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> 'American Life' ē album discussion, 9th album | 2003
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HausofGhibli
post Jun 21 2020, 06:53 PM
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A place to discuss Madonna's 9th studio album 'American Life'. Released in 2003.

1. American Life
2. Hollywood
3. I'm So Stupid
4. Love Profusion
5. Nobody Knows Me
6. Nothing Fails
7. Intervention
8. X-Static Process
9. Mother and Father
10. Die Another Day
11. Easy Ride

What are your thoughts on this album? Share any opinions, memories, favourite songs, or just discuss it anytime you're re-listening!
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HausofGhibli
post Jun 21 2020, 06:54 PM
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Andrew.
post Jun 21 2020, 07:00 PM
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Contains my 4th favourite Madonna song in 'Hollywood' wub.gif If Madame X is anything to go by Madonna shines on her less commercial, gritty projects so I'm looking forward to eventually listening to this
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vibe
post Jun 21 2020, 07:06 PM
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I wonder if Nothing Fails les this album if it would have been received better ?

Easy Rise is my favourite off this album.

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Jonjo
post Jun 21 2020, 07:31 PM
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Looking forward to my listening of this! I haven't heard it for actual YEARS but I remember liking the title track (and that seems to be an unpopular opinion) and 'Die Another Day' is (by far) my favourite Bond theme song, so I'm intrigued to see where it'll land when comparing to her other hits! laugh.gif

---

Before listen through, I imagine this is Madonna's equivalent of 'My December'/'Try This'? But we'll see.
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LJ JORD 7
post Jun 21 2020, 07:43 PM
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Ok so this album for me at least is really bad for singles! I really donít like the title track at all or Hollywood and I canít say Iím keen on Die Another Day either although it works as part of the album.

The first three tracks on the album for me are just not great for me even now. I appreciate what sheís saying through the lyrics and it is very ahead of its time and daring but the album does nothing for me until it gets to Love Profusion and then it really fully kicks off with Nobody Knows Me now that is a statement track and a definite missed single opportunity.

I love Nothing Fails, I love Intervention, I love Xstatic Process, and Iíve grown to really like Mother and Father too. The closing track Easy Ride as well is one of her best ever album closers and lyrical pieces sheís done too. So whilst this album for me contains some of her worst ever singles it also contains some fabulous album tracks and that really balances my view on this. As a whole piece Iíd say itís way below Music which it followed and Confessions what followed it but I think in general this has higher highs than Music as an album but much lower lows!

Madame X is nothing like this though besides from God Control maybes I donít really think thereís much if any similarities.
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LJ JORD 7
post Jun 21 2020, 08:23 PM
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QUOTE(Jonjo @ Jun 21 2020, 08:31 PM) *
Looking forward to my listening of this! I haven't heard it for actual YEARS but I remember liking the title track (and that seems to be an unpopular opinion) and 'Die Another Day' is (by far) my favourite Bond theme song, so I'm intrigued to see where it'll land when comparing to her other hits! laugh.gif

---

Before listen through, I imagine this is Madonna's equivalent of 'My December'/'Try This'? But we'll see.


Well! It is kinda like that Iíd say but more controversial than those albums.

Try This has some fantastic tracks in the album tracks though but poor singles which is kinda how I see this album! Very intrigued at what you think of this though. It tends to be polarising some people really get it and rank it amongst her very best whilst others arenít sold at all. Itís like the most split Madonna album Iíd say in terms of her fanbase!
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HausofGhibli
post Jun 21 2020, 09:02 PM
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On the surface this album is pure in your face controversy, but actually when you delve deeper you realise that behind that bravado are some of Madonna's most vulnerable and touching moments. It's a genius dichotomy. The section from Love Profusion to Mother and Father is gut-wrenching at times. Die Another Day probably should've been a bonus track or included earlier on, because then it all slows down again hauntingly for Easy Ride.

It's a brilliant album. I can see why it gets a hard time, given half of the singles were so controversial, but really they don't reflect just how deep the album gets into Madonna's soul and being.

Overall, I have grown to love this album in huge fashion. I find it difficult to compare and rate one above the other between this and Music though - they are both so different and so genius at the same time!
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Jonjo
post Jun 27 2020, 02:58 PM
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Here we go! I've heard every single except 'Nothing Fails' from this album. Very hit and miss (2 I like, 2 I don't) - from what I remember of them, anyway!

I love how controversial the lead single is both in content AND in terms of it being completely un-Madonna in it's sound! It reminds me of 'Rudebox' by Robbie lmao (not a bad thing in my mind - I find both songs really interesting and fun!). I remember finding 'Hollywood' really irritating, but... I don't hate it as much as I remember *eyes* The production is so much better and a lot more interesting than I remember. 'Love Profusion' is just boring and bland to me.

I am going to forever DIE on the hill that 'Die Another Day' is her most underrated song, ever. It's an genuine banger! Soooo good! I love how brave it was that this was used as a Bond theme though! I STAN! I just love the use of orchestra combined with the heavy electro synths, makes it feel so cinematic and atmospheric!

mellow.gif I genuinely thought the track got stuck on 'I'm So Stupid' and it confused me coz I'm streaming it! drama.gif Yeah, not for me. I think it's my least favourite song by her overall so far! Omg. Not pleasant at all! cheeseblock.png

1. Die Another Day
2. American Life
3. Intervention
4. Hollywood
5. Nobody Knows Me
6. Mother and Father
7. Easy Ride
8. X-Static Process
9. Nothing Fails
10. Love Profusion
11. I'm So Stupid

Yeah, it's pretty much what I expected the album to be. Kind of a more raw but still experimental (and obviously in true Madonna fashion - controversial). Continuing to push the boundaries of pop not only sonically but it's lyrics too. Not me putting 'Hollywood' 4th when I fully expected it 11th tearsmile.gif 'Nobody Knows Me' is interesting and one I think I'd go back to away from the album. 'Mother and Father' is also interesting and one where my feelings on the song developed more as the song went on. 'Easy Ride' is a really nice way to end the album. All the rest are ok, except 'I'm So Stupid'. Honestly the worst thing I've heard from her so far sad.gif As an album. It's good. Interesting enough in it's ideas and themes to keep coming back to, I think.

Album Rankings:
01. Ray Of Light
02. True Blue
03. Erotica
04. Like A Prayer
05. American Life
06. Music
07. Madonna
08. Like A Virgin
09. Bedtime Stories
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dandy*
post Jun 27 2020, 04:15 PM
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Glad to see Intervention is high up for you Jonjo, it's my favourite on the album wub.gif
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HausofGhibli
post Jun 27 2020, 04:28 PM
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Also happy to see 'Intervention' so high, but 'Nothing Fails' and 'Love Profusion' are criminally too low!

And 'I'm So Stupid' may be your least favourite track.. but you haven't yet reached her latest 4 or 5 albums so that could all change kink.gif
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StupidLove
post Jun 28 2020, 02:23 AM
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My favourite Madonna album of all time. Ugh, so many highlights and I hate how overlooked this is in her career.
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Liam.k.
post Jun 30 2020, 01:15 AM
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QUOTE(Jonjo @ Jun 27 2020, 03:58 PM) *
I am going to forever DIE on the hill that 'Die Another Day' is her most underrated song, ever. It's an genuine banger! Soooo good! I love how brave it was that this was used as a Bond theme though! I STAN! I just love the use of orchestra combined with the heavy electro synths, makes it feel so cinematic and atmospheric!

mellow.gif I genuinely thought the track got stuck on 'I'm So Stupid' and it confused me coz I'm streaming it! drama.gif Yeah, not for me. I think it's my least favourite song by her overall so far! Omg. Not pleasant at all! cheeseblock.png

'Die Another Day' is pretty well liked by Madonna fans on Buzzjack! I'm in agreement with you, it's a great spin on the Bond formula and also fits with the sound of this album with its glitchy style. Easily one of my favourite Bond themes too and I say that as a fan of the more classic themes. Also, contrary to what Bal said, I think its placing on the album is spot on. 'Easy Ride' might have a different mood to it but it has similar production elements to it (specifically the choppy strings).

I used to despise 'I'm So Stupid' for ages but I've done a total U-turn on it. That frozen vocal at the start was so off-putting and probably tainted my thoughts on the rest of the song; somewhere along the line I must have given the song a change and found it worked its way into my affections. Now even the frozen vocal doesn't bother me! So strange!

I can see why this album is so polarising. It can be a challenging listen at first as the production is so harsh and abrasive and a lot of the lyrics appear juvenile and awkward, but I think there's a purpose to these choices. The album is confrontational and frustrated with the world which the production reflects, whilst the lyrics are written in a way to appear mocking. That's my interpretation at least and it helped me to appreciate the album more with that in mind. You've got the more personal, introspective moments on the album which are more melodic, easy-going and lyrically mature, so there's clear stylistic differences being made for the two halves of the album.
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Liam.k.
post Jun 30 2020, 01:34 AM
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There's four songs from the album sessions that we know of that didn't make the final cut: 'React' (which hasn't leaked), 'Set the Right', 'The Game' and 'Cool Song'. I quite like the latter, which was later developed into 'It's So Cool' which was an outtake from the 'Celebration' sessions.



There's three versions there: no choir, with choir and with Madonna's daughter Lourdes singing.

More outtakes exist from around this era but not specifically the album. A second song had been recorded for the Bond film Die Another Day titled 'Can't You See My Mind' - it's not leaked but I really want to hear it! 'I'm in Love with Love' was written during the Reinvention Tour, as was the original version of 'I Love New York' from 'Confessions'. I think those two were representative of the sound Madonna was going for with her next album before Stuart Price joined the sessions. There was a musical planned called Hello Suckers but it was scrapped, however a lot of the songs written found themselves being reworked into songs that would go on to appear on 'Confessions' and 'Hard Candy' ('Devil Wouldn't Recognise You' dates back to this project, for instance).

Speaking of the Reinvention Tour, I've been watching this upload and the quality of it is fantastic:

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