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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is the Message Behind the Music? Love Changes Us
What can you expect if you buy this album? The Limited Edition comes with stamps, poster, and is presented in a white leatherette fabric box, silk-screened in black and red ink with a CD-ROM portion. The songs are soft pop and acoustic with some guitar as it conveys a more personal look into Madonna's emotions and views of the American Dream as it is not what it...
Published on 5 May 2003

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Will the real Madonna please stand up?
Well the long-awaited new Madonna album has arrived.I rushed out today to buy it and have now listened to it several times. This is what I think............
We had a taster of the direction that she was heading in with the release last year of the James Bond theme "Die Another Day". While this single,which features here on American Life,was a new direction for James...
Published on 21 April 2003 by Gary Walsh


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is the Message Behind the Music? Love Changes Us, 5 May 2003
This review is from: American Life (Audio CD)
What can you expect if you buy this album? The Limited Edition comes with stamps, poster, and is presented in a white leatherette fabric box, silk-screened in black and red ink with a CD-ROM portion. The songs are soft pop and acoustic with some guitar as it conveys a more personal look into Madonna's emotions and views of the American Dream as it is not what it seems.
If you are expecting a "Ray of Light" or "Music" Album then you will have a surprise. This album is a more personal style of lyrics with sounds, beats, and pop styles not at all comparable to high tech trance club sounds yet very impacting to soften even the hardest of hearts. Collector's will find this to be a similar style as "Like A Prayer" as Madonna opens up and reveals more of her fears, visions, experiences, and love for her life, family and world.
Songs sure to be of great impact in my view would be "Love Profusion", "Nothing Fails", and "Mother and Father" as all 3 have messages that have shown how Madonna has learned to deal with certain issues of her life as well as valued what is important which is love and not material things. It is apparent that her learnings of the Kabbalah have had a way to impact her enough to have them in her songs.
The second single with video, or so it seems "Hollywood" has a faster paced tempo and a catchy type music that is sure to become a hit. "Nobody Knows Me" has a very techno electronic introduction as Madonna sings through the lyrics of how nobody knows her. Unfair critics as well as jealous people would probably fall into this category. I like that song for the empowerment it portrays since it shows confidence, power, and control are still strong in Madonna.
On the same techno/electronica style, "Die Another Day" is more likely to make any listener feel an energized feeling of wanting to move, dance, or just sing along. It may seem to some that this song was out of place from the others but I feel it was a very nice compliment in it's effect to have very cool sounding enhanced vocals which create a different mood for the average listener.
It may take some Madonna fans or listeners a while to adjust to the constant changes of Madonna but isn't that what makes her such a success? You never know what's next, nobody knows her, not really.
As Madonna continues to conquer the world like a Falcon and with a hunger so strong it is obvious she only gets better with time. It is apparent her life events and experiences will help the world be a better place for others to feel love in their hearts, be more spiritual, and put God in the center of their lives rather than the passing material things of this life. For the American Life is not what it seems and Madonna has shown by living it that the key is LOVE.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect followup for interntional pop-queen!!!, 27 April 2003
This review is from: American Life (Audio CD)
I can understand why critics disagree with this being a good album. It is a very odd album. This is the kind of album it takes time to like. But once you get to that point it's absolutely amazing. I had the exact same thing with "Music", but once I liked it I couldn't get it out of my cd-player anymore. This album is a lot better than "Music" due to its lyrical content. The lyrics may not be very deeply written, but you can hear real clear that they come from Madonna's heart. I'll explain it as a techno-version of "Oh Father" and "Papa don't preach". Only a 1000000 times better than that. The first song is "American Life" which everybody knows. If you don't like that song, don't judge the whole album based on that song. The album is completely different. If you listen to the cd in a store or something, start off with "Mother and Father" and "Nobody knows me". What am I saying though, the whole album is fantastic!!! Another great bonus is the tv version of "Die another day" with Madonna's laugh in the middle and the 30 second ending. To make a long story short.....BUY THIS ALBUM!!!
I'll grade every song for you on a scale from 1 to 10:
1)American Life (9/10)
2)Hollywood (9/10)
3)I'm So Stupid (10/10)
4)Love Profusion (9/10)
5)Nobody Knows me (10/10)
6)Nothing Fails (10/10)
7)Intervention (8/10)
8)X-static Process (8/10)
9)Mother and Father (10/10)
10)Die Another Day (9/10)
11)Easy ride (8/10)
I think it's pretty clear that I enjoy this album!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Madonna + Missy = classic!, 19 April 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: American Life [CD 1] (Audio CD)
Well, once again Madonna surprises us with something, erm, different. When I first heard this track I absolutely hated it and thought Madonna had finally become too experimental. She had lost a fan. But then I heard it again and again on the radio and, like many of her songs, it grew on me. OK, so the rap isn't exactly mind-blowing, but it's a laugh if nothing else. However, skip to the Missy Elliot remix and the rap actually sounds quite good! This is without doubt my favourite mix of the track. If you like Missy's other stuff, I'm sure you'll like this version. Her extra rap at the start kicks things off nicely and surprisingly the parts where Madonna sings gel with Missy's reworking. A classic remix - much better than the original and well worth buying for this mix alone. As for the 3rd track, well, it's value for money at being over 10 minutes long but that was the problem - it started to bore me after 6 or so minutes. Not bad, but one for the clubs really.
If you want to buy only one of the 2 CDs available at the moment, I'd recommend this one. The other one featuring remixes by Paul Oakenfold and Felix Da Housecat is good too, but the Oakenfold remix adds little to the original and Felix' version is OK, but not one of his best in my opinion. Good if you like 80s sounds, but not for me. Alternatively, you could wait until 28 April and buy CD3 which has all the remixes on the one CD. Either way, if 'American Life' is supposedly the worst track on her new CD, Madonna's new album should be a classic. Now if only we could get to see that video.....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where can she go next?, 12 April 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: American Life (Audio CD)
Drawn with dark, introspective hues, American Life is the flip side to 2001's Music, which was intentionally aimed to be easy on the brain and heavy on the hips. From the opening lines of the title track, it's clear that we've caught the 44-year-old artist in a reflective state of mind. From there Madonna meditates on religion (the glorious "Nothing Fails", which glides from a lean arrangement into a choir-chanted climax of the refrain "Makes me wanna pray"), family ("Intervention", a charming ode to her son, and "Love Profusion", a plaintive love letter to her husband), and the world at large (the rock-charged "I'm So Stupid"). It adds up to some of the more literate, deeply heartfelt material she's ever offered. But it's during "Hollywood" and "The X-Static Process" that Madonna shines brightest. Despite their disparate styles, both songs illustrate that no amount of experimentation or growth will hinder her apparent love of - or her knack for crafting - perfect pop songs. As an album it leaves you completely sated, but still wondering where she can possibly go next.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Instantly impressive, 21 April 2003
By 
Mhairi Donald (Greenock, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: American Life (Audio CD)
Madonna has been in the music business for 20 years now and her appeal never wavers. This album is a perfect example of why she continues to be such a phenomenal success. After having just listened to the album for the first time, I already feel like pretty much every song is an old favourite.
The first single, American Life and the Bond theme, Die Another Day were already familiar - but the rest of the album was still instantly enjoyable. Madonna has once again married a huge range of musical styles and moulded them into her own original style. Her voice (or voices as it changes so much throughout) is at its most stunning.
For me, stand out tracks are the beautiful Nothing Fails and X-Static Process.
There is definitely something here for all tastes and something for all moods. I would recommend this album for anyone, whether they are Madonna fans or not.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Take The Ride, The Journey, To -->Rediscovery!, 15 Oct. 2012
This review is from: American Life (Audio CD)
This is Madonna's 9th studio album and most personal thought provoking collection of songs since Like a Prayer. While the album did not gain much hype or popularity as compared to her earlier predecessors it did give a more "in depth" into Madonna's heart comparable to her collection of ballads titled, Something to Remember. Released on April 22, 2003 at a time when war was on the forefront many obstacles surfaced. For one, her video "American Life" had to be edited. Madonna stated she felt it was best because at the time of her making of the video the war had not started and she was in a raise your voice state to prevent war. This album will take you to that era and the emotions and thoughts that went around it. If you like her album Music (U.S. Version), this will be also with some acoustic and guitar styles but at a more downbeat mood.

The tour to promote American Life is The Reinvention Tour and it is one of her strongest to date. The documentary NEW I'm Going To Tell You A Secret (DVD) depicts performances/songs from the album. The themes of the album have recurrent ideas of materialism and the American dream. Apparently, Madonna's spiritual growth and wisdom was reaching its peak and she wanted to share it with her fans! As Madonna has stated in an interview with VH1, "material things" are no longer important - "I look back at the 20 years behind me and I realize that a lot of things that I'd valued weren't important."

The singles spawned from this album are American Life / Die Another Day (Single), Hollywood, Nothing Fails, and Love Profusion 1. The album was produced by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzai. In the U.S. and the U.K. the album went to number 1. It was nominated for 2 Grammys and was the "world's 32nd best selling album in 2003." The singles generated much hype as the one titled, "Hollywood" was performed and sung in a medley with Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears in in the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards where the controversial Britney X-tina Madonna took place. The album Remixed & Revisited has that performance and many remixes from this album. MTV also had a special titled, "On Stage And On The Record" taped live in April 22, 2003 in New York City that featured these songs live and a brief interview.

My favorite songs to name a few are DIE ANOTHER DAY, HOLLYWOOD, and NOBODY KNOWS ME. While Madonna's more common albums like RAY OF LIGHT and MUSIC are played non-stop I also play this one on the days that I want a more low keyed slower paced beat. There are many guitar songs along techno beats, electronica, and downbeats on some and action packed trance on others. On songs like I'M SO STUPID more thought provoking elements emerge as the lyrics express disillusionment. AMERICAN LIFE also takes the "American dream" to the dimension that sometimes all the riches in the world don't equate to happiness. HOLLYWOOD brings into the spotlight the life of Hollywood as being filled with temptations, and illusions that sometimes don't result. "...How can it hurt you if it looks so good?". NOBODY KNOWS ME has very electronica enhanced styles with vocoder-treated singing. It is definitely one of my most listened to songs for the message of how sometimes people try to tell you how to be. She sings, "This world is not so kind/People trap your mind/It's so hard to find someone to admire....No ones telling you how to live your life/But it's a set up until you're fed up/...But why should I care? What the world thinks of me/Won't let a stranger give me a social disease." Those words echo in my mind over and over when I hear it and I tell myself OVER AND OVER --NEVER TO LISTEN to other peoples PREJUDICIAL remarks, PRECONCEIVED ideas, or PUT DOWNS sway me or get me sad!

Aside those, the album definitely delivers music that is close to the heart and soul of cultures probed questions, dreams, illusions, fears, and sad encounters. MOTHER AND FATHER is a very personal song that Madonna felt she wanted to share with her fans as the death of her mother and her father's relationship had hit many ups and downs but she had finally had come to terms with it by letting go of the pain. For new fans or those wondering whether to buy this consider what you are looking for. Is it an album with a message? Is it a party uplifting beat? If it's the first then you are on the right page to push the buy it now or put in cart button. If not, then I recommend her faster paced albums or remixes. This will definitely make the listener think of life, the passings of things, the materialism that "really" does not equate to happiness, and the things that matter most! Find your answers and take the ride!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing fails for Madonna! an underrated classic., 13 Jun. 2008
By 
S. J. Pinder "scifihorror fan" (Cornwall,UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: American Life (Audio CD)
Music was a successful album for Madonna and sales rocketed as did her drowned world tour(which was an immediate success)this is an indirect follow up from Music and Ray Of Light which turns out to be very good.
much in the same vein as Erotica this is an album that is highly regarded as an underrated classic.

there are a few great tracks on this album,with a techno feel ballad approach i love nobody knows me and Mother and Father,they are great and hard hitting tracks on this album which symbolizes her career and her personal life.
American Life and Die Another Day are extremely strong and also provides a strong beat.
Hollywood is basically mocking the stars in Hollywood and the whole fame system.
Nothing Fails and Love Profusion are calm and reassuring tracks.
Im So Stupid has techno written all over it but it is a fun song.
Intervention is by far the best song on the album which talks about her highs and lows and how she has become the star she is.
Easy Ride finishes off the album in an uplifting tone and shows fans that her career was in fact NOT an easy ride.
very good album,while a footnote to the spectacular Music,it got the #1 spot on the charts and remains an indepandant album and a very hard-hitting one that should be respected...all in all a 9/10 from me.
track list-

American Life-10/10-fantastic song and extremely deep.
Hollywood-10/10-great style and a retro feel.
I'm so stupid-8/10-very good change of style for this song:).
Love Profusion-10/10-very calm compared to the rest of the album but still great and very upbeat.
Nobody knows me-10/10-symbolizes Madonna's career and the fact that although she is a HUGE legendary figure nobody can sum her up entirely, a tour de force.
Nothing fails-10/10-a semi-ballad if you will and again very enjoyable.
Intervention-10/10-awesome song,i personally love it loads and is an underrated Madonna classic.
Mother and Father-10/10-a personal song for Madge about how she coped with her mothers death,while contains a strange up beat techno rhythm for a background, it's distorted and wonderful in vision.
X-static process-10/10-A fantastic acoustic piece.
Die Another Day-10/10-a classic song although it had to be released early because the film was released in October 2002 with the album released early 2003 but that doesn't mess with the sheer quality of the song.
Easy Ride-10/10-nice ending to the album which shows that her career was certainly not easy.

No other artist has or will ever create an album as definitively artistically deep as this! not Kylie, Britney,Beyonce,Gaga or ANYONE! and American Life may have sold 4 million globally but it's quality matches that of previous albums work, while following albums Confessions and Hard Candy also follow a structure of layered and intriguing songs. American Life is an album that acts as somewhat as a sequel to Ray of light and Music's Electronica works and had a symbolic tribute to the patriotic and controversial albums of the 60's that were anti War and very political works they were!

American Life is a resounding phenomenal success in the respect that it reaches into Madonna's soul as an intellect and her tour in support of the album was very much symbolic of her journey, as music icon, legend, artist, musician and dancer and highlighted her personal aspects within each performance, while this is my leas favourite Madonna album of the past decade, this is an absolute masterpiece of an album that ranks among some of the greatest works in music history. While not entirely perfect, this shows why Madonna is and always will be The Queen Of pop.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential CD, 27 April 2003
This review is from: American Life (Audio CD)
On a first impression, the cd art (and generally, Madonna's new look) is much more attractive than "Music's" cowboy themes, which did concern some people!
The tracks are diverse while not straying too much from both Madonna's classic styles and what she has tried to achieve since "Ray of Light". Here is a rundown of the best tracks:
American Life- Not really the most obvious choice for a title track, but that doesn't stop this from being one of the album's most memorable songs. With an amusing electronica backing and likewise funny, clever lyrics, Madonna's voice works well with this kind of music. A hip-hop track to compare with Missy Elliott's best. However, the recurring swearing at the end could be construed as an excuse to have an "explicit content" label! And it can be a shock when the beat breaks off and the guitar starts strumming, although that does set off the rest of the song well for the fast-moving vocal climax.
Hollywood- I'm a big fan of this track- much smoother than American Life, and a cool electronica backing, and soft, simple but memorable vocals/lyrics make this essential to the album. It possibly refers to Madonna's own film career- lines like "I tried to leave it but I never could...this time it's got to be good...I've lost my reputation right and good...etc... reflect on Madge's own, less than perfect, relationship with Hollywood.
Love Profusion- Also a fave of mine! The simple lyrics and crooning singing in the style of "Ray of Light's" Frozen are enhanced by stylish backing vocals. This song is very simple but very addictive.
Nobody Knows Me- Another rap- like American Life- with a kind of electronic, beeping noise in the backing that's very catchy. Once again, deep (but still feminine) vocals again work charms.The story of the song sees Madonna try to exonerate herself from being told "how to lead her life" or let " a stranger give her a sexual disease". Yes, it's pretty unconnected but sounds good!
Nothing Fails- That's a pretty positive title! With stringed interludes that are hauntingly beautiful to compare with chirpy beats to be enjoyed, Madonna's tones are joined near the end of the song by a glorious choir for a great climax to the song.
Mother and Father- Madonna sings in childish tones for, apparently, her most personal song yet "my mother died when i was five...my father had to go to work, i used to think he was a jerk", against bold, rhythmic electronica. This might not sound like an effective formula, but the wistful choruses transform what otherwise might be audially insulting into another essential.
Die Another Day- Opening with a spooky, trembling intro, and proceeding with synchronised vocals and a masterful beat that combines excellently with a warpy type of electronic sound, and the imposing cello, this really is some of Madonna's best material. It works best against the opening scenes of 007 James Bond's latest instalment(of the same name) and should be enough to convert Bond Fans into Madonna fans!
Easy Ride- By the end of an album, you've usually had your fill, and the last track isn't often that good anyway. Mentioning no names. However this is arguably the album's best song, with heartwrenching strings and guitar, and soft, tender vocals. The electronica is at first reluctant, yet culminates in a powerful climax before relaxing back into strings. The lyrical themes are pretty self- centered, but ignore that and you have pretty much the perfect Madonna song.
Overall, this album would be scoring ten out of ten, but Amazon won't let me, so five shall suffice :)
In my opinion this is possibly the best of the three latest albums and an essential addition to the collection of either long-term fans of Madonna or general pop enthusiasts. The styles of her music have matured a lot and will satisfy anyone disapponted in "Music".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Madge Is Back With Her Best Album EVER!!!!, 23 April 2003
By 
simon bray - cotton (Wolverhampton, West Midlands United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: American Life (Audio CD)
At last the long awaited new album from the Queen is released!!!
I was so excited that i got to work early on the morning this was released so I could stand outside Woolworths waiting for it to open, I then made up some feeble excuse to go out so I could listen to it in the car, and I was not disapointed!!!!
From the opening lines of American Life you just know this album is gonna be a classic, and although people couldnt quite get to grips with Madge rapping, once you reaslise she is justing taking the mic out of herself it suddenly becomes amusing.
The next track to be released is Hollywood and it is brilliant, irresistable pop beats mixed with tight electro grooves make this a fab summer song and the fact that she takes the p***s out of her failed attempt to conquer Hollywood makes it all the better.
Other notable tracks are Nobody Fails with its choral parts makes you reminice back to Like A Prayer, Mother and Father is mad but brilliant and of course Die Another Day is just pure class!!!
In short this album is probably the best album of her career, its not in your face pop like Music with its over synthesised, yet brilliant, songs, its chilled out laid back and down right amazing, if you buy one album this summer make it this one!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most "different" Madonna album ever..., 23 April 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: American Life (Audio CD)
I ordered the limited edition version of American Life from Amazon about 2 weeks before it was due and also bought the normal cd. You could say I was a true Madonna fan... and you would be absolutely right! I have bought her records since I was six... some eighteen years ago!
Number 11, Easy Ride, is probably my favourite on the album. Loads of strings, heaps of electronica and wonderfully moody. Love Profusion sounds familiar but unique and haunting. Mother and Father is a very sad and intimate yet "in-your-face" view of Madonna's childhood and easy to relate to. Nothing Fails is a very frank love song that seems sad, yet uplifting and compelling (also, there is a slight hint of Like a prayer in there!!). Track number seven sees Madonna go all Chilli Pepper!! And very good she is too. Ditto for numero duo and you've just got to love the lyrics... 'fuzzy dream' is such a descriptive and apt view of our 'air-brush focused' celebrity obsessed, designer lives. Sooo, I reckon this album is a 5-star effort. It does seem take a while to get into but persevere and you will be as smitten as I am! PS... make sure you put Love Profusion and Easy Ride on repeat. They are fabul-arse.
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