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My Personal, Totally Biased Ranking of the Albums

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Mr. Mendes    2,575

So now that Madame X has had time to sink in with me, I feel confident about doing a full on personal ranking. Already, my ranking has changed from the "rank the albums" thread a few days ago as I've relistened to each album since then. Each album is scored on a track-by-track basis (using only album versions, not single edits). Albums that tie in score are ranked based on overall preference. 

Keep in mind it's all my personal, totally biased opinion and this is in no way definitive of anything other than how I feel about the albums. I'm a harsh critic, ESPECIALLY when it comes to my favorite artists and Madonna is my all time favorite so I hold her to a high standard and don't go lax. 

So here is my ranking. 

 

KEY:
0-5 = BAD
5.1-6.5 = AVERAGE
6.6-7.4 = GREAT
7.5-8.4 = FANTASTIC
8.5-10 = MIND BLOWINGLY AMAZING

 

14. MDNA - 4.9/10
MDNA_Album_Cover.png

TRACK-BY-TRACK SCORES

Spoiler

Girl Gone Wild - 8/10

Gang Bang - 8/10

I’m Addicted - 4/10

Turn Up the Radio - 4/10

Give Me All Your Luvin’ - 4/10

Some Girls - 7/10

Superstar - 4/10

I Don’t Give A - 6/10

I’m A Sinner - 4/10

Love Spent - 4/10

Masterpiece - 9/10

Falling Free - 4/10

Beautiful Killer - 5/10

I Fucked Up - 3/10

B-Day Song - 1/10

Best Friend - 3/10

This is just a total mess from top to bottom. The production is all over the place, the lyrics are absolutely stupid, her voice is lost behind electronic sound effects...there's just not much to recommend. The album is unfocused and the claims she made about chasing an electronic "concept" are bullshit. There's no concept to any of this sound, it's just random. It feels in most places like the album was recorded and produced and mixed two weeks before the release date. It does have some great moments that deserved a much, much better album. 

 

 

13. Hard Candy - 6.2/10
HardCandyAlbumCover.PNG

TRACK-BY-TRACK SCORES

Spoiler

Candy Shop - 5/10

4 Minutes - 7/10

Give It 2 Me - 8/10

Heartbeat - 7/10

Miles Away - 8/10

She’s Not Me - 6/10

Incredible - 4/10

Beat Goes On - 4/10

Dance 2night - 4/10

Spanish Lesson - 5/10

Devil Wouldn’t Recognize You - 9/10

Voices - 7/10

Pharrell, Timberlake and Timbaland shoulder a lot of the blame here but Madonna herself isn't off the hook: she allowed mediocrity to be the ruling principal here. This album has some good ideas on it. In fact there are a couple actually good tracks and a few decent ones. But everything else ranges from painfully dull to frustratingly bad. The album is fairly short compared to later albums but it feels so much longer. This album is under thought and under loved. And the less said about the cover the better. 

 

 

12. Rebel Heart - 6.3/10
Madonna_-_Rebel_Heart_(Official_Album_Co

TRACK-BY-TRACK SCORES

Spoiler

Living for Love - 7/10

Devil Pray - 7/10

Ghosttown - 9/10

Unapologetic Bitch - 7/10

Illuminati - 6/10

Bitch I’m Madonna - 5/10

Hold Tight - 7/10

Joan of Arc - 6/10

Iconic - 8/10

HeartBreakCity - 8/10

Body Shop - 6/10

Holy Water - 8/10

Inside Out - 6/10

Wash All Over Me - 7/10

Best Night - 4/10

Veni Vidi Vici - 5/10

S.E.X. - 4/10

Messiah - 9/10

Rebel Heart - 7/10

Beautiful Scars - 5/10

Borrowed Time - 4/10

Addicted - 6/10

Graffiti Heart - 4/10

I strongly believe that the pre-leak version of this album was actually good. But her panicked changes ruined the potential that this album had. First of all, it's too damn long, even the standard version. When you get into the deluxe and super deluxe versions, it becomes an absolute slog to listen to. When the album hits, it hits hard though. There is a really good EP within this album. It's peaks are some of the highest peaks she's reached post-Confessions. But it's lowest points are very, very low. At it's worst, the album is completely laughable and an embarrassment to her iconic name. Had this been more focused, the fat trimmed off, and the leaks not changed the course of the album, I think we'd all love RH a little more. Oh and the demo versions of most songs remain superior. Period. 

 

 

11. Like a Virgin - 6.6/10
LikeAVirgin1984.png

TRACK-BY-TRACK SCORE

Spoiler

Material Girl - 9/10

Angel - 6/10

Like a Virgin - 10/10

Over and Over - 5/10

Love Don’t Live Here Anymore - 6/10

Dress You Up - 8/10

Shoo-Bee-Doo - 5/10

Pretender - 5/10

Stay - 5/10

Where Madonna the icon was truly born. This album often gets ranked higher on a lot of lists, probably due to nostalgia. But truth be told, it's not really an outstanding album. It has some truly outstanding songs, though. The singles are (almost) all really fantastic and show off how smart she was about which songs she used to represent her album. But most of the album suffers from pretty poor production work. Her voice sounds really comprised and occasionally totally separate from the actual music through most of the album. The writing is also pretty basic still as this is still, at least in my eyes, her bubble gum pop stage. Her hints provocation, especially the title track, are here but not yet fully mature. 

 

 

10. Madonna - 6.8/10
Madonna,_debut_album_cover.png

TRACK-BY- TRACK SCORES

Spoiler

Lucky Star - 7/10

Borderline - 9/10

Burning Up - 7/10

I Know It - 6/10

Holiday - 7/10

Think of Me - 5/10

Physical Attraction - 6/10

Everybody - 7/10

Again, this album usually gets ranked higher due to nostalgia. It is superior to it's successor, but really, this album could flop places with Like a Virgin and still be valid. But an argument could be made that this album's peaks are slightly higher. It's amazing how established and sure Madonna sounds right from the outset. She sounds confident on each song and delivers each track like she knew then they'd all more or less be considered classics. However the album is still very vanilla and very much a part of her bubble gum pop era. And because of that, there's a lack of real excitement within the album. It's a fantastic debut, but perhaps not as fantastic as it's often made out to be. 

 

 

9. Bedtime Stories - 7.0/10
madonna-artjpg

TRACK-BY-TRACK SCORES

Spoiler

Survival - 6/10

Secret - 9/10

I’d Rather Be Your Lover - 6/10

Don’t Stop - 7/10

Inside of Me - 6/10

Human Nature - 8/10

Forbidden Love - 5/10

Love Tried to Welcome Me - 6/10

Sanctuary - 6/10

Bedtime Story - 8/10

Take a Bow - 10/10

And it's right about here that my crucifixion begins. To me, this album is just really boring. It has some sure fire stand outs and two absolutely undeniable classics. But a lot of it sounds like well made and slightly more cared about filler. This is the first Madonna album that I feel doesn't have much replay value outside of the singles. That being said, this album features some decade defining moments for the 90s incarnation of Madonna. The singles on the album are all incredibly strong: beautifully written, expertly produced, and lovingly performed. And I will say that this album offers some of her best vocal moments as well. I like this album much more than I did a few years ago, but it's not quite the favorite that is to many fans to me. 

 

 

8. American Life - 7.2/10
AmericanLife2003.png

TRACK-BY-TRACK SCORES

Spoiler

American Life - 6/10

Hollywood - 7/10

I’m so Stupid - 6/10

Love Profusion - 8/10

Nobody Knows Me - 8/10

Nothing Fails - 8/10

Intervention - 8/10

X-Static Process - 7/10

Mother and Father - 7/10

Die Another Day - 6/10

Easy Ride - 8/10

How this album is considered bad or even average is beyond me. Is it perfect? No, it isn't. Does it have some glaring flaws? Yes, it does. But is it her most raw, personal, and humbling body of work? Yes, it certainly is. Many point to Ray of Light as her most personal and in some ways, it may be. But this album is her most human. The middle section of this album is absolutely fantastic without a single doubt. It's problems come in it's first section and it's last section. At it's worst, the songs are too much. Their messages are admirable but are too calculated to be completely genuine. And her moves at rapping were pretty misguided. But when she strips away the presence and cuts out the bullshit, real magic happens. I don't think Madonna has ever been this honest or vulnerable before or since. 

 

 

7. Erotica - 7.4/10
rs-147090-19b727a21952e9e327bbfe83f3e68a

TRACK-BY-TRACK SCORE

Spoiler

Erotica - 8/10

Fever - 6/10

Bye Bye Baby - 7/10

Deeper and Deeper - 10/10

Where Life Begins - 7/10

Bad Girl - 10/10

Waiting - 7/10

Thief of Hearts - 6/10

Words - 8/10

Rain - 7/10

Why’s It So Hard - 8/10

In This Life - 9/10

Did You Do It - 4/10

Secret Garden - 6/10

This is a very special album but a very misunderstood one. This if often labelled her dirtiest album, her most obscene. But aside from 3 or 4 songs, it's really pretty tame. This album is a jazzy one and seems to build upon her dabbles with jazz from the I'm Breathless soundtrack. And it mostly works. The album's peaks are incredibly high. There are no less than 4 absolute classic tracks on the album (though only 2 really get acknowledged as such). The writing on the album is incredible and her word play is really fun to get into. And each track, even the weaker ones, are produced sublimely. There's a lot of fun to be had here and by the end of the track list, you feel like you've gone through an intensely blunt but sobering experience. But that's not to say there aren't bad decisions. "Did You Do It" is a waste of time. End of story. I don't really know of any fan who seeks it out to listen to it. It also takes too long for the album's main points to be made and along the way, it leaves a lot of room for people to confuse what she actually means by the frankness. But overall, it's a really fantastic album and one of her most lasting projects (despite her constantly ignoring it at every turn). 

 

 

6. Madame X - 7.4/10
madonna-madame-x.jpg?resize=300,300&ssl=

TRACK-BY-TRACK SCORES

Spoiler

Medellin - 6/10

Dark Ballet - 8/10

God Control - 10/10

Future - 7/10

Batuka - 8/10

Killers Who Are Partying - 8/10

Crave - 4/10

Crazy - 9/10

Come Alive - 7/10

Extreme Occident - 9/10

Faz Gostoso - 7/10

Bitch I’m Loca - 6/10

I Don’t Search I Find - 8/10

Looking for Mercy - 8/10

I Rise - 7/10

Funana - 7/10

Back That Up to the Beat - 7/10

Ciao Bella - 8/10

Though the score tied with Erotica, I placed this as the higher one because I feel it's much more adventurous and creative. The album does have it's fair share of issues. The abundance of autotune is off putting and makes songs that could have been really good just decent. The lyrics can be questionable. Sometimes her points are hammered just a little too hard (mostly by saying MUCH more than she really needs to). And there are some tracks that just really don't fit in thematically or sonically with the rest of the album (see: both Maluma tracks...I hope he's not her new Nicki...). However the album features some genuine strokes of brilliance. Deciding to not give a fuck about what people might say or do and going ahead and making an experimental album was the smartest move that she could have made. For the first time in a long time, she sounds like she's enjoying the music and having fun making it. Her artistic choices are at first baffling, but when you keep returning to the tracks, you admire her desire to do something she hasn't done before. A lot of these tracks sound fantastic, are produced to near perfection, and feature some of her sparkiest and life-filled writing in a long, long time. 

 

 

5. True Blue - 7.6/10
True_Blue_Madonna.png

TRACK-BY-TRACK SCORES

Spoiler

Papa Don’t Preach - 10/10

Open Your Heart - 8/10

White Heat - 6/10

Live to Tell - 10/10

Where’s the Party - 7/10

True Blue - 7/10

La Isla Bonita - 9/10

Jimmy Jimmy - 6/10

Love Makes the World Go Round - 5/10

Where Madonna the artist was truly born. We're into her absolute classics now. This album must have been a shock when it was released. It's almost inconceivable to imagine this is the same woman who just a few years prior was pumping out the fairly mindless "Holiday". This album is really mature and features 5 absolutely undeniable and unbeatable all time classics. She sounds like she's completely rejuvenated on this album and like she's got new life in her. Her writing is absolutely phenomenal, her voice is stronger than it ever had been at this point, and her artistry is just fantastic. The album's weaknesses are her two returns to bubble gum in the final two tracks (and odd weirdness in "White Heat"). Those moments are not up to the quality of the rest of the project and don't really have a place within the album. 

 

 

4. Music - 7.8/10
2UQYC.jpg

TRACK-BY-TRACK SCORES

Spoiler

Music - 8/10

Impressive Instant - 8/10

Runaway Lover - 6/10

I Deserve It - 7/10

Amazing - 7/10

Nobody’s Perfect - 9/10

Don’t Tell Me - 9/10

What It Feels Like for a Girl - 8/10

Paradise (Not for Me) - 9/10

Gone - 7/10

After her second masterpiece Ray of Light, she had every opportunity in the world to fuck up and deliver a clunker. But she surprisingly delivered a more than worthy follow up. This is her most electronic album, at least in my eyes (and ears) and it works much more than a statement like that implies. This sounds like her most "Fuck what's popular" album. She sounds determined to do something that people weren't looking for her to do and something that would challenge people and she delivered on those intentions. The title/opening track is a little misleading because it prepares you for an entirely different album. But when "Impressive Instant" sets in, you understand immediately that this is a different animal all together. The writing is weird as hell but incredibly entertaining and wonderful. The production is just fun in the purest sense of the word. And the album is also serious when it needs to be even amidst all of the controlled chaos. This is a fantastic album and in my eyes, one of 4 bulletproof classics in her discography. 

 

3. Like a Prayer - 8.2/10
Madonna_-_Like_a_Prayer_album.png

TRACK-BY-TRACK

Spoiler

Like a Prayer - 10/10

Express Youself - 9/10

Love Song - 7/10

Til Death Do Us Part - 9/10

Promise to Try - 8/10

Cherish - 9/10

Dear Jessie - 8/10

Oh Father - 10/10

Keep It Together - 8/10

Pray for Spanish Eyes - 7/10

Act of Contrtion - 7/10

The dictionary definition of building on what came before. This album takes the best elements of True Blue, dials it up, and sprinkles in even more fantastic elements to supplement. Her writing is intense confessional and her voice sounds more soulful and full of genuine emotion than it ever did before or since. This album was monolithic upon it's release but it's still remained monolithic to this very day and it's because it really shows of all of what makes Madonna such an icon. She wasn't afraid of anything or anyone on this album. The only real negative that can be pointed out is that it doesn't have the triumphant conclusion that it could have. I like "Act of Contrition" but "Keep It Together" should have been the closer (and "Spanish Eyes" should go right before KIT). 

 

 

2. Ray of Light - 8.5/10
R-7023464-1472307662-1366.jpeg.jpg

TRACK-BY-TRACK SCORE

Spoiler

Drowned World/Substitue for Love - 9/10

Swim - 8/10

Ray of Light - 10/10

Candy Perfume Girl - 8/10

Skin - 8/10

Nothing Really Matters - 10/10

Sky Fits Heaven - 8/10

Shanti/Ashtangi - 7/10

Frozen - 10/10

The Power of Good-Bye - 8/10

To Have and Not to Hold - 8/10

Little Star - 8/10

Mer Girl - 8/10

No signs pointed to Madonna going this direction when she did but we're so, so lucky that she did. What really can be said about this album that hasn't already? The album features some of her most impressive work lyrically. She dug into places and things that we never expected her to discuss. This album is linked very closely with her becoming mother and it's very much that spirit that radiates through the whole album. Everything feels earthly and motherly, a kind of care and attention that doesn't exist on any other album of hers. The production is also completely genius the whole way through. There isn't a song that feels like it's discardable because they all feel like they got her equal love an attention (even if they haven't on stage).

 

 

1. Confessions on a Dance Floor - 9.0/10
Madonna_-_Confessions_on_a_Dance_Floor.p

TRACK-BY-TRACK SCORES

Spoiler

Hung Up - 10/10

Get Together - 8/10

Sorry - 10/10

Future Lovers - 8/10

I Love New York - 7/10

Let It Will Be - 9/10

Forbidden Love - 10/10

Jump - 9/10

How High - 8/10

Isaac - 10/10

Push - 8/10

Like it Or Not - 10/10

Anyone who knows me or has paid attention to my comments here in the Madonna section and elsewhere on the forum should not be surprised by this. There are very, very few pop albums that are as close to perfect as this in my eyes. Everything from the concept right down to the production here just clicks. Madonna returning to disco in 2005 seems like an inconceivable idea that shouldn't have worked when you look at it on paper. But when you hear it, when you dive deep down into it, you can't imagine her doing anything else. There isn't a single clunker on the whole album. Stuart Price's production is astounding. He brought something interesting to the table each and every time. Madonna's vocals are rich here and makes you feel like she's surrounding you as you listen to her. It's just astounding. The blending to make each track slide into each other makes every song feel just as vital to the experience as every other track on the album does. This was my first Madonna album and will probably remain my favorite for the rest of my natural life. 

 

 

 

Alright there we go. Crucify me, I'm ready. 

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Aidan.    55,657

One of the most well-explained rankings I have ever read on this site! I agree with a lot of what you said, and Confessions as also my 1st Madonna album (Or, at least the 1st one I really took notice of an listened to obsessively - But I remember my parents having and playing Ray of Light and Music)

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Liam    15,972

u have to go with that I’m Addicted score and Bedtime Stories ranking

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Merryem    6,932

confessions is her best album, yes!

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Saiga    15,922

Madame Dino above Erotica, Bedtime Stories and American Life... gaga4

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Venom    6,271

Funny that MDNA's score and description are exactly what I would've said for Madame X ari7

I agree with the #1 choice though

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Mr. Mendes    2,575
4 minutes ago, Liam said:

u have to go with that I’m Addicted score and Bedtime Stories ranking

 

1 minute ago, Saiga said:

Madame Dino above Erotica, Bedtime Stories and American Life... gaga4

 

What can I say, I'm not perfect. 

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Venom    6,271
6 minutes ago, Liam said:

u have to go with that I’m Addicted score and Bedtime Stories ranking

I didn't even look at the song rankings ari7 Imagine thinking Some Girls is any score above a 2/10, or that it's better than Give Me All Your Luvin, Turn Up the Radio or I'm Addicted; a MESS ari7

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ParentalAdvisory    7,765

the Thing with Madonna is that i really cant do an Album ranking cause everytime my mind complety changes, cos every Album is so different from each other and my mood of the day always perfers another Album 

 

but my top 4 is always the same ROL, LAP, Music and COADF

 

oh and my least fav will Always be MDNO and LAV moo1 

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ParentalAdvisory    7,765

 

Quote

 

After her second masterpiece Ray of Light, she had every opportunity in the world to fuck up and deliver a clunker. But she surprisingly delivered a more than worthy follow up. This is her most electronic album, at least in my eyes (and ears) and it works much more than a statement like that implies. This sounds like her most "Fuck what's popular" album. She sounds determined to do something that people weren't looking for her to do and something that would challenge people and she delivered on those intentions. The title/opening track is a little misleading because it prepares you for an entirely different album. But when "Impressive Instant" sets in, you understand immediately that this is a different animal all together. The writing is weird as hell but incredibly entertaining and wonderful. The production is just fun in the purest sense of the word. And the album is also serious when it needs to be even amidst all of the controlled chaos. This is a fantastic album and in my eyes, one of 4 bulletproof classics in her discography. 

 

clap3 

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Aidan.    55,657
16 minutes ago, Saiga said:

Madame Dino above Erotica, Bedtime Stories and American Life... gaga4

Gonna extend my kitchen with Mrs X copies

xtine.png.9a5f4290b85ab03837d97da11d67ec

10 minutes ago, ParentalAdvisory said:

the Thing with Madonna is that i really cant do an Album ranking cause everytime my mind complety changes, cos every Album is so different from each other and my mood of the day always perfers another Album 

 

This is so true

Also sometimes I dont touch my fave albums for ages

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Saiga    15,922
1 minute ago, Aidan. said:

Gonna extend my kitchen with Mrs X copies

xtine.png.9a5f4290b85ab03837d97da11d67ec

Wow I love you. lmfao1 To be honest I wouldn't care that much about the ranking but I just can't listen to Madonna's 2019 vocals at all.

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Aidan.    55,657
4 minutes ago, Saiga said:

Wow I love you. lmfao1 To be honest I wouldn't care that much about the ranking but I just can't listen to Madonna's 2019 vocals at all.

She turned the autotune up to 11 on Mrs X

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ICEQueen    228
21 hours ago, Venom said:

Funny that MDNA's score and description are exactly what I would've said for Madame X ari7

I agree with the #1 choice though

Mod Notice
Do not troll outside of Battlegrounds.

 

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Mr. Mendes    2,575
42 minutes ago, Venom said:

I didn't even look at the song rankings ari7 Imagine thinking Some Girls is any score above a 2/10, or that it's better than Give Me All Your Luvin, Turn Up the Radio or I'm Addicted; a MESS ari7

It's just an opinion

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Venom    6,271
21 hours ago, ICEQueen said:
Mod Notice
Do not troll outside of Battlegrounds.

 

Of course not, but I'm aware that Madonna didn't open a can of foreign concepts and unheard-of philosophy by saying "I don't smoke that dope" in a song about gun violence bey9

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Agent X    6,932

HC score is too high. eve1 

MDNA > HC.  jj2

Yeah, MDNA was rushed, but she sounded better on it than on HC. MDNA has some good lyrics. HC is hardly superior lyrically. 

MDNA is more like a collection of songs, but overall production of songs isn't out of place. It is cohesive, not more than HC, but it is just that some really bad songs shouldn't have been there.

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