “What Can You Lose,” and Madonna certainly holds her own alongside Sondheim vet Mandy Patinkin (who played Breathless’ pianist, 88 Keys, in Dick Tracy). “More,” however, feels practically prefabbed for Madonna — rich, fun, and gleefully gluttonous in the same way as “Material Girl.” And her navigation of the jazzy peaks and valleys of “Sooner or Later” is superb, a performance befitting the Best Original Song Oscar she helped Sondheim win. As for the rest of I’m Breathless, Leonard says one reason it came together so quickly is that, unlike an “artist album,” for this one Madonna had “a script, a storyline, and characters in her mind that she could draw on.” Opener “He’s a Man” is most explicitly tied to the events of the film, as Madonna, as Breathless, tries to lure Dick Tracy away from his beat and law-abiding ways (“All work and no play/Makes Dick a dull, dull boy,” go the opening lines). But just as the three Sondheim songs appear in Dick Tracy as part of Breathless’ nightclub routine, much of the rest of the LP feels like what one of her sets would’ve sounded like. There’s the Carmen Miranda homage “I’m Going Bananas” (penned by Paley and Michael Kernan); the playful ode to soft boys everywhere, “Cry Baby”; the vintage torch song “Something to Remember”; and of course, that rollicking ode to spanking, “Hanky Panky.” In many ways, I’m Breathless is a concept album and character study, though Madonna also found much to relate to in Breathless: “I’ve probably been preparing for the role all my life,” she told Interview in 1989. To that end, the album flirts with that space between person and persona, the most potent example being “Something to Remember.” It’s a devastating song about a devastating relationship, which Elizabeth Wurtzel, in her review for New York, said “sounds like a mournful but mature attempt to come to terms with her marriage to Sean Penn.” If that’s the breakup tune, other moments on I’m Breathless feel like they’re chronicling the ups and downs of the rebound with Beatty. Listening to “Cry Baby,” it’s hard not to think of the way she refers to Beatty as “pussy man” in Truth or Dare, a nickname she expounded upon in a 1991 interview with The Advocate: “Warren is a pussy!… When I say ‘pussy,’ you know what I mean. He’s a wimp.” But then at the end of the album, Beatty appears on “Now I’m Following You,” a charming soft-shoe duet that Paley co-wrote with his brother Jonathan, Jeff Lass, and Ned Claflin. Beatty’s no belter, but he carries the tune with ease, and the chemistry between him and Madonna comes through in the song’s simple harmonies and head-over-heels lyrics: “My feet might be falling out of rhythm/Don’t know what I’m doing with them, but I know I’m following you.” In Lucy O’Brien’s 2007 Madonna biography Like an Icon, session pianist Bill Meyers remembered the track coming together in just one take: “They’d paid for three hours, and the whole thing lasted 15 minutes,” he said. “I admire that. If you’ve captured the lightning in the bottle, why not?” But even a song like “Hanky Panky” can say more about Madonna than Breathless. “I remember writing the music, and probably the first thing she sang was that,” Leonard remembers. “Right away, there it was, and not one to shy away from anything, it was on the list. I think things get blown up much bigger when they leave the studio. When we’re experiencing them, it’s just something to laugh about.” The song was born out of a Breathless line in the film (“You don’t know whether to hit me or kiss me,” she tells Tracy), paired with Madonna’s reading of the character as someone who “liked to get smacked around,” per a 1990 interview in Rolling Stone conducted by Carrie Fisher. But even as bawdy as a 1930s nightclub set could get, only the pop star who’d just left Pepsi out to dry would have the chutzpah see how far she could push Disney. Speaking with Interview in 1990, Madonna acknowledged her penchant for being controversial, but she also found that particular word to be lacking. Instead, she framed the impulse this way: “It’s more like, ‘Hey, well, you know how they always say things are this way? Well, they’re not! Or they don’t have to be.’” When asked if she wrote her songs that way, Madonna replied, “I’m starting to. Especially on my last album [Like a Prayer]. And when you hear the Dick Tracy soundtrack, then you’ll know.” In that same interview, Madonna revealed that she’d had to change some of the lyrics on I’m Breathless — “anything to do with sodomy, intercourse, or masturbation” — to appease Disney. But all the double entendres she managed to slip into the final version feels like a feat in and of itself. She flips one chorus on “He’s a Man,” to, “Cause I can show you some fun/And I don’t mean with a gun.” You can probably guess which word she stresses in this line on “Cry Baby”: “He acts like a real cock-a-doodle, he can’t even tell you why.” And on “Now I’m Following You, Pt. 2” — a contemporary dance-pop remix crafted by Kevin Gilbert — she coos what could’ve been a quip from her director’s cut of the movie, “Dick — that’s an interesting name.” And then, for good measure, the word “Dick” is chopped up and transformed to fit the song’s lead vocal melody. But Madonna’s purest presentation of her vision for I’m Breathless came on her Blond Ambition Tour. At each of her 57 shows, across three continents, Madonna would gleefully bump and grind with a Tracy look-alike and unleash a troupe of dancers wearing the yellow mac jackets and hats, with just black briefs underneath, for a routine of cancan lines and light striptease that’s wonderfully campy, sexy, and queer. Arguably, the most sneakily subversive thing about I’m Breathless was the inclusion of “Vogue.” The song was certainly tacked on in part to satisfy the perennial music biz plea of, “We need a single,” but despite the vast sonic gap between it and the rest of the album, it doesn’t feel that incongruous thanks to the lead-in provided by the “Now I’m Following You” remix, and the song’s celebration of old Hollywood glamour. “Vogue” helped introduce underground ballroom culture to the American mainstream, and its legacy is a tangled knot of indisputable pop greatness and the issues implicit in a straight white woman using, and profiting off of, a culture and craft created by black and brown LGBTQ people, not to mention the mainstream’s willingness to seriously engage with that culture and craft only when it’s presented in this way. The validity of these critiques, though, doesn’t mean one can’t still revel in the song’s brilliance, nor do they necessarily suggest anything malicious on Madonna’s part. She was steeped in New York City’s myriad music and arts scenes, and approached “Vogue” with a clear admiration and respect for the ballroom world. She was also, at the time, one of pop culture’s most prominent advocates for gay rights, someone who’d seen firsthand the devastation of the HIV/AIDS crisis and likely understood the many obstacles that still stood in the way of equality and justice. If nudging the needle of cultural opinion is one way toward achieving that goal, it’s hard to think of a more shrewd move than using a Disney movie as a Trojan horse for a song like “Vogue.” Upon its release, Dick Tracy proved to be the blockbuster it was meant to be, grossing more than $162 million worldwide, picking up seven Oscar nominations, and winning three: Best Original Song for “Sooner or Later,” Best Makeup, and Best Art Direction. Madonna showed up at the 63rd Academy Awards not with Beatty, but with Michael Jackson, and performed “Sooner or Later” as if she were Marilyn Monroe, paraphrasing “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” to make a little barb about the Gulf War: “Talk to me General Schwarzkopf, tell me all about it!” she bellowed while windmilling a big fur boa. But Dick Tracy still didn’t exactly make Madonna the movie star she yearned to be. Her film projects over the next decade or so remained a mixed bag at best, with every A League of Their Own or Evita balanced out by a Body of Evidence or a Swept Away. In the grand scheme of all things Madonna, the legacy of I’m Breathless is rather muted too. “Vogue,” of course, remains a concert staple, but per Setlist.fm, she hasn’t performed “Sooner or Later” or “Now I’m Following You” since Blond Ambition, and has only dusted off “I’m Going Bananas” for the 1993 Girlie Show World Tour and “Hanky Panky” for the 2004 Re-Invention Tour. And while the album surely ranks as a favorite for many fans, I’m Breathless hasn’t exactly achieved the status of a forgotten classic. But 30 years later, it remains a compelling snapshot of a pivotal moment in Madonna’s life and career, when the world rolled in ecstasy at her feet and she had the power to push it any which way she wanted, to mold it to suit her ideal. There’s something about I’m Breathless that actually recalls a moment from another Warren Beatty movie, 1981’s Reds, his epic historical romance about John Reed and Louise Bryant. The movie features “witness” interviews from Bryant and Reed’s real life peers, and at one point, the author Henry Miller appears to offer this frank assessment of life in the early 1900s: “You know something that I think, that there was just as much fucking going on then as now.” Miller proceeds to ruin this perfectly astute observation with the qualification that he thinks sex has become more perverse and devoid of love, but the first part echoes something in Madonna’s remark to Interview about pushing buttons and boundaries. I’m Breathless allowed Madonna the chance to filter a staid Disney movie through her worldview. To say, like she so often did, “You know how they always say things are this way? Well, they’re not! Or they don’t have to be.” https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/madonna-dick-tracy-im-breathless-vogue-1005083/
  23. There’s no such thing as a bad Madonna album. The queen of pop has been consistent for decades now, releasing albums only when she’s ready to, and changing the landscape of mainstream music each time. Even the records that were reviled at the time — Hard Candy amongst them — look genuinely forward-thinking in retrospect. Madonna’s always been able to predict the way that the cultural winds have changed before anybody else, and that makes her most scattered oddities seem consistent. As a result, any ranking of Madonna albums must acknowledge — more than most other rankings — that last place isn’t really last place. There are no stinkers here. Just a mounting pile of artistic exercises, some more successful than the rest, but all worthy of your time. Nobody does it like she does: even when that ‘it’ seems confusing and overwhelming at first glance. Here then are all 14 Madonna albums, ranked. #14. American Life With its Che Guevara-referencing cover and its occasionally odd, acoustic stylings, American Life poses itself as the most outre record of Madonna’s career. But in actual fact, it might be the most by-the-numbers album she ever released. Opener ‘American Life’ is an up-and-down oldschool banger, while ‘X-Static Process’ is the kind of ballad that pop had largely abandoned decades prior. Far from the muddled experiment that most critics heard when it first came out, American Life is a sturdy, slightly underwhelming thing — one overly varnished pop hit after another. Best track: ‘American Life’ #13. Hard Candy ‘Candy Shop’ is a banger. Everybody knows that. The opening track on Hard Candy, it’s a kitsch, ridiculous, oversexed work of glistening art, with a chorus that settles into the very bedrock of your brain. But its success hurts the rest of the album, rather than helping it. ‘Give It To Me’, saturated in cowbell, seems rather tame in comparison with the opener, and the baroque ‘Voices’ is hurt by thin, watery production. Even the Kanye West feature feels slightly underwhelming, given how outrageous a meeting of pop’s two greatest minds should theoretically be. Not a bad record. Just not as great as it should be. Best track: ‘Candy Shop’ #12. Rebel Heart Are there any two guest features better suited to a Madonna record than Chance The Rapper and Mike Tyson? Those two icons — the voices heard, appropriately, on ‘Iconic’ — represent the two sides of the musician’s personality; her sincerity and her kitsch; her beauty and her darkness. Indeed, Rebel Heart might be the most Madonna-esque record of the second half of the singer’s career. Full of dirty bass and snaking choruses, it’s this shimmering, obsidian-black come-on, sexy and disquieting in equal measure. Best track: ‘Holy Water’ #11. MDNA Madonna spent the first ten years of her career building up to a song called ‘Gang Bang’, and when it came (so to speak), it didn’t disappoint. The glittering jewel in the centre of a sometimes under-appreciated album, it’s a demonstration of all of the singer’s talents; a rising wave of something terrible, slick and sweet. Oh, and that Nicki Minaj feature? Just perfect. Best track: ‘Gang Bang’ #10. Madame X It’s a testament to our oversaturated, rushed cultural moment that Madame X wasn’t given the proper amount of attention that it deserved. Mixing the antic half-melodies of contemporary trap with the throbbing pop of her early career, it’s the sound of a musician embracing the new, and doing strange and beautiful things with it. Best track: ‘Crave’ #9. True Blue Opening with one of Madonna’s most acclaimed hits, ‘Papa Don’t Preach’, True Blue is as dependable as Madonna records come. With its era-defining production, and sweaty sheen of subversion, it’s the singer’s ur-text: the way of understanding everything that came afterwards. Indeed, it’s only so low on this list because, given the places that Madonna ended up, it sounds a little foundational. That’s not a problem — most pop singers never release a record this good in their whole career — it just means that most ears will gravitate to something edgier, and stranger. Best track: ‘Live To Tell’ #8. Music Who could have ever predicted that Madonna would one day decide to reinvent herself as a cowgirl? Music might have the least flashy title of the singer’s career, but what’s inside is pure madness — whispered choruses of titillation, disco hits to get you tapping your Stetsons, and a straw-blasted feel that belongs wholly to John Wayne movies. Not a second of it should work. But it all does. Best track: ‘Impressive Instant’ #7. Madonna Who was Madonna before she was Madonna? Her self-titled album holds the answer. At once endearingly cautious — she would never again sound as trepidatious as she does on opener ‘Lucky Star’ — and shockingly self-assured, it’s an artist deciding to throw literally everything that they have at the wall, just to see what sticks. The result is naturally uneven, but in an exciting rather than disappointing way — like reflecting on an entire friendship, picking over memories both good and bad. Best track: ‘Borderline’ #6. Bedtime Stories An attempt to turn the pop music machine’s gaze back on itself, Bedtime Stories is a song of the self. Not since Prince’s ‘Controversy’ had a singer so slyly addressed their critics while also clearly and carefully reasserting their strengths. The result: a work of strange autofiction, assembled out of koans and a bounty of delicious ’90s tropes. Like a manifesto written in lipstick on a barroom mirror. Best track: ‘Human Nature’ #5. Confessions on a Dance Floor It still doesn’t make sense that Confessions on a Dance Floor was released decades into a popstar’s career. With its sleek, Giorgio Moroder-inspired choruses and mind-warping lyrics — who but Madonna would rhyme ‘administration’ and ‘demonstration’ in the middle of a disco banger? — it has the energy of a debut album. Vice ranked Confessions as third on the greatest dance albums of all time, and they were right to: this is as good as music of this kind ever gets. It’s just so alive, every single second of it, from the opener all the way through to the electric climax. Best track: ‘Future Lovers’ #4. Erotica All great Madonna songs are about sex, so it was only matter of time till she was going to release an entire album dedicated to the things that you can do with a body or two. Erotica is a pop culture collage of sweat, slapped skin and dripping parts — giddy and antic, obsessed with the stink of itself. Released alongside a coffee table book of softcore snaps, Sex, it’s a singer at her most naked, physically and otherwise: a list of pleasures, rattled off one by one. Best track: ‘Erotica’ #3. Like A Prayer Any claim you could feasibly make about Madonna you could also make about Prince, which made a collaboration between the two cultural forces inevitable. He literally appears on ‘Love Song’, but his purple shadow is all over Like A Prayer, from the layered production to the climax of sweet release attached to the tail end of literally every song. That’s not to take the album away from Madonna, mind you. At the end of the day, this is the kind of album that only she could release — full of sweet, gasping life, from start to finish. Who else releases a record this smart? And moreover, who else releases a record this smart that somehow isn’t their best? Best track: ‘Keep it Together’ #2. Like A Virgin ‘Material Girl’, ‘Angel’ and ‘Like a Virgin’. Most songwriters never write three bangers that good, let alone have them sit one after the other on the opening of their second best album. Like A Virgin doesn’t peak there, either — beyond the hits that most people know, the record winds into stranger, more shocking territory with bops like ‘Pretender’ and the elongated, pulsing ‘Dress You Up’. Each time you return to this masterpiece, it gives you something new. Best track: ‘Like a Virgin’ #1. Ray Of Light There’s no equivalent to Ray of Light. At once an immediate, state-of-the-art dance record, and a spiritual journey through a human being’s entire metaphysical worldview, it’s the precise midpoint between the dancefloor and a Walden-style retreat. Isolated, strange, and beautiful, little wonder that it took Madonna more time to write than any other record released under her name. True genius takes a while to manifest itself, after all, and Ray of Light is exactly that: a work of pop genius, the high point of an entire artform. We don’t deserve it. Best track: ‘Nothing Really Matters’ https://junkee.com/madonna-albums-ranked/250846
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