[17] Wanting to have a loud bass synth sound, Ahmadzaï used a Nord Lead synthesizer with lot of filtering manipulations. Madonna Ciccone has done it again: The forty-four-year-old guitar player from London via Detroit has taken the pulse of the nation, if not the whole Women's Wear Daily-reading world. How can you say that fame and fortune are not a guarantee for happiness and joy and fulfillment in your life?' [100] It continued to decrease in sales down the chart and fell off the Billboard 200. In addition, the page included an impromptu marriage proposal to Morgan Webb, the host of the daily technology show The Screen Savers. With the help of Pro Tools, he froze the audio at any point he wanted to change the rhythm of the tracks. Skip to main content Hello, Sign in. [24] The fourth track "Love Profusion" starts with another acoustic guitar introduction, with rhythm being produced by a bass drum with synth-strings added later in the song. [60] A second video was produced, showing Madonna donning military clothing and singing in front of the various flags of the world. The American Life album is actually rather good, but the title track is the poorest track on the album. Describing it as a metaphor, Madonna said that "in Hollywood you can lose your memory and your vision of the future. [8] They had an instrumental breakdown in "American Life", where the producer encouraged Madonna to add a rap about her everyday life. Credits and personnel adapted from the album's liner notes. [54] American Life became the first album to achieve seven top ten songs on this chart. It addresses Madonna's feelings towards old age, wanting to live forever, and coming full circle to a point in her life where she could be comfortable. [24], The next track "I'm So Stupid" features an introduction with a two-chord electric guitar which leads to a minor drum beat, with the guitar later changing to a three-chord. The title is repeated throughout the song as she references "social disease" which is also repeated. Music videos Edit Original version Edit. The poster released for the tour used one of the images from the installation project. [58] The first version is based on a fashion runway, with extras including children dressed in provocative war inspired outfits. [74] The central theme of the show was unity versus violence. The composition throughout is generally minor,[24] but at the 2:15 mark, different pitched synths change manically, and towards the end the synths become less prominent as the guitars become the main focus. [81] Kelefa Sanneh from Blender awarded the album three stars out of five. [17] The mixing for the tracks was done by Mark "Spike" Stent at the Westlake Recording Studios at West Hollywood, California, while Tim Young did the mastering of the songs at Metropolis Studios in London. [106][107] It gained a Platinum certification one month later from the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), for shipment of 100,000 copies of the album. [48], On August 27, 2003, Madonna opened the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards with American recording artists Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, performing a medley of "Like a Virgin" and "Hollywood". [26] Lyrically, like the title track, it questions modern life as Madonna sings "Jesus Christ will you look at me, don't know who I'm supposed to be". The eleventh and final track on the album, "Easy Ride", is a heavily string-oriented song. [30][34] Inside the CD booklet, she wielded an Uzi submachine gun, her body in various martial art poses, spelling out her name. So it was totally spontaneous," she added. Given that context and given that the vocalist is arguably the biggest star in the world, the title can't help but carry some import, carry the weight of social commentary. You can lose everything because you can lose yourself. Tom Hannen and Simon Changer, both of them worked as assistant engineer during the recording. Always interested in adapting herself and her music to the contemporary compositions, Madonna was inspired by the new Massive Attack and Lemon Jelly albums. Despite this, all singles peaked at number one on Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart. And it follows through on that promise, sometimes explicitly and sometimes implicitly, but either way, American Life winds up as the first Madonna record with ambitions as serious as a textbook. [12] Her reflective mood continued with the last track "Easy Ride," which was inspired by the imagery of a full-circle and symbolized life for the singer. One of Madonna's most underrated records was her tenth studio album "American Life" from 2003. "[21] Jon Pareles, writing for The New York Times, characterized the album's sound as a "mixture of acoustic guitar-picking, ticking drum machines and swooping, buzzing synthesizer lines", adding that "The guitar signals the sincerity of a singer-songwriter, while all the gizmos add the retro catchiness of the synth-pop music now being revived under the name electroclash. American Life is an album performed by a vocalist who has abandoned the U.S. for the … [1] However, by the beginning of the new millennium, Madonna was living a calmer, more introspective and wholesome life with her husband Guy Ritchie, their son Rocco, and Madonna's daughter Lourdes from a previous relationship. [101] On July 7, 2003, just months after the release, it was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), signifying shipment of one million copies in the US alone. [25] The guitar is accompanied by a "light" drum section and low-pitched vocals from Madonna. Madonna recalled that even she had been through such trials and those musings came out in the writing of the first three songs, the title track, "Hollywood" and "I'm So Stupid". During the early 1990s, Madonna had focused on a number of provocative releases, like the erotic pictorial book Sex, the sadomasochist inspired album Erotica, and the erotic thriller, Body of Evidence, all of which she deduced was due to "a lot of rage and anger" within herself. And we're also completely obsessed with the way we look." [38][39], To counter illegal downloads of the album, Madonna's associates created a number of false MP3 files of similar length and size. American Life is just horrible in every way, it sounds like 2 or 3 songs just mis-matched and patched together, however, the video is rather good (better if viewed on mute). In 2004, American Life was nominated at the 46th Grammy Awards in two categories "Best Short Form Music Video" and "Best Dance Recording", both for the song "Die Another Day. It starts with a three chord minor sequence which changes to a four chord one during the chorus section and a bass section starts at the end of the track. Starting with Madonna's multi-tracked voice questioning, "Am I gonna be a star", "should I change my name", the lyrics then develop into what Rikky Rooksby of The Complete Guide to the Music of Madonna states as a complaint about modern-day life. [8] John Norris from MTV described them as a trilogy, and an indicator of Madonna's reassessment of her life while discussing things she wishes to put behind her. Perhaps that's because she's aligned herself with such flash-in-the-pan trends as electroclash, a hipster movement that's more theoretical than musical, whose ill effects can be heard on the roundly panned James Bond theme "Die Another Day," featured toward the end of American Life. Madonna partly agreed, saying that the tracks are extensions of one another, and portray her desire of giving importance to less noteworthy things, and how she could come out of that "illusion". [24] Lyrically, the song expresses disillusionment with Madonna singing "I used to live in a fuzzy dream" and "It was just greed", also proclaiming that once she was "stupider than stupid" before stating "Everybody's stupid" towards the end of the song. [26], By 2003, Madonna suggested that she was in a revolutionary mood, which led to journalistic discussions that another image makeover would take place for her. [25] Lyrically, the song is an optimistic track about how a relationship will last as Madonna says "the road looks lonely but that's just Satan's game". American Life is the ninth studio album by American singer and songwriter Madonna. But that insular feel also comes from the smaller-scale, confessional songs, particularly because Mirwais doesn't give them depth and the songs themselves are imbalanced, never quite having a notable hook in the music or words. American Life is a folk album in the purest definition of the term—and it's reflected right in the title" and added that it has "an often ugly, lo-fi demo quality. [40][41] The website was closed after the attack for about 15 hours. Still, she was not satisfied with the name, and finalized on American Life. [73] The publication was a worldwide success, leading to a number of exhibitions in New York, London, Paris, Düsseldorf, Berlin and Florence. The remix peaked at number seven in Italy. From the release American Life (Album) First Played in Concert April 22, 2003 by Madonna at MTV Studios, New York, NY, USA; Most Recently Played March 8, 2020 by Madonna … These themes reject the reputation Madonna held in the 1980s, earned by songs such as her worldwide hit "Material Girl" (1985). Sometimes I write free verse. Madonna preferred the Antares Auto-Tune plug in, while Ahmadzaï chose an AMS pitch shifter. [4] Madonna also remembered Ahmadzaï's downbeat existentialism regarding the condition of society around them, and the long discussions they had into the night, which ultimately reflected into the songwriting as anxiety they felt in their heart. It was released on April 21, 2003, by Maverick Records and Warner Bros. Records. ", A sample of the song's chorus, backed by an, A 22-second sample of the song's chorus, featuring Madonna singing about the lifestyle of, Recording Industry Association of America, International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, Australian Recording Industry Association, "Los40.com Estrena en Exclusiva El Nuevo álbum de Madonna, American Life", "Jem Out To Make People Forget All About The Holograms", "Madonna, don't preach – you're still Material Girl", "Madonna: Five Things She Needs to Do on Her Next Album", "CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK; Madonna's Real Art: Getting Attention", "Master Minds: From album covers to Calvin Klein ads, the artists have revolutionised the way we see fashion", "Critic's Notebook; Madonna's Real Art: Getting Attention", "Madonna Follows Spiritual Muse For New Album", "Like a virgin – Madonna hacked for the very first time", "Madonna Plans to Take Her 'Life' to MTV", "Madonna Smooches With Britney And Christina; Justin, Coldplay Win Big At VMAs", "Madonna Box Set Will Mark 20th Anniversary Of Her First LP", "Madonna, Clay Aiken in Top 50 Worst Songs Ever", "Madonna Yanks Controversial 'American Life' Video", "Madonna Defends Her Violent 'American Life' Video", "2003 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive", "Chartverfolgung: Madonna American Life (single)", "Weighty Madonna: Rhonda Lieberman on "X-STaTIC PRo=CeSS, "Madonna Tour Gets Top 'Backstage Pass' Honor", "Re – Invention named Top Tour in Billboard awards", "Recording Academy Announces Artists to Introduce Performances on 46th Annual GRAMMY Awards Telecast", "2003 MTV Video Music Awards Winners List", "A 2004. évi Fonogram – Magyar Zenei Díj jelöltjei", "A 2005. évi Fonogram – Magyar Zenei Díj jelöltjei", "Madonna's 'Life' Easily Debuts At No. 11 Songs. [4] Beginning as a humble track that musician-producer Guy Sigsworth wrote for his wife, "Nothing Fails" also has lyrics by singer Jem Archer, who was asked to collaborate with Sigsworth and Madonna during the first collaborative sessions of American Life. You have to be very minimalist and choose every sound very carefully. I have a journal and I note down ideas I get from newspapers and books". [108], In the United Kingdom, American Life debuted atop the UK Albums Chart, with sales of 65,013 copies, much less than the opening sum of 2000's Music, which debuted with sales of 151,891 copies. "Because I was always drinking soy lattes in the studio, and I drive my Mini Cooper to the studio, I was just like, 'OK, let me just talk about the things that I like'. [25] "X-Static Process", the eighth track, starts once again with acoustic guitars and throughout there are vocal harmony lines in addition to an organ part. Some delivered a brief message from Madonna saying "What the fuck do you think you're doing?" [59] The anti-war content of its music video was interpreted as being unpatriotic, making Madonna withdraw its release from American music channels. The worldwide singles were Die Another Day, American Life, Hollywood, Nobody Knows … [30] By late 2003, she had wiped out the military image completely, and followed with another subtle toned-down image of that of a writer and philanthropist. American Life is the ninth studio album by American singer and songwriter Madonna. The song is accompanied by bleeping synths and a heavy drum part. I believe more singles were released from this album than any other. followed by minutes of silence. "[22] "American Life", the title track, is the first song on the record. [126] In Australia the album peaked at number three, before descending rapidly down the ARIA Albums Chart. It's pulled tight between these two extremes, particularly because the intimate guitar-based songs (and there are a lot of them, almost all beginning with just her and a guitar) are all personal meditations, with the dance songs usually functioning as vehicles for social commentary. ... more easily said It's always been the same This type of modern life Is not for me This type of modern life Is not for free American life [American life] I live the American dream ... General CommentNot too many American Life songs here...I think it is her most personal album yet! [19] Priya Elan of NME described the album as "folktronica",[20] while Ben Ratliff, in his review for Rolling Stone, described the album's sound as "diluted Eurotechno. [55] The production costs for the music video were over six million dollars, making it the third most expensive music video ever made, after "Work Bitch" by Britney Spears, and "Scream" by Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson. [3] American Life was deemed by some as a concept album featuring political themes based around the United States, with Madonna explaining that she felt "like America has changed over the years and that a lot of our values seem to be materially oriented and so superficial. [91] Ed Howard from Stylus Magazine gave the album a negative review calling the album "about Madonna" instead of American culture explaining, "it's Madonna who, surprisingly, has simply run out of things to say". A controversial music video was pulled after scenes of war and violence were criticized which led to an edited version being released. [127] Nevertheless, it gained a Platinum certification from the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipping 70,000 copies. Do I have to change my name Will it get me far Should I lose some weight Am I gonna be a star I tried to be a boy I tried to be a girl I tr "[8], The glamorous world of Hollywood also reflected in her writing, especially in the second track of the same name. [111] It continued its downward movement, falling to number five in its third week on the chart and was out of the top ten by its fifth week. The song was a top five hit in Canada, Italy and the United Kingdom. [17] He explained that there are some influences from his work, but Madonna mostly wanted a minimalist structure for the album. [2] The event had a profound effect on American society, with the cultural mood being bleakness and paranoia. All tracks are written and produced by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzaï, except where noted. [75] Although musician Prince's Musicology Live 2004ever tour was initially projected to be the highest grossing tour of 2004, Billboard Boxscore published that the Re-Invention Tour had sold 55 out of the 56 shows and grossed $125 million. [54][70] Also, it debuted and peaked at eleven on UK Singles Chart, becoming Madonna‘s sixth single, of eight, to miss the top ten on that chart, after "One More Chance" (1996). It featured Madonna in a seventeenth-century-style dress, crawling on all fours towards the camera. [74] After the exhibition was over, Madonna was inspired by the images from the exhibitions and decided to incorporate them into her then unplanned tour and asked Klein to help her with the task. Throughout her career, many of her songs have hit number one on international music charts, including L… read more [25] Vocally, the line "I got you under my skin" is repeated, while a male voice acts as the backing for the track as the final words, "feel good", are performed with no backing instrumental. [28][29] The photo shoot for the album was done by photographer Craig McDean in January 2003 at Los Angeles, and cost a reported $415,000. [80] Billboard's Michael Paoletta noted the lyrical differences from past albums such as Ray of Light positively, saying "American Life relies less on spiritual introspection and more on woman-in-the-mirror confrontation. [83] Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine stated that American Life is better for what it promises than what it delivers, and that it is better in theory than practice. This type of modern life is not for free American life (American life) I live the American dream (American dream) You are the best thing I've seen You are not just a dream (American life) I tried to stay ahead, I tried to stay on top I tried to play the part but somehow I forgot Just what I did it for and why I … How can you say that money won't bring you happiness if you don't have a lot of money? It peaked in the top ten in Canada and Spain. [117] The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) awarded American Life Platinum certification, signifying sales of over one million copies across Europe. [1] Concentrating on her music career, Madonna was busy throughout 2001 on her Drowned World Tour. “American Life” is the lead single and title-track of Madonna’s ninth studio album. [124], In Japan, the album peaked at number four on the Oricon Weekly Albums chart remaining there for 13 weeks,[125] and went on to gain a Gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) that same year, for shipping 100,000 copies of the release. "[18] Greg Kot from the Chicago Tribune called the record an "electro-folk album" with electronic beats and synthetic burps. [14][35] However, as the months went on and the album became more of a meditation on the difficulty of leading a spiritual life in the glamour industry, the title was changed to Hollywood with Madonna saying that it was "a reflection of my state of mind and a view of the world right now". [25] A recurring theme of American Life is the acoustic guitar introduction to the songs, and is yet again featured in the sixth track "Nothing Fails". So I went and it was just total improv [sic] and obviously it was sloppy at first, but I got out all my thoughts and then I wrote everything down that I said and then I perfected the timing of it. The title American Life is written in blood red color and has a punk rock style. This song was even better during Reinvention because all Madonna wants to do is Rock Out! [44] While in the United Kingdom, she performed "American Life" and "Hollywood" at BBC One's Friday Night with Jonathan Ross and Top of the Pops. [72], In 2003, Madonna collaborated with photographer Steven Klein for an art installation project called X-Static Process. [33] The cover also had military styled stenciled lettering. One of these performances, presented at the Total Request Live studios in New York, was shown by MTV in a special named Madonna on Stage & on the Record. [8], For "Hollywood", he used a drum kit and percussion from an E-mu Emulator and also added extra drum sounds to give the song an old, disco vibe. [15] Michael Colombier did the string arrangement with Geoff Foster acting as the strings engineer, conducting at AIR Studios. Even so, there's a lot that's interesting about American Life -- the half-hearted stabs at politics fall aside, and there are things bubbling in the production that are quite infectious, while the stretch from "Nobody Knows Me" to "X-Static Process" in the middle of the record can be quite moving. Four singles were released from the album. Neither using it as an excuse, as: 'I'm rebel because I had suffered a hard time when I was a child'. It was a minor chart success, but did not match the success of previous singles from American Life, charting outside the top twenty in some countries. People, including Madonna, started asking questions about their culture and the American Dream, which had been a long-lasting ideal for many. [105] In Canada, the album debuted at the top of the Canadian Albums Chart with sales of 18,000 copies on May 10, 2003. The songs on American Life and their lyrics were developed like that. "Nothing Fails" and "Love Profusion", the third and fourth singles respectively, featured a lack of promotion resulting in poor commercial performances. Even if the sparer ballads are introspective, they're treated as soundscapes by producer Mirwais, giving them an unsettling eerie quality that is mirrored by the general hollowness of the club songs. Good business decisions, so he used a Nord lead synthesizer with lot of money Billboard Hot 100 since.. In the future chaos around me an interview with Veja magazine, she sang songs the! Its following single, `` 50 Cent Holds off 'Idol ' to Return to.. 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