In the time-honored tradition of recording artists licking wounds from fan rejection of experimental works, Madonna has returned to what she does best. She has retreated to the club to show everyone she is queen of the dance floor. The effort works well. It won't challenge her best, but it should be enough to keep club kids entranced for months, possibly even a year or two.
Eminently Listenable and Tuneful
As has been the case for all of Madonna's albums, even American Life, Confessions On a Dance Floor is filled with listenable tunes, many of which stick firmly in the memory after just a few spins. A perfect example is the current single "Hung Up." The lyrics are forgettable, but that huge Abba sample combined with a powerful throbbing dance beat sticks in the mind like glue. Already, that ticking clock at the beginning of "Hung Up" is like a Pavlovian stimulus to the brain making its music pleasure center drool at the prospect of absorbing a lump of sweet, sticky pop music. The "I Feel Love" electro-throb underlining "Future Lovers" and "Popcorn" samples weaving through "Forbidden Love" serve a similar purpose.
New York Rhymes With....Dork!
Lyrically, Confessions On a Dance Floor will win no poetry prizes, but there are guilty pleasures to be found. Initially, "I Love New York's" rhyming of the city's name with "dork" makes you cringe, but as the song sinks in, it becomes part of the charm. Sass mixed with silliness, in this case, is endearing and "I Love New York" is a good companion piece to the Pet Shop Boys' gloriously gay anthem "New York City Boy." Madonna is masterful at utilizing pounding beats and swirling melody to bulk up otherwise fragile words.
- Hung Up
- I Love New York
- Like It Or Not
Madonna Says She's Back To Stay
The question on the mind of many in the music industry is whether Confessions On a Dance Floor is enough to bring Madonna back to a dominant role in today's pop music industry. This album will sell well, particularly in its first weeks and on the international pop market. However, it is unlikely to dominate radio airwaves like Mariah Carey's comeback The Emancipation Of Mimi. None of the songs here will resonate with the personal lives of listeners like Carey's "We Belong Together" or previous Madonna hits such as "Borderline," "Express Yourself," and "Frozen," the early kickoff to Ray Of Light. This album is far too internally focused, and it lacks as well a big artistic construction in the manner of "Like a Prayer." Despite this, Confessions On a Dance Floor is a solid achievement and well worth hearing. In Madonna's words from "Like It Or Not," the closing song, "This is who I am, you can like it or not, you can love me or leave me, cause I'm never gonna stop."