Music (Madonna album)
|Studio album by Madonna|
|Released||September 19, 2000|
|Recorded||September 1999 – January 2000|
|Genre||Pop, dance-pop, electronica|
|Label||Maverick, Warner Bros.|
|Producer||Madonna, Mirwais Ahmadzaï, William Orbit, Guy Sigsworth, Mark "Spike" Stent, Talvin Singh|
|Singles from Music|
Music is the eighth studio album by American singer-songwriter Madonna, released on September 19, 2000 by Maverick Records and distributed by Warner Bros. Records. Following the success of her previous album Ray of Light, she intended to embark in a tour. However, her record company encouraged her to return to the studio and record new music before going on the road. After filming the film The Next Best Thing, she began working on her new album, with producers like Mirwais Ahmadzaï, William Orbit, Guy Sigsworth, Mark "Spike" Stent and Talvin Singh. Music has an overall dance-pop and electronica vibe. However, the album also contains elements of rock, country and folk, also including the use of vocoder on many tracks, such as "Nobody's Perfect".
Upon its release, the album received universal acclaim from critics, who praised Madonna's collaboration with Mirwais Ahmadzaï, as well as the album's musical creativity, however criticizing Madonna's collaborations with William Orbit, despite calling them catchy. It was nominated for a total of five Grammys at the 2001 Grammy Awards, although it eventually won only one award. Music debuted at number one in over 23 countries around the world, and was Madonna's first album to reach the top of the Billboard 200 in 11 years since Like a Prayer (1989), being certified three times platinum the Recording Industry Association of America. The album also peaked number one in the United Kingdom, being certified five times platinum.
Three singles were released from the album, being the title track, "Don't Tell Me" and "What It Feels Like for a Girl". All of them reached the top forty on the Billboard Hot 100, with the title track, peaking at number one. The song "Impressive Instant" was released as promotional single, peaking at number one on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. In such a way, the album has been included in many critic lists and polls, including Rolling Stone magazine's "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Alongside Ray of Light, Music was promoted by the Drowned World Tour, which was critically acclaimed and commercially successful, grossing around $75 million, making it the fourth highest-grossing tour of 2001, while it received the Major Tour of the Year and Most Creative Stage Production awards nominations at the 2001 Pollstar awards. To date, the album has sold over 15 million copies worldwide.
After the critical and commercial success of her album Ray of Light (1998), Madonna intended to embark on a new concert tour in September 1999, but due to the delay of her film The Next Best Thing, that she started filming in April 1999, the tour was canceled. In June 1999, Madonna released a song recorded for the film Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, called "Beautiful Stranger". It peaked number nineteen on the Billboard Hot 100 and gained a Grammy at the 42nd Grammy Awards for "Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media." After filming and promoting The Next Best Thing, her record company encouraged her to return to the studio and record new music before going on the road. These sessions became the Music album. Before the album was released, Madonna recorded a statement to her fans:
"Hey Mr. DJ, put a record on... Hi, it's Madonna. You've probably been hearing about my new record, 'Music', for a while. Well, I just wanted to make sure you knew that the single is gonna drop very soon. I worked on it with a French guy named Mirwais, and he is the shit. The album will be released worldwide on September 19, and I hope you like my music."
Madonna ended her relationship with Carlos Leon in December 1998, saying that they were "better off as best friends." Then she said, that "left me incredibly cynical about love for a long time, and then also my fame increased and I had a love-hate relationship with that, feeling trapped by it, and feeling angry about it. I was running the gamut of emotions, and I think that creatively I was all over the place." Madonna became involved in a relationship with Guy Ritchie, whom she had met in 1999 through mutual friends Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler. She become pregnant and they had a son, Rocco Ritchie, on August 11, 2000, just one month before the album's release. She filmed the music video for "Music" when she was four-month pregnant.
Development and recording 
Music features production by Madonna, Mirwais Ahmadzaï, William Orbit, Guy Sigsworth, Mark "Spike" Stent and Talvin Singh. Mirwais Ahmadzaï was introduced by Madonna's partner Guy Oseary. In an interview with CNN, she said, "Guy Oseary, my partner at Maverick [Records], was given a demo by a French artist called Mirwais," she said. "[He] slipped it to me and said, 'What do you think [of him] as an artist to sign at Maverick?' [...] I just said 'Oh my God, this is what I want.' I just flipped over it and said, 'Please find out if he wants to work with me.'" Madonna said that the producer is a "genius". She also commented about working with Ahmadzaï and the other producers of the album: "I love to work with the weirdos that no one knows about—the people who have raw talent and who are making music unlike anyone else out there. Music is the future of sound." In an interview with MTV's Total Request Live, she said Ahmadzaï was "really influenced by 1970s funk and R&B" and said that the album was "more electronic than her last record, but it is edgier and a bit funkier." Talking about the inspiration behind Music, Madonna said the album was "To join the coldness or the remoteness of living in the machine age in the world of high technology with warmth and compassion and a sense of humor. [...] Music is supposed to be a reflection of what's going on in society, and as far as I'm concerned, we've become too complacent."
The album was Madonna's first album not to have been totally recorded in the United States. Instead, it was mostly recorded at Sarm West and East Studios in London, England. Madonna started recording the album in September 1999, and ended in January 2000. Mirwais Ahmadzaï spoke little English, and Madonna commented: "The first couple of days we were recording, I wanted to rip my hair out. [...] It didn't seem like there was any way for us to communicate. His manager had to come in and translate everything at first." In an interview with The Face, Madonna was questioned about her mood while developing the album. She commented, "To tell you the truth, I didn't know what the mood was. I feel like an animal that's, like, ready to be sprung from a cage. I've been living a pretty low-key domestic existence and I miss things. Like, I miss performing, and dancing, and being on the road, that kind of energy. So part of the record is about that. And then the other part is about love. So there's the frivolous side of my life and then there's the –hopefully– non-frivolous side of my life. I usually make a record that's one or the other, and I feel I did both on this one."
Music structure and lyrics 
Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani described the album as having a "more experimental direction". With The Face magazine, Madonna explained her inspirations behind the songs and the music of Music. She said, "This record, more than any other records, covers all the areas of my life. I left off partying on Ray of Light. But I'd just had a baby, so my mood was complete, like wonderment of life, and I was incredibly thoughtful and retrospective and intrigued by the mystical aspects of life." "Music", the title track is the first featured on the record. Starting with Madonna's androgynous voice saying "Hey Mr. DJ, put a record on, I want to dance with my baby". Above this lyric, Madonna's voice electronically manipulated asks "Do you like to boogie woogie?" The lyric "I wanna dance with my baby" may further reinforce a connection with gay listenters. According to Santiago Fouz-Hernández in his book Madonna's Drowned Worlds: New Approaches to Her Cultural Transformations, "Music" is a 'disco anthem, and the beat commands [the people] to get up and dance'. He also said that the song is an expression to her public and it is one of Madonna's catchiest singles of her career. The second track "Impressive Instant" is a club-savvy stomper marked by futuristic keyboard lines and vocals that dark from distorted, and robotic passages. Madonna claimed that the song was the most hardest to write. Madonna sings, "I like to singy, singy, singy, like a bird on a wingy, wingy, wingy", with childlike abandon amid a vibrant, celebratory swirl of electronic keyboard riffs and thumpy dance beats.
The third track, "Runaway Lover", is a trance/house rave track. It is one of Madonna's collaborations for the album. The following track, "I Deserve It", is an acoustic-framed track that is anchored by a hip-hop inflected groove. Madonna said the track "has the strangest juxtaposition of this folky, simple song and this high-tech, ominous synth line." The song lends weight to rich, introspective lyrics, such as the chorus lines: "Many miles, many roads I have traveled, fallen down of the way/Many hearts, many years have unraveled, leading up to today." "Amazing", the fifth track, is a vibrant tempo-shifter that opens with a soft, music-box-like keyboard/string flourish. The song has been compared by Madonna to "Beautiful Stranger" (1999), saying that the reason because she fought with her record company to cancel the release as a single was because of the similarity. The sixth track, "Nobody's Perfect", includes ethereal vocals and a dreamy keyboard. The following track and second single, "Don't Tell Me", was written by Joe Henry, Madonna's brother-in-law. He performed and released the track, originally named "Stop", on his 2001 album Scar. His wife Melanie sent a demo of the track to her sister, who liked it and recorded her version. It is framed by soft acoustic guitars and subtle keyboard lines. The eighth track and third single, "What It Feels Like for a Girl", comments on female role-playing in society. The following track, "Paradise (Not for Me)", has lyrics sung in French, and the lyric "I can't remember, when I was young, I can't express if it was wrong" reflected an artistic palette, "encompassing diverse musical, textual and visual styles in its lyrics." Musically, it draws influence from Edith Piaf. The song was also included on Mirwais Ahmadzaï's album Production. The tenth and final track on the album, "Gone", contrasts acoustic guitars with electronic elements. Soulful vocals give depth to such striking, eautionary lyrics as "Turn to stone, lose my faith, and I'll be gone."
Critical reception 
Music garnered universal acclaim from music critics, holding a score of 80/100 on Metacritic based on 16 professional reviews. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic praised the album's layered music, giving it four out of five stars, and described Madonna's collaboration with Mirwais as the reason why the album "comes alive with spark and style". Slant Magazine praised songs such as "Music," but criticised Madonna's collaborations with William Orbit, who had worked with her on Ray of Light, calling them repetitive and uninteresting despite being catchy. Dimitri Ehrlich from Vibe described the album as "a masterpiece of brilliantly arranged keyboards, futuristic drums, and electronica dressings. With folky acoustic guitars and a vaguely spiritual bent to her lyrics (like those on Ray of Light), it's a weird and fresh-sounding album." Andrew Lynch of Entertainment.ie, who gave the album three out of five stars, claimed that it contains "brilliant futuristic dance music", yet, claimed that the lyrics were "trite". Robert Christgau gave the album an A rating, describing the tracks as "good, all chintzy". Jim Farber of Entertainment Weekly gave the album an A rating, writing that "her most patchwork record since the Sean Penn years... In the way it tiptoes around sundry moods and beats, Music is frustratingly inconsistent, as if Madonna herself weren't sure where to venture next. At times, it feels like a collection of sounds -- clever, intriguing ones, to be sure -- that seek to compensate for ordinary melodies and Madonna's stoic delivery." David Browne from the same magazine claimed that it "doesn't close the book on Madonna, but it pulls only a few new tomes off the shelf." Spin said that the album "is a much-nedded breath of fresh VapoRub."
Rolling Stone stated that the album was a rough and improvised version of Ray of Light, but lauded that Madonna had chosen to make a more "instinctive" record than her previous endeavours. Mojo magazine said that "Music is fitful and its charms aren't all immediate, but Madonna is still doing what she does best--giving a lick of pop genius to the unlikely genre of experimental dance music." NME said that Music is "vocodered, stretched, distorted, warped, deliberately upstaged by beats so showy they belong in a strip joint - quite simply, she's almost managed to make herself disappear. That bluntly explicit title isn't just pointless irony. This record is about the music, not Madonna; about the sounds, not the image." Music earned a total of five Grammy nominations at the 43rd Grammy Awards . In 2001, the album won "Best Recording Package" and was nominated for "Best Pop Vocal Album", while the title track was nominated for "Record of the Year" and "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance". In 2002, Madonna received one more nomination for "Don't Tell Me" in the "Best Short Form Music Video" category. The album is listed at number 452 on the Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It is Madonna's fourth album on the list, the most among female artists. Music is also featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
Commercial reception 
Ten days after the album's release, CNN reported that it had sold over four million copies worldwide. Music debuted at number-one in 23 countries. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with over 420,000 copies sold. It was the first Madonna album to reach the top of the charts in 11 years in the United States since Like a Prayer (1989). The album was certified three times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on November 21, 2005. As of August 2010, Music has sold 2,925,000 copies there according to Nielsen SoundScan. In Canada, the album debuted at the top of the Canadian Albums Chart and was certified platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) for shipments of 300,000 copies.
Throughout Europe, the album also did well on its charts. On October 1, 2000, Music debuted at number one on the Austrian Albums Chart, spending a total of forty weeks in the chart. The song achieved relatively good charting in both the Flemish and Wallonian territories in Belgium, peaking at numbers two and four, respectively. On the French Albums Chart, the album debuted at number one, staying 67 weeks on the chart, before falling out on June 29, 2002. The song was certified twice platinum by the Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique (SNEP). Music debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart. The album was certified five times platinum by the British Phonographic Industry. On September 28, 2000, Music debuted at number one on the Swedish Singles Chart, before falling out at number 52. Similarly in Switzerland, the album also peaked at number one, and spent 42 weeks fluctuating inside the chart.
In Australia, Music became Madonna's fifth album to reach number one on the ARIA Albums Chart. The album was certified three times platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). In New Zealand, Music debuted and peaked at number two on October 8, 2000, staying on the chart for thirty-three weeks. Music The album debuted at number seven on the Oricon weekly album chart in Japan. Overall, in 2000, the album became the eighth bestselling album of the year, with worldwide sales over fifteen million copies.
"Music" was released as the lead single from the album on August 21, 2000 by Warner Bros. Records. "Music" has been praised by many contemporary critics. Some compared it with Madonna's older songs, as "Into the Groove (1985) and "Holiday" (1982). "Music" achieved international success by topping the charts in 25 countries worldwide. It became Madonna's 12th number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100, making Madonna as the second artist to achieve number one hits in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s in the chart. In the United Kingdom, "Music" peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart. In the song's accompanying music video, comedian Sacha Baron Cohen appeared in the music video as his alter-ego Ali G. The song received two Grammy nominations in the Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance categories.
"Don't Tell Me" was released on November 21, 2000 by Warner Bros. Records as the second single from the album. The song was written by Joe Henry, Madonna's brother-in-law. He performed and released the track, originally named "Stop", on his 2001 album Scar. His wife Melanie sent a demo of the track to her sister, who liked it and recorded her version. The song received positive reviews from contemporary critics. It reached at number four and spent eight weeks in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100. The song topped the music charts in the Canada, Italy and New Zealand and attained top-ten positions on the charts of many other European nations. The music video features Madonna walking down an automated treadmill walkway in front of a projection screen, while cowboys dance and play on the sand in the video played on the screen behind her, and was directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino. In 2005, the song was placed at number 285 on Blender magazine's "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born".
"What It Feels Like for a Girl" was released as the third and final single from the album, on April 17, 2001. It received positive appreciation from contemporary critics. The song lost the top-twenty on the official chart of the United States, but it was a success on the US dance charts. The music video, directed by Guy Ritchie, portrays Madonna as an angry woman on a crime spree. Throughout the video, she is shown stealing money, driving dangerously, damaging property and setting fire to a gas station. It also has shots of pill containers and alcohol in the motel, several driving licences and Madonna putting on body armour. The final shot in the video is the car driving into a pole at full speed. Critics criticized the video for being overly violent and graphic. Madonna's spokesperson said that there was a lot of violence because it tells the story of a woman who had probably been abused. Madonna also explained that her character was acting out a "fantasy and doing things that girls are not allowed to do." The video was banned from most North American and European video stations including MTV and VH1, receiving only early hours play.
"Impressive Instant" was released as a club promo only single with remixes by Peter Rauhofer on September 18, 2001. It went to number one on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart where it stayed for two weeks. Madonna originally wanted to release it as the fourth single, but Warner Bros. wanted "Amazing" as the next single. Madonna felt the catchiness and sound of "Amazing" was too similar to "Beautiful Stranger" and wanted "Impressive Instant". Warner Bros. then planned to move forward with the release of "Amazing" without Madonna's help since she was too busy to film a music video due to prepping for her next tour. However, only a promotional CD single of "Amazing" was released in Europe as a promo single.
At the MTV Europe Music Awards 2000, Madonna performed "Music" while wearing a T-shirt with "Kylie Minogue" written on it. To promote Music, Madonna made two concerts titled Don't Tell Me Promo Tour. The first of these, was on November 5, 2000 at Roseland Ballroom in New York City, and the other on November 29, 2000 at Brixton Academy in London. Accompanying musicians performing with Madonna were; Mirwais Ahmadzaï on guitar and longtime backing singers Niki Haris and Donna DeLory. The costumes for the show and the set was designed by Dolce & Gabbana. Songs performed included "Impressive Instant", "Runaway Lover", "Don't Tell Me", "What It Feels Like for a Girl", and "Music". In the performance of New York, she wore a T-shirt with "Britney Spears" written on it. Madonna's performance at Brixton Academy was shown via the internet to an estimated 9 million viewers across the world. The song "Holiday" was added to the setlist. The singer Richard Ashcroft and the Scottish band Texas opened the concert. Madonna's performance at Brixton Academy was the last of some concert's webcasts of website MSN.co.uk that also included Paul McCartney's return to the Cavern Club - dentainer of the previous record, that was watched by 3 million people. In February 21, 2001, she performed "Music" at the 2001 Grammy Awards.
To promote Music and Ray of Light, Madonna embarked on her fifth concert tour, the Drowned World Tour. It started in June 2001 and was Madonna's first tour in eight years since The Girlie Show World Tour (1993). The tour was to be started before the year 2000, but she had become pregnant with her son Rocco Ritchie, released Music that year, and married Guy Ritchie in December 2000. When Madonna finally decided to go on the tour, time was short and she had to prepare the show within three months. Auditioning for the dancers started around March 2001. Jamie King was signed up as the creative director and the choreographer of the show. The tour was divided into five segments, namely punk, geisha, cowboy, Latin and ghetto. Each segment represented a phase of Madonna's career. Several changes were made to the final shows in Los Angeles after the September 11 attacks: Madonna wore an American flag kilt during the show's opening segment as a display of patriotism, the closing of "Mer Girl" (part II) was altered to remove the staged shooting of a character; Madonna instead put the gun down, hugged him and they left the stage together. The macabre cannibalism-themed "Funny Song" was removed.
The Drowned World Tour received positive reviews. The tour was a commercial success, grossing a total of US$75 million, and it was the top concert tour of a solo artist in 2001. The tour received the Major Tour of the Year and Most Creative Stage Production awards nominations at the 2001 Pollstar awards, but lost them to U2. The concert was broadcast live on HBO from The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan on August 26, 2001. "Gone" was performed for the television broadcast and DVD release. The Drowned World Tour 2001 DVD was released in all regions on November 13, 2001. Like the original airing of the show, the DVD received very good reviews. The photographs used on the DVD packaging were taken by Madonna's friend Rosie O'Donnell.
Track listing 
|1.||"Music"||Madonna, Mirwais Ahmadzaï||Madonna, Ahmadzaï||3:44|
|2.||"Impressive Instant"||Madonna, Ahmadzaï||Madonna, Ahmadzaï||3:37|
|3.||"Runaway Lover"||Madonna, William Orbit||Madonna, Orbit||4:46|
|4.||"I Deserve It"||Madonna, Ahmadzaï||Madonna, Ahmadzaï||4:23|
|5.||"Amazing"||Madonna, Orbit||Madonna, Orbit||3:43|
|6.||"Nobody's Perfect"||Madonna, Ahmadzaï||Madonna, Ahmadzaï||4:58|
|7.||"Don't Tell Me"||Madonna, Ahmadzaï, Joe Henry||Madonna, Ahmadzaï||4:40|
|8.||"What It Feels Like for a Girl"||Madonna, Guy Sigsworth||Madonna, Sigsworth, Mark "Spike" Stent||4:43|
|9.||"Paradise (Not for Me)"||Madonna, Ahmadzaï||Madonna, Ahmadzaï||6:33|
|10.||"Gone"||Madonna, Damian Le Gassick, Nik Young||Madonna, Orbit, Stent||3:24|
|International bonus track|
|11.||"American Pie"||Don McLean||Madonna, Orbit||4:33|
|Japanese and Australian bonus track|
|12.||"Cyber-Raga"||Madonna, Talvin Singh (adapted from traditional text)||Madonna, Singh||5:33|
|Mexican bonus tracks|
|11.||"Lo Que Siente La Mujer" (What It Feels Like for a Girl)||Madonna, Sigsworth, Torn (Spanish translation: Alberto Ferraras)||Madonna, Sigsworth, Stent||4:44|
|12.||"What It Feels Like for a Girl" (Above & Beyond Club Radio Edit)||Madonna, Sigsworth, Torn||Madonna, Sigsworth, Stent||3:45|
|2001 Special Tour edition bonus CD|
|1.||"Music" (Deep Dish Dot Com Remix)||Madonna, Ahmadzaï||Dubfire and Sharam for Deep Dish||11:22|
|2.||"Music" (HQ2 Club Mix)||Madonna, Ahmadzaï||Hex Hector, Mac Quayle||8:51|
|3.||"Don't Tell Me" (Timo Maas Mix)||Madonna, Ahmadzaï, Henry||Timo Maas, Martin Buttrich||6:55|
|4.||"Don't Tell Me" (Tracy Young Club Mix)||Madonna, Ahmadzaï, Henry||Tracy Young, Chris Crane (co-producer)||11:00|
|5.||"What It Feels Like for a Girl" (Paul Oakenfold Perfecto Mix)||Madonna, Sigsworth, Torn||Paul Oakenfold, Andy Gray||7:20|
|6.||"Lo Que Siente La Mujer" (What It Feels Like for a Girl)||Madonna, Sigsworth, Torn (Spanish translation: Alberto Ferraras)||Madonna, Guy Sigsworth, Mark "Spike" Stent||4:44|
|7.||"What It Feels Like for a Girl" (video)||Madonna, Sigsworth, Torn||Above & Beyond||4:36|
Credits and personnel 
Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.
Charts and certifications 
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|"Don't Tell Me"||4||1||7||12||1||15||22||1||10||4|
|2001||"What It Feels Like for a Girl"||23||1||6||26||2||40||16||3||11||7||
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or was not released.|
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