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Is American Life Album underrated just because of its sales!


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Sorry but the single American life didn't have mainstream appeal. Lyrically it didn't connect with people and the song wasn't lead single material. None of the songs on the album were. Which was the main problem. Hollywood is catchy but it's totally second or third single material. The song American Life doesn't have that wow factor of a Like a prayer, Vogue, Music, Frozen, Hung Up etc. How people cannot see that I don't know.

Well, reading this I think that AL (the song) is definetely underrated...

The song is catchy, addictive. It's electronic with a very special acoustic chorus, have punch-line with the rap that everybody knows here.

It was different, edgier, maybe not universal enough but it's still a a very good song to me and the fact that you are saying this, under-rating the song, is totally due to the politic bullshit of that time for I'm convinced that in another context the song would have connected with the masses, would have hit the charts well and you wouldn't be talking bad of it...

The fact that a song can be lead to the top of the charts and connect with the mainstream is not only because of what is the song, but it's a whole bunch of things that make a hit song, the appeal, the airplay, the image of the singer... and so on.

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I just testify here, I'm not debating. I remember that a lot of US fans, more than others, did hate AL at that time.

I'm glad to see most of fans loving it right now (music critics seem to have gone...)

Of course AL didn't do well commercially and had mixed reviews almost everywhere (also because of the political debate), but yes, there was something specific with the US. From outside the US, I can tell you were were watching bad reviews even on TV coming from America that were very harsh... Much than from anywhere else...

#denial

Not sure what you're talking about here. Bad reviews coming from American TV? It's not we have music critics on the nightly news.

The reviews were bad in magazines and in the papers because the critics didn't like the music, but the press itself was very favorable towards Madonna personally and towards the promo tour. She got glowing reviews from the MTV special -- Carson Daly even praised her rapping skills! -- and Matt Lauer gave her a full hour on NBC primetime to defend yanking the video and push back on the negative album reviews.

There was all sorts of nasty, vitriolic stuff that came from Fox News and hate radio, like Rush Limbaugh and the sort. But of course it did -- the right-wing has built a multi-billion dollar hate machine. They turned it on Madonna, on the Dixie Chicks, on Johnny Depp, and anyone else that questioned the war. But you can't look at that and ignore that she had good press on MTV, NBC, ABC, and everywhere else.

There were also a lot of fans claiming that radio was boycotting playing her music because Clear Channel didn't agree with her political stance blah blah blah.

Ha! I had forgotten about the conspiracy theorists!

The loons on forums were in full force back that. "It would be #1, but Bush won't let American radio play the song!" :lol::lol:

The whole politics thing is bullshit, at least as far as the music is concerned, if it hadn't been for that video...

nobody would have mentioned the word politics in this thread.

There was also the Che Guevara album and single artwork...

She was trying very hard to create the sense that this album was a political statement, which is strange in retrospect since none of the songs were directly about the war.

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I recently got into a facebook conversation about the album and decided to try to articulate my fondness for the album as best I could:

I often feel that American Life is the last time in her career that the music genuinely evidences an artist's passion for the work she is making. At times it results in clumsy lyrics (like rhyming 'circle' with 'circle') or in statements that may appear naive to more cynical, less privileged listeners, but viewing that as a consequence of what I feel is a real urgency and honesty to the message she is delivering, coupled with a real willingness to experiment sonically, to me it becomes part of the record's charm. The album has been criticised as self-indulgent, but that's exactly what I love about it: even if at times naive, it is a portrait of an artist looking for meaning, an amazing window into the mind of a super-celebrity without peer, an icon entering a new millennium. Sonically and thematically it's one of the most coherent albums she's ever produced, something which usually only comes out a of the kind of special artistic bond she appears to have shared with Mirwais, with whom she seemed genuinely excited to be stretching the boundaries of contemporary music. In many ways it seems like a very personal project, with less attention paid to commercial demands (according to rumours Warner had her re-record the whole album after hearing more experimental demos of the songs which, according to some reports were closer in sound to the harder Headcleanr remixes later released on the Remixed and Revisited EP). I have to admit to having been somewhat disappointed at the time of its release with the apparent lack of aural evolution from the predecessor, Music, but have since come to appreciate what I now view as a maturing of the sound developed with Mirwais, a collaboration which, to a perhaps greater extent than any of her others, allowed her the joy and pleasure of re-discovering and pushing herself as a musician. Whilst I have enjoyed her albums since to varying degrees, it's this sort of passionate engagement with the outside world and reflection on her place therein that keeps drawing me back to the American Life album and which I feel her music has for the most part been lacking ever since.

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I loved it then, ilove it now. I was living in New york at the time of the album release and yes it's not an album to go to the gym and that's exactly why i love it. It fits perfectly in Madonna's discography broadening her musical landscape. From the cover to the content it's cearly not commercial, i don't know if it was Madonna's intention but she had to release this album at one time or another in her career. I'm very curious to know what the unreleased track "React" sounds like. I love all the unreleased tracks from AL (set the right is probably the only in your face political track from this session). It's clearly not an album made for the top 40 even though Love profusion is a perfect pop track. It's an album neither Britney, Kylie, Gaga or any other pop tart could have made or will ever make. I remember checking the news at the time because it was the Irak war and there was a debate on Fox News about wether or not she should have had her american citizenship revoked. Radio sucked at the time it was painful. It was the beginning of the hip hop overtake and last days of the teeny bopers (thank god). When i returned to France the next i was surprised by how much praises the album got but the musical landscape in Europe was also completly different than in America.

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If you thought there was a big uproar about GMAYL being a single, you should have seen the forums when the American Life single was posted on Madonna.com. It was crazy then. Not many people liked it, and the majority of everyone didn't think it was first single material. But by the time the video was pulled all hell broke lose.

I think the album has aged quite well. It's her most cohesive, and works beginning to end. I for one don't think there's many fillers, or any at all.

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I loved it then, ilove it now. I was living in New york at the time of the album release and yes it's not an album to go to the gym and that's exactly why i love it. It fits perfectly in Madonna's discography broadening her musical landscape. From the cover to the content it's cearly not commercial, i don't know if it was Madonna's intention but she had to release this album at one time or another in her career. I'm very curious to know what the unreleased track "React" sounds like. I love all the unreleased tracks from AL (set the right is probably the only in your face political track from this session). It's clearly not an album made for the top 40 even though Love profusion is a perfect pop track. It's an album neither Britney, Kylie, Gaga or any other pop tart could have made or will ever make. I remember checking the news at the time because it was the Irak war and there was a debate on Fox News about wether or not she should have had her american citizenship revoked. Radio sucked at the time it was painful. It was the beginning of the hip hop overtake and last days of the teeny bopers (thank god). When i returned to France the next i was surprised by how much praises the album got but the musical landscape in Europe was also completly different than in America.

Thank you

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muy only problem with the album was that I really don´t like AL as a first single (well DAD was the first single for me, but...), and, a really stupid thing, this was the first time that the album didn´t have the lyrics (wait, maybe the second time, after music? coudl be.)

But the album itself is great, and reminds me a little bit of erotica because she didn´t go for a poppy production with this one either.That´s why maybe she had problems with warner (didn´t they say that the stuff she was recording wasn´t comercial enough, and she was forced back at the studio again?). Love profussion, for example, with another production could have been more mainstream, but she didn´t go for that. I like that, it makes the albums age better.

anyways, sometimes I feel that this album is hevaily influenced by Guy Ritchie, that she made an album that she thought he was going to like.

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the only thing that u dont like about AL album is that it is to short! :D

anyway...AL is first single couse DAD was song from a movie so i dont count it.

AL is in my TOP 5...when madonna albums are discussed....(included TB, BS, ROL, COADF)

becouse they are complete, cohesive, closed, juicy, intime, great producted, great vocals

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AL is one of my favorite M albums, and I agree it's her best from the 00's. It's probably the album I listen to the most out of all her albums. There are three songs on it that I really don't care for at all, M & F, I'm so Stupid and Hollywood (though the R&R versions of Hollywood I do like, as well as all the other remixes on R&R). However, the rest of the album I could listen to on repeat ad infinitum.

Oh, and I loooove AL (the song), it's one of the highlights of the album, especially the rap!!

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the only thing that u dont like about AL album is that it is to short! :D

I can understand how you want more tracks on the album since you seem to love AL, but I think eleven tracks makes the album perfect in the same way Music is perfect with ten tracks.

I own several hundred albums from years of collecting & I miss the days when artists were not pressured to record over twelve tracks for an album.

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