Madonna - 14th Album | Page 347 | The Popjustice Forum

Madonna - 14th Album

Discussion in 'Pop & Justice' started by mindtrappa, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. I can't with this shitting on "Confessions". It was stellar in every way, and the last time her music sounded competently done. No one-take-horribly-mastered-done-on-the-go messes we endured for the past decade. I think that's what people are mostly missing, a certain sense of professionalism in it all.
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  2. RJF


    @Sanctuary get your ass OUT of this thread.
  3. I think we all want Madonna to get back to the polish and professionalism of Confessions, but that doesn't mean we have to praise everything about that record. As immaculately produced it is, it's not really that big on melody for a Madonna album. That's all that's being argued. Rebel Heart is way shoddier technically, but it's also way more tuneful.

    And also, I don't even think a lack of emphasis on melody is a bad thing. Erotica is one of her least melodic records and also one of her very best.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  4. Can you point me to a song you think is melodically weak on Confessions? I'm all for praising Rebel Heart, dreck and all, but we don't have to drag down a bonafide classic like Confessions to do it.
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  5. Confessions is so perfect sonically that it starts to feel like a couch with one of those plastic covers one.

  6. Reading this has made my day! Sounds brilliant!!!

    Chocolate Pie sounds like it could be a new gay anthem.
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  7. ....
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  8. The melodies on Confessions wipe the floor with Rebel Heart. They're all so rich. Rebel Heart isn't even remotely in the same league.

    Whatever the songwriting approach was, there are just too many songs that make no impact. Hold Tight, Holy Water, Inside Out, Iconic, Illuminati - nothing memorable there at all. And that's just the standard edition.
    mcuk and Cundy like this.
  9. I honestly think Jump and Get Together are the only songs that have a particularly strong tune. But the biggest examples of songs that need the production to work are Hung Up, Sorry, Let It Will Be.

    I'm not arguing that the melodies are bad tho (except for Push). I think there's a difference between a bad melody and one that's just not particularly tuneful.

    I'm also not trying to drag down Confessions. I'm just telling like I see it. No record is sacred. And like I said, Erotica is one of her least melodic and is still her third best in my eyes, so it's not like I think the lack of emphasis on tunefulness is a deal breaker.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  10. RJF


    @Someboy lock this fucking thread.
  11. I mean, we're all entitled to our opinions, but I think we must have a different idea of what melodic means. Every time I see videos of Confessions songs played on the piano, they don't work well. I think there's a reason for that.
  12. But the definition of melodic is not "does it pass the played on piano test". At least to me... For instance, the verse/middle 8 melodies on Jump are kind of dark and sprawling and wouldn't lend themselves well to piano at all. But they're still incredibly tight, well constructed melodies which make much more impact than any of the Rebel Heart songs I mentioned above, all of which have very basic melodies. And it's true of basically the whole of Confessions - there's just an effortlessness to the songcraft and how it all hangs together which has been missing of late. Most of the Rebel Heart tracks sound quite laboured and/or disjointed.
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  13. Madonna wanted to do a big pop album after American Life got (unfairly) dragged and her public standing took a nosedive as a result. I'd say that Confessions did that very, very well. Its flawless from Hung Up up to an including Issac. The only two songs I don't connect with as much as the final two.
  14. What is this word "songcraft" and why is it here, suddenly in our lives?
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  15. I'm not sure what 'tunefulness' is. The way I judge a melody is whether it's tight, well crafted and instantly memorable and Confessions has that in abundance.
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  16. Thank you.
  17. I disagree with almost all of this, though I think I see what you're getting at with the piano test point. I don't think Confessions melodies are tight at all. They seem pretty watery to me and they don't sound like a lot if you just sing them acapella, particularly songs like Sorry and Let It Will Be. The songs you mentioned from Rebel Heart, sans Hold Tight, are admittedly some of the least melodic on Rebel Heart, but that's a few songs out of a 19 song set, and I'd argue that post-chorus bit on Illuminati is more melodically tight than most of Confessions even if the rest of the song is not too focused on melody. (On a sidenote: I agree Hold Tight lacks impact, but I don't think the melody, which is fairly strong, is the problem; I think it's the facelessness and triteness of the lyrics that weakens it).

    I do think there's something more labored about Rebel Heart than Confessions, but I don't think melody has anything to do with it.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  18. That's the thing---I don't think the Confessions melodies are at all tight or memorable in themselves. I think the songs are memorable more as an entire production than for their topline melodies. Sorry, Hung Up, and Let It Will Be are good examples of this dynamic. They are striking and dynamic pieces of music, but they sound really flat if you just sing them without the instrumentation. In contrast, a song like Ghosttown or Joan of Arc or Devil Pray doesn't have this problem.

    The Rolling Stone review kinda gets at what I'm trying to say: "Madonna's songwriting has always been her most underrated quality. But while Confessions absolutely hits its mark for disco functionality, its greatest strength is also its weakness. In the end, the songs blur together, relying on Price's considerable production magic to create tension or distinctiveness."
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  19. But isn't the fact that the songs blur together the entire point of Confessions? It's an hour-long disco set in which you can completely lose yourself and surrender to the dancefloor. It was even mixed together for that very purpose. I think that review completely misses the mark - the album is designed to feel like a fever dream, so of course the songs blend into one melodically as well as literally.
    The Bextorian and mcuk like this.
  20. But aren't you essentially agreeing with the review? The difference is that you don't see it as a negative (and the review actually sees it as both a pro and con), which is valid.

    I also think the review is saying that where earlier Madonna music created "tension" and "distinctiveness" via melody/tune/whatever you want to call it, Confessions does so via production. I think that's absolutely true. The catchiest bits of Confessions' songs are in the instrumentation.

    The term "tunefulness" is hard to explain, but I define it as the degree to which a song transcends ordinary speech. To me, the melodies on Confessions sound closer to speech than than the ones in the majority of her other music. Which is not automatically a bad thing.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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