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MADAME X: official reviews are in: MADAME X is a hit with the critics!


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That’s not really a review ... and to say Confessions was safe ... ok *in theory* ... but I remember reviews talking about a song like “How High?” — how, thematically, it was an existential crisis, and who really wonders if “they should carry on” with a glow stick in their mouth? Yeah, COADF in execution was daring. It wasn’t all ABBA covers. (We’re looking at you, Chair.)

I love (sarcastic) how he gives it a middle of the road rating and then says “time will tell it it holds up.” No kidding. That happens with all music, like all art. Your job is to evaluate it *now.*

And what was the scandal for Medellín. He is all over the place.

(Also, closing criticism, it was extremely unprofessional to call an album like AL “a$$” — I don’t care if you want to say something negative about it — that’s your prerogative as a critic, but do it with CLASS. USE YOUR WORDS. YOU HAVE A VOCABULARY, DON’T YOU?)

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1 hour ago, vertigokane said:

Didn’t they retroactively revise their rating for Ray of Light after it became a critical and commercial success? Am I imagining that?

I think like a prayer is 5 stars now

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23 minutes ago, Love Technician said:

Maybe not what she represents to you, but AL is the closest we've been to M herself.

This mythical Confessions 2 is NEVER GONNA HAPPEN. Thank God.

No Ray of Light is, a brilliant, Beautiful, life affirming album of a woman at 40 who has just become a mother and trying to find her place in this universe.  Great vocals, songwriting, state of the art production etc

 

NONE of this is evident on AL, absolutely NONE of this

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25 minutes ago, Bat-Fan said:

He seemed confused what to make of the music

He seemed like he wasn't't sure what to make of the entire album or how it would be accepted.

More in depth review of particular tracks would've been appreciated. 

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3 hours ago, Shaun said:

Her RS history:

Debut: no star rating

LAV: 3.5

TB: no star rating

LAP: 3.5

E: 4

BS: 3.5

ROL: 4

Music: 4

AL: 3

Confessions: 3.5

HC: 4

MDNA: 3.5

RH: 3.5

MX: 3

Know RS never gave the first album a star rating, but a few years back they rated it #96 on the top 100 debuts of all time.

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I have mixed feelings about AL, I mean it’s not like her worst one but I don’t find myself listening to the album very often, not even the songs, I like them but mmm it’s weird, it’s very intimate and acoustic and has a nice production but mmm even the tour versions of NKM and M&F are better (was that Stuart Price?).

And she already said that this was like AL 2.0 but with a worldwide focus so 🤷🏻‍♂️

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1 hour ago, Samo said:

It's widely considered her worst album by  renowned respected music critics the world over and even casual Madonna fans that I've encountered.  That whole album.is the antithesis of what Madonna represents.  I love artistic Madonna, ROL is artistic Madonna done brilliantly, AL is artistic Madonna done horribly

 

I think I've listened to the whole AL album twice in the last 10 years and even then it's ALWAYS hard to get through, some of those lyrics in Mother and Father and other songs are laughably bad

 

I still remember my local paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, which generally loves Madonna, gave AL a 1 star review and called it "the bomb of the year"

Ok.

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33 minutes ago, Shaun said:

This gets me very excited:

"Full of experiments no other pop star on Earth would try."

This. Everyone gave her shit for “following trends” with HC, MDNA, RH. Now she’s doing something widely different and they give it 3 stars? Doesn’t make any sense. This wasn’t a review of the album, this was a review of Madonna. I bet when they release the review for Bruce’s new album (I love him by the way) they’re gonna give him nothing but praise and it will be an actual review of the music. 

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Is DrownedMadonna freelancing for Rolling Stone now... lol... it sounds like something they would write. 

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31 minutes ago, Samo said:

No Ray of Light is, a brilliant, Beautiful, life affirming album of a woman at 40 who has just become a mother and trying to find her place in this universe.  Great vocals, songwriting, state of the art production etc

 

NONE of this is evident on AL, absolutely NONE of this

I do find it very odd its like people are re-writing history with AL. People were dragging her for that album and her persona at that time. It wasnt even hate, it was like oh she's so boring now. People were BEGGING for something bigger and better and people were SO happy when she came out with Confessions. I think people are saying great things about AL now as a response to Hard Candy MDNA and her collaborations. Plus was AL even a risk? Looking back on it, she worked on an entire album with a producer who gave her a #1 album, #1 single and top ten hits. Confessions was alot more riskier IMO since hiphop was the dominating genre. I still like AL tho but its very humorous to me how its all of a sudden her last real album.

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15 minutes ago, Showdown said:

I do find it very odd its like people are re-writing history with AL. People were dragging her for that album and her persona at that time. It wasnt even hate, it was like oh she's so boring now. People were BEGGING for something bigger and better and people were SO happy when she came out with Confessions. I think people are saying great things about AL now as a response to Hard Candy MDNA and her collaborations. Plus was AL even a risk? Looking back on it, she worked on an entire album with a producer who gave her a #1 album, #1 single and top ten hits. Confessions was alot more riskier IMO since hiphop was the dominating genre. I still like AL tho but its very humorous to me how its all of a sudden her last real album.

Exactly.  This "AL is a misunderstood masterpiece " crap came from I don't know where, I mean I have yet to read a reappraisal of that album from an IMPORTANT music critic that calls it an underrated masterpiece.  They still hate it or gloss over it, I have tons of Madonna retrospective magazines and books and they all have pages of critiques of all her albums and they all either bash or skip over the AL album quickly

 

Erotica and even Bedtime Stories, which is a great Album, gets more retro praise

 

AL will be her most forgotten album

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6 minutes ago, Samo said:

Exactly.  This "AL is a misunderstood masterpiece " crap came from I don't know where, I mean I have yet to read a reappraisal of that album from an IMPORTANT music critic that calls it an underrated masterpiece.  They still hate it or gloss over it, I have tons of Madonna retrospective magazines and books and they all have pages of critiques of all her albums and they all either bash or skip over the AL album quickly

 

Erotica and even Bedtime Stories, which is a great Album, gets more retro praise

 

AL will be her most forgotten album

I quite enjoy AL but never did i ever think fans would really change their tune over it. 

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The initial rating for LAP did not match what the review actually said- makes me think it should have been 4.5 stars, which is what it received in RS album guides thereafter.

This MX review, I wouldn't really call negative.

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26 minutes ago, Showdown said:

I do find it very odd its like people are re-writing history with AL. People were dragging her for that album and her persona at that time. It wasnt even hate, it was like oh she's so boring now. People were BEGGING for something bigger and better and people were SO happy when she came out with Confessions. I think people are saying great things about AL now as a response to Hard Candy MDNA and her collaborations. Plus was AL even a risk? Looking back on it, she worked on an entire album with a producer who gave her a #1 album, #1 single and top ten hits. Confessions was alot more riskier IMO since hiphop was the dominating genre. I still like AL tho but its very humorous to me how its all of a sudden her last real album.

You make some good points, but the album was not really reviewed as an album at the time.  Much of the criticism was shrouded in the annoyance surrounding the anti-war stance of the video.  It makes no sense that after one of the most critically acclaimed albums of her career with Music, that American Life, which does not sound all that far removed from Music in some ways, was panned.  On the other hand, no Madonna album has ever really been panned by critics across the board.  Even AL got some solid reviews at the time, but many of them did not focus on the songs. Some people argue that she was bound to fall from grace after one of the most successful periods in her career, basically universally loved from Evita through ROL and Music.

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23 minutes ago, Samo said:

Exactly.  This "AL is a misunderstood masterpiece " crap came from I don't know where, I mean I have yet to read a reappraisal of that album from an IMPORTANT music critic that calls it an underrated masterpiece.  They still hate it or gloss over it, I have tons of Madonna retrospective magazines and books and they all have pages of critiques of all her albums and they all either bash or skip over the AL album quickly

 

Erotica and even Bedtime Stories, which is a great Album, gets more retro praise

 

AL will be her most forgotten album

I have to agree with you even though for me PERSONALLY it’s my second favorite Madonna album.

Within the past few years, several publications have ranked all of Madonna’s albums, and AL is always near or at the bottom along with HC and MDNA.  It has not received the lost masterpiece treatment that was bestowed upon Erotica.

The Madonna albums that have probably received the most in the way of reappraisals are Erotica, which is now considered brilliant and ahead of its time, and Music, which has oddly slipped in estimation (at the time of release, Music was universally acclaimed almost more so than ROL; many forget this).

LAP and ROL seem to alternate with critics as her best and second best.

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6 minutes ago, Shane said:

I have to agree with you even though for me PERSONALLY it’s my second favorite Madonna album.

Within the past few years, several publications have ranked all of Madonna’s albums, and AL is always near or at the bottom along with HC and MDNA.  It has not received the lost masterpiece treatment that was bestowed upon Erotica.

The Madonna albums that have probably received the most in the way of reappraisals are Erotica, which is now considered brilliant and ahead of its time, and Music, which has oddly slipped in estimation (at the time of release, Music was universally acclaimed almost more so than ROL; many forget this).

LAP and ROL seem to alternate with critics as her best and second best.

Yes

 

And I've noticed a lot of love for Bedtime Stories in the last 10 years from critics

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This guy definitely sounds like a douche who’s judging Madonna more than the album but ... the descriptions he does give have me a tiny worried that it might be more “kooky” weird than sophisticated experimental weird 😬

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Make your own judgements when you listen to the album yourself. This review seems basic and rushed don’t think he had interest to listen to the album in the first place just seems pieced together. 

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it's a very mixed review, so the rating sounds accurate to me. I'm fine if a critic doesn't like an album, but this review is just lazy. it doesn't delve very deep, does it? (those "killers" lyrics worry me, but i guess we'll see!)

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1 hour ago, strictmachine said:

This guy definitely sounds like a douche who’s judging Madonna more than the album but ... the descriptions he does give have me a tiny worried that it might be more “kooky” weird than sophisticated experimental weird 😬

pretty sure he's a fair and respected critic. i think he likes madonna generally. it's not really fair to the artist or the writer to make them write a review based on a listening session. 

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He's clearly trying to be kind in this review without calling it a disappointing work. Its a terrible review, I'll admit. Stupid fluff about how impressive it is 80s stars still make music. Blah blah blah. Focusing on her past instead of what she's doing now. I hope this is the worst review Madame X gets. It starts her Metacritic off at a 60. Not a good beginning 😞

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