Do you remember when Madonna used to be the only female pop star that could sell millions with every album? When she was always ahead of the chasing pack by being the first major pop star to take the latest underground fade and turn it into the new cool? Do you remember when she looked hot and flaunted her sexuality in a way that had never been done before? Do you remember when she was relevant?
Well I do, and after the terrible American Life, I hoped that Madonna would make a follow up album that would return her to the top of the pop tree and remind us that while she is a nearly 50 year old mother of two, she can still make some contributions to music. Confessions on a Dance Floor is that follow up and while there are glimpses of the old Madonna it just doesn't seem that she is the power she used to be.
It all starts nicely. "Hung Up" is a pretty fun dance-floor filler and obviously it has a sample of ABBA as the backbone of the song, but lyrically it seems like Mrs. Ritchie has been suffering from a terrible bout of nonsense. This seems to be a running theme of the album with lyrics that just seemed to have been plucked out of her arse and thrust down on the page before any of the co-writers could stop her. Just listen to "I Love New York" and its stupid first verse "I don't like cities, but I like New York / Other places make me feel like a dork/ Los Angeles is for people who sleep/ Paris and London, baby you can keep." Hang on Madge (can I call you that? Oh who cares?), you don't live in New York, but you do have a quite lovely house in London. And what self respecting person uses the word 'dork' in this day and age?
"Sorry" features Madonna apologizing in all sorts of languages, but instead of sounding cultural and interesting it just comes across as pretentious and doesn't really fit the song well at all. I'm not even going to talk about how awful "Isaac" is, but I do suggest that if you want to hear what joining odd cults based on the bits of Judaism that the leader likes does to famous creative people, you give it a listen. It's really quite disheartening that instead of just charging stupid rich people lots of money for bottled water and red bits of string that they are now influencing songs, and not good ones at that.
For the second album in a row Madonna is bandwagon hopping rather than trend setting. After American Life was influenced quite heavily by hip hop, Confessions on a Dance Floor is influenced by the revival in 80's sounding bands, synths, Goldfrapp and for some odd reason disco. Personally, I see this as a sign that old lady of pop is finally losing her importance as she battles to keep up with the younger rivals. She may have the ace card in producer Stuart Price, who does a brilliant job of making this album sound so damn spanking good that it still stands close to the rivals and helps you overlook the nonsensical lyrics and often tired beats.
This is not a good album, I struggled to find any plus points, and I came up with Stuart Price who I've already mentioned and "How High" which is a sort of passable I guess. If you want to put it in the context of other Madonna albums it ranks above only American Life and falls a long way short of the rest. Please Madonna, give it up and stick to being a mother and wife. Maybe take a more active hand in the running of the label or become a movie director, you couldn't be worse than your husband. As far as music goes though, you are no longer the trend setter and you are starting to lose ground on those that have taken your place. Please retire gracefully and leave us with good memories of you before it gets too late.
3.5 / 10
Reviewed by 1 writers.
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