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> American Life ● 15 years, the single ~
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HausofTove
post Apr 23 2018, 07:38 PM
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Earlier this month, 15 years ago, Madonna commenced what would develop into one of her most controversial, thought-provoking eras. On April 8, 2003, Madonna released the lead single to the album with same name, American Life. Featuring an aggressively political viewpoint and questions towards the shallowness of modern life and the American dream during the presidency of George W. Bush, Madonna is fierce, on fire and not giving any shits.

Totally panned by critics upon release, with some naming it one of the worst of all time, it went on to become a middling hit globally but almost totally ignored in the US (understandably). The world didn't seem to be ready to be told how meaningless and worthless the world around them was becoming but it's a song that even now has deep resonance and meaning.

To accompany the video, Madonna released two music videos, both directed by Jonas Åkerlund. The first video, featuring explosions and a direct attack on the President, was later cancelled due to the political unrest in the country at the time (Iraq war). The second video was released with Madonna in military uniform in front of world flags to show how global her message was.

The song also features a Madonna RAP. Love it or hate it, it's iconic. For many it is one of the lowest points of her career, for others it is just the hyperbolic demonstration of angst and frustration that the song needs. Either way, it shows how revolutionary an artist Madonna was and is, and how her music continues to evolve and provoke thought and discussion.



What are your thoughts on the song? Discuss below and let's celebrate 15 years of one of Madonna's most striking introductions to an album.
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vibe
post Apr 24 2018, 06:13 AM
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I wonder if Madonna was right to pull the video . Maybe the bashing would have started then instead of after adopting children from Malawi. It is not a single I play regularly but I enjoy it when I do . I also wonder if the original
Album was more rock influenced like M said and her record company asked her to change it.

I was 19 when this was released and my college friends loved the line ‘im not a Christian and I’m not a Jew’ !


This post has been edited by vibe: Apr 24 2018, 06:14 AM
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Tombo
post Apr 24 2018, 06:44 AM
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Incredible song, one of my Madonna favourites. It doesn't deserve all of the hate it receives.
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blacksquare
post Apr 24 2018, 07:49 AM
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I love the production on the song more than the song itself, but it's definitely a guilty pleasure.
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Euphorique
post Apr 25 2018, 12:40 AM
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Love the song and the original video. When I saw the flag video on MTV I got so annoyed...
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Liаm
post Apr 25 2018, 12:45 AM
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I absolutely LOVE this and I don't care, hot mess fave. I know the rap flawlessly and am proud of it *.*
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Tombo
post Apr 25 2018, 01:23 AM
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I just watched the video and I love it and the message behind it, it is a great comment on society.
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liamk97
post May 6 2018, 11:37 AM
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Add me as another fan too! I know it's received criticism as a song itself, but I personally really enjoy the spiky production and I always found that the lyrics were purposely written to appear quite basic on the surface; it's not showing meant to be showing Madonna's poetic or complex song-writing skills. Same goes for the rap, it's not meant to be serious whatsoever, but I think a lot of people at the time and over the years took it all way too literally.

The original video is one of my favourites from Madonna. I just adore the whole concept. Very overwhelming at the end but clearly it was the point to make people feel uncomfortable and think about the repercussions of war.
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liamk97
post May 13 2018, 01:36 PM
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An Australian interview from the time, where there's a small segment that discusses the original video:



And from CD:UK:



Oh and this iconic moment, just for the lols:

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vibe
post May 13 2018, 03:50 PM
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Love that 3rd video 😂
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Shandy Leer
post May 15 2018, 10:28 PM
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