Music Ray of Light Like a Prayer
Rebel Heart Erotica True Blue Like a Virgin Madonna Bedtime Stories
Confessions on a Dance Floor
American Life Hard Candy MDNA
1 - 3: Perfect. They're among my favorite albums of all time. I listen to these albums from beginning to end frequently, and listen to the singles and choice album cuts even more frequently. I have never tired of them and probably never will. I don't expect any other album from Madonna or any other artist to be as good as these three albums are for me.
4 - 9. Excellent. I list to these album fairly often, and listen to the singles and choice album cuts frequently.
The order of which I love these albums changes frequently, depending on my mood. For example, I'd probably put "Bedtime Stories" at or nearer the top of this group if I'd just broken up with someone. I'd put "Madonna" or "LAV" at or nearer the top if I was in a dancing mood.
Right now, "Rebel Heart" seems firmly established at the top of this group of albums. That may change with age, but -- unlike "MDNA" -- I find myself liking this album more, not less, months after its release.
I don't care for some of "Rebel"'s songs at all -- "Iconic," for instance -- but, with 24 tracks to choose from, I created a playlist and cut all the songs that I didn't like and ended up with a 19-track album. That's just phenomenal.
10. OK / Good. "Confessions" is the hardest album for me to rank. It has some very high highs -- songs like "Hung Up," "Get Together," and "Forbidden Love" are simply transcendent and rank among the greatest songs of her career. But much of the album is forgettable -- "How High," "Isaac" -- and is also home to a couple of real stinkers ("I Love New York," "Push.")
11 - 13. Not great. I have listened to these albums from beginning to end very few times since their release and only like a handful of tracks.
"American Life" is a dour mess. I've never liked it, even upon its release. It stands at the top of this grouping of albums for having the most good tracks on it -- "Intervention" is simply wonderful, it's hands-down the best song on any of these three albums and ranks surprisingly high on my all-time favorites list. But other than that, "Easy Ride," "Nobody Knows Me" and "Nothing Fails" are really the only songs on here that I like.
I liked "Hard Candy" for maybe a week after its release, then quickly lost interest. Timbaland dominated the 00s and his stuff sounded tired and played out by the time this album came along. It doesn't help that his work here sounds like his B game -- none of his tracks are as good as what he did on "FutureSex/LoveSounds" or "Loose." Pharrell had some good stuff -- I still love "Heartbeat" -- but he also gave us crap like "Spanish Lesson" and "Incredible."
"MDNA" is just forgettable. Nothing here is truly awful -- well, except for "Gimme All Ur Luvin'" -- but there's nothing here that I care to listen to either.