Reason Featured: #16 on The Village Voice‘s Pazz & Jop Poll for 2000, #3 Album for Rolling Stone’s Top Ten Albums of 2000, #47 for NME‘s Top Fifty Albums of 2000
My Favorite Songs: Music, Amazing, What It Feels Like For A Girl
Their Grades: Rolling Stone (4/5), NME (8/10), Robert Christgau (A)
My Grade: 70%
Even though I was eight years old and raised almost exclusively on oldies radio, I can remember when the title track of this album got released as a single. I loved it back then and I still love it now. It’s not an eighties artist stabbing at artistic relevance in the year 2000, it’s an artist, period, helping to create the sound which would go on to define the first decade of the new millennium. If Madonna is the most iconic female face of plain-and-simple pop, then that single was the advance guard of the blippy dance songs which still dominate Top 40 to this day. Let’s give credit where credit is due.
But I still have no idea how Rolling Stone rated this album as better than Voodoo, Stankonia and Kid A (which I’m purposely saving till the end of these “year 2000” reviews because of how perfect I think it is). On the first go, I hated this record except for two songs (the aforementioned single and “Amazing,” which is, indeed, an amazing and exciting pop song). On the second, I was beginning to warm up to the whole affair. Round three and I’m starting to find it more charming than I probably should.
There are some great synth and bass lines through and plenty of catchy melodies. Also, as stated before, “Amazing” stands out every time as one of Madonna’s best latter-day tracks. But when she missteps here, it shows. As I was reading positive reviews for this record, the word “experiemental” kept showing up. “Enjoyable,” I’d give you any day. If you said “bland,” I’d say you were being too harsh. But if this is “experimental,” then I really need to rethink my definition of that word.
For a record called Music, I can’t help but wish this album was a more poignant example of that art form’s power.