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About material_boy

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  1. I'll admit that it took me a long time to recognize the sheer brilliance of "LAP." I'd always liked it of course. It was always in my top five, but still always a clear step below some other favorites like "Erotica" and "Ray of Light." It wasn't until after my first real break-up that I "got" it. Of course, I'd had boyfriends before and I'd had break-ups before and I'd been sad about those things. But later on in my 20s, I found who I thought was "the one." We were together for years. We made plans to spend our lives together. And we had problems, but I thought (at first) we were making progress on fixing them. And then eventually I had to acknowledge that there was one big problem that we could never reconcile and it had to end. It took me years to recover from that break-up. And when I listened to "LAP" at that stage in my life, it hit me like a ton of bricks. She put a piece of her soul out there. The things it makes me feel -- the things she was clearly feeling when she made that album. It might be the most powerful thing she's ever done, and I didn't feel it like that until after my Sean and I split up.
  2. +1 "Hard Candy" (the title) is as half-hearted as Timbaland's production on the album. I'd have called it "Heartbeat." Fits the boxing theme she originally wanted quite a bit better, and alludes to dance music -- all things that get your heart racing. "Candy Shop" could have been a fun album title with the right artwork. Imagine M as a sexy witch in some demented Hansel and Gretel photoshoot Oh honey. Your comments in the Girlie Show thread were so on point. And then this ... I'm not mad. Just disappointed. OMG. Never thought of it this way but SO TRUE
  3. I think the single choices were perfect, but Warner's management of them was terrible -- at least in the States. "Ray of Light" wasn't released for sale until two months after its radio add date. "Drowned World / Substitute for Love" was never released in North America because of "ROL"'s late sale release. Despite a lukewarm reaction to "ROL" on American radio (peaked at #26), Warner waited four months to push "The Power of Goodbye" as the album's third single. Warner didn't bother to release a maxi-single for "TPOG" in the States -- which is crazy because they'd already commissioned and released mixes for "Sky Fits Heaven" as the B-side to "DW/SFL" internationally, why not release a "TPOG" maxi with the "SFH" mixes? "TPOG" was a guaranteed top 10 with a maxi release. Instead, it got stuck at #11. And then "Nothing Really Maters." What a clusterfuck. After a ton of early promotion for the video release and the Grammy performance, Warner didn't even bother to promote it to radio. They delayed release of the single for sale for a month and a half after its original sale date and then dumped it in stores in late April. I understand that, with the Hot 100 chart rules change and the weak reaction to "ROL"'s singles on American radio, that the single probably wouldn't have been a huge success. I understand that, with the cancellation of a summer tour and the "ROL" remix album, there was less reason to push a fourth single in the States. I understand that "Beautiful Stranger" was just around the corner. But STILL, to just abandon "NRM" completely? I don't get it. The two-track and maxi-singles had already been printed. Why not give it a go, if for nothing else, then to recoup the cost of printing the single? ESPECIALLY because Cher's "Believe" was soaring up the charts at this time. Clearly, American radio was warming up to electronic dance music after more than a year of weariness around M's new sound. Why not go for it and give it a big push? I'll never understand ...
  4. Drowned World Blond Ambition Girlie Show Who's that Girl Sticky and Sweet Confessions Rebel Heart Reinvention Virgin MDNA 1 - 3: PERFECT. No flaws. The greatest live shows in history. 4 - 8: EXCELLENT. Love them. 9: Good, but a bit rough around the edges. Still fun. 10: Has a few highlights. Otherwise ...
  5. Blond Ambition. Not even close. Not just the best rendition of the song, one of the best performances of her career. Perfection.
  6. What the ...
  7. Like a Prayer Ray of Light Music Erotica Bedtime Stories Madonna Like a Virgin True Blue Rebel Heart Confessions American Life Hard Candy MDNA 1 - 4: PERFECTION. I wouldn't change a thing. The greatest albums ever made. 5 - 8: EXCELLENT. What's up and what's down in this part of list changes a lot for me -- by mood, by season, etc. -- but always love them. 9 - 12: Good. 13: ... The less said the better.
  8. For me, "Sky Fits Heaven." Such a killer track. And that live performance! Can't believe it never even saw B-side release in the States.
  9. It's 1999. Madonna is back on top of the charts and has won critical acclaim unprecedented in her career. After five singles -- "Frozen," "Ray of Light," "Drowned World / Substitute for Love," "The Power of Goodbye," and "Nothing Really Matters" -- the album has sold more than 10 million copies. Warner Bros. Records has asked you to pick the album's next single release. This will be a major release, complete with music video. What's your choice? Previous rounds: The first album Like a Virgin True Blue Like a Prayer I'm Breathless Erotica Bedtime Stories
  11. "Confessions" sold 12 million copies worldwide, and she followed that up by making her next album with Missy Elliot, Gwen Stefani, Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake's producers ... Also, M didn't drop R&B for electronica quite so quickly or cleanly. She dabbled in a half dozen different genres in 1994-95 and, post-"Evita," she said she'd begun work on her next album with Babyface. Considering Babyface's history, it's safe to assume she began 1997 planning on another R&B album. She abandoned that project to work with Pat Leonard. And then she left Leonard to work with Orbit. Anyway, I'm not saying you're wrong when you say that electronica was her main interest at this time. I'm just saying what we know of this era doesn't really prove or disprove that, and neither of us can read M's mind to say what she really wanted to do in 1994. And, to me, I never got the sense that her real passion was any one genre over another. "Bedtime Stories" brings in a lot of producers and she's spoken out several times about how hard that album was to make. To me, this era has always seemed very conflicted artistically. It always seemed to me that she wasn't sure what to do next, and that she had many interests musically, and so she decided to try and do it all -- hooking up with old friend Leonard for a straight pop ballad on "I'll Remember," pursuing both harder-edged R&B with Austin and smoother R&B with Babyface, introducing electronica to her catalogue on "Bedtime Story," going full trip-hop on "I Want You," and then cutting a Spanish acoustic ballad on "You'll See." She ran through a half dozen different sounds in a year and a half before settling into the recording and production of "Evita," and she would only return to electronic music in 1997 after starting work with Babyface and Leonard. To me, it seemed to me like 1994-97 had a lot of soul searching, and so she was willing to experiment more with her music here than in any other period of her career, and that she really only embraced electronica when she found Orbit.
  12. I don't know that starting work with Shep means anything, other than she liked working with him previously. How is it clear she wanted to do something electronic? I don't get a sense that she was more invested in the electronic tracks than the R&B ones when I listen to the album. And, according to media reports from the time, she hooked up with Austin and Babyface months before Hooper. If anything, wouldn't that suggest the opposite of what you're saying? I'm not saying she didn't care at all about album sales or hit singles, just that it seems like she went with some odd choices if those things were her priority. It always seemed to me that it was around this time that she started wanting to be taken seriously as an artist, and started asserting herself artistically with her single choices here: The big budget concept video for "Bedtime Story," the media drive-by of "Human Nature," the softer side ballad era, "Evita" -- that all came in quick succession.
  13. Good question. Very interesting in seeing if anyone else heard it. I read something a million years ago that it was in regular rotation at several stations in the NYC area. Be very curious to know if it was picked up elsewhere or was just an NYC phenomenon.
  14. I think @Mambo is saying he thinks she was misquoted. Or, perhaps she actually did paint her face black and they killed the idea before any pictures were taken. Really for the best. Blackface has a really disgusting history.
  15. You must be trolling. I wrote quite a bit about this in the first post. But even if I hadn't explained anything at all, it's a pretty straightforward question: "What should have been the sixth single?" The question is exactly the same whether she released five singles or seven singles from the album. I could have started a poll that said "What should have been the first single" or "What should have been the second single" or "What should have been the third single" and it really doesn't need any more explanation, does it?