I Deserve It
Don’t Tell Me
What It Feels Like For A Girl
Paradise (Not For Me)
Released: September 19, 2000
A limited edition USA version of ‘Music’ was released in a hardback hessian book pack with burnished copper title plate and 24-page colour booklet. All discs were pressed for the US market and do not include ‘American Pie’. The limited edition version was available in black, grey, beige and pink.
‘American Pie’ was included on the European, Latin-American, Australian, and Asian versions of ‘Music’.
Madonna has indicated that she regrets having it included on the album after “being talked into it by some record company executive.” She rather would have seen it only on The Next Best Thing (Music from the Motion Picture). She did not include it on her second greatest hits package, GHV2, in 2001.
‘Cyberraga’ was included as a bonus track on the Japanese and Australian versions of ‘Music’. The track was written and produced by Madonna and Talvin Singh. The song was later used a B-side on different single releases.
Music was re-issued in several countries replacing ‘American Pie’ with the remix & the Spanish versions of ‘What It Feels Like For A Girl’.
Singles & Album Artwork:
New York Times – By JON PARELES
THE notion of an objective, natural reality, separate from human intervention, was damaged beyond repair in the 20th century. It was besieged on all sides by art, philosophy and technology: by Cubism and post-modernism, by film and sound recording, by television and synthesizers, by video games and plastic surgery, by all the gizmos of the computer era. Any separation between natural and artificial has grown fuzzy and, in practice, irrelevant. Now, everyone lives on the cusp of the physical and the virtual.
That’s the running joke, though some might call it a subtext, on Madonna’s new album, “Music” (Maverick/Warner Brothers 2-47598), her latest foray into electronica. The cowgirl hat Madonna wears in the video clip for “Music” is an emblem of outdoorsy nature, but nothing on the album not an acoustic guitar, not Madonna’s voice arrives without an obvious electronic tweak or two. She flaunts the synthetic without a hint of insincerity.
On her 1998 album “Ray of Light,” Madonna pondered meaning and purpose, love and fate, with her voice enveloped in William Orbit’s protean, shimmering productions. “Music” brings Madonna back down to earth. The album is a batch of songs, not a grand statement; it moves from giddy dance-floor highs to pretentious lows. In her lyrics, Madonna, who is 42, returns to her past staples of dance, romance and female self-determination, along with some attempts at mature reflection. Most of the music ^× even when written with Mr. Orbit ^× trades the resonant, liquid backdrops of “Ray of Light” for sparse settings that seem to be rationing how many sounds they use. It’s as if Madonna has replaced a de Kooning painting with a Mondrian.
Mr. Orbit is still invaluable. Emphasizing staccato rhythm instead of lush chords this time, he collaborated on two uptempo songs that jump off the album: “Runaway Lover,” a disco update with an exuberant tangle of keyboard lines ricocheting in stereo, and “Amazing,” a lovelorn rocker that puts tremolo guitars and a 1960′s garage-rock beat behind one of Madonna’s most heartfelt vocal performances.
Madonna’s main new collaborator is Mirwais, a producer, musician and programmer from Paris whose last name is Ahmadazaï. He was in the bands Taxi Girl and Juliette before turning to dance music. Now, along with Air (from Paris) and To Rococo Rot (from Berlin), he is part of a wave of European producer-programmers who have rediscovered both the buzzy, wiggly sounds of old analog synthesizers and the idea that less can be more. They build tracks with a few keyboard settings, a pithy drumbeat and little pockets of space; Air often adds a dissociated, electronically filtered voice. Where some electronica aspires to cinematic grandeur, these minimalists prefer to stack up deadpan musical one-liners.
Mirwais is as droll as any of them. He has an ear for the nasal early synthesizers and tinny drum sounds Kraftwerk used in the 1970′s, for the blunt drumbeats of old-school hip- hop and for the bright blips of early-1980′s electro dance music, all of which now sound pleasantly dated. But he detours off memory lane, unwilling to let the retro sounds ease into nostalgia. Atop familiar beats, he creates slyly anachronistic combinations, as he does in the title song of “Music,” which sets up dizzying syncopation around one unchanging chord.
On Mirwais’s own album, “Production,” he applies titles like “Definitive Beat” and “Digital Science” to what start out as rudimentary rhythm tracks. He makes a sustained sound hover above them or starts a high syncopated blip; then he warps the basic beat by filtering it into a shadow of its original self, or he makes it stutter and leapfrog itself. Using relatively simple techniques, he gets results that are both witty and startling.
Through her career, Madonna has used what business experts call the “fast follower” strategy, quickly picking up other people’s good ideas and reshaping them in friendlier, more commercial form. She has pulled more than one style out of the dance underground by slipping it underneath straightforward pop songs. Although there are a few vocals on Mirwais’s solo album, Madonna brings pop instincts to their collaborations, providing genuine melodies and serviceable lyrics.
And Mirwais, for his part, keeps twisting the musical context. “Don’t Tell Me,” an obsessive love song, uses a fingerpicked guitar, and Madonna sings a passable Bonnie Raitt imitation. But the song doesn’t stay folky; the guitar lick reveals itself as a sample that gets lopped off at the end for unexpected jolts of silence, Madonna’s voice is multiplied and the guitar is flanked by a Morse-code blip bouncing off a low wah-wah note.
Mirwais and Madonna also play hide-and-seek with her voice. Most pop-dance divas and their producers still trade on the contrast of human versus mechanical that was established by Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder in the 1970′s. As the machines tick out repetitive parts, the singer provides unpredictability and passion, a personality that listeners can identify with. While male groups from Kraftwerk to Zapp to the Jonzun Crew have made trademarks out of inhuman, distorted voices, until recently women have usually gotten a naturalistic treatment, even if their vocals are snipped into samples for dance tracks.
Cher’s “Believe” and Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle” both used some of the same electronic fillips as Madonna does on “Music.” But Mirwais and Madonna push the cybervocals further. In “Impressive Instant,” a bouncy electro outer- space travelogue, Madonna is filtered, repitched, compressed, echoed and edited into sudden leaps; she slips in and out of the hallucinatory electronics with whimsical ease.
“Nobody’s Perfect,” a shrewd mixture of apology (“I feel so sad/ What I did wasn’t right”) and self- justification (“What did you expect/ I’m doing my best”), could have been a rueful ballad sung to the acoustic guitar that appears briefly in the middle of the song. Instead, drums snicker and Madonna’s voice is run through a vocoder to become distant and disembodied, as if this particular sentiment was a prerecorded response.
Madonna gets heavy-handed in “I Deserve It,” a guitar-strumming ballad so solemn it verges on self-parody. And the album ends with self- righteous dirges, “Gone” (“Why should I be sad/ For what I never had”) and “Paradise,” which includes tearful spoken-word passages in both English and French. Yet even in the dud songs, Madonna doesn’t return to the unquestioning pomp of typical diva anthems. Antigravity synthesizer lines waft overhead and whir quietly around her; electronics veil and reveal her voice. The pop- song structures are stable, but they’ve moved into a sonic realm where anything can happen.