Discussion in 'Pop & Justice' started by mindtrappa, Sep 2, 2017.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Also, I'm not trying to argue that Rebel Heart is one of her most melodic records ever. That distinction goes to albums like Like A Prayer, True Blue, or Ray of Light. RH is two-sided in that respect: it's a mix of songs that are extremely melodic (Ghosttown, Devil Pray, Joan of Arc, Rebel Heart, Messiah, etc.) and songs where the production does most of the heavy lifting (Holy Water, Iconic, Illuminati, S.E.X, etc.).
I had a dream last night that I woke up, put on the TV and Madonna’s new video was being shown / talked about on every morning talk show and news programme because it was so offensive and different.
That would be amazing.
Waiting for this album is starting to become stressfully distracting, I'm analysing her hashtags like the lead detective in a crime drama. Fully here for a Pagan-na theme too. One of my favourite lines from the MDNA album (don't start) is "When did your name change from language to magic", a whole sequence of songs building on that idea wouldn't suck at all. Way too excited.
She's not gonna do anything til Xtina and Ariana give her a clear runway. She ain't daft. Maybe even the Gags soundtrack too.
I love, love, LOVE the lyrics to the first verse of I'm Addicted (until the glove line).
"When did your name change from a word to a charm?
No other sound makes the hair stand up on the back of my arm
All of the letters push to the front of my mouth
And saying your name is somewhere between a prayer and a shout
And I can’t get it out
When did your name change from language to magic?
I’d write it again on the back of my hand,
And I know it sounds tragic"
Something about the way she sings this gets me going.
In general, MDNA got pretty good lyrics is you ask me, but there is one point, just one point in the album, where I cringe so hard;
''From the moment I first saw you
All the darkness turned to light
An impressionistic painting
Tiny particles of light''
That’s a shitty excuse for lazy songwriting. Nobody is saying the album is bad. We’re just saying it’s not exactly focused on anything else beyond the production. Take Madonna out of the equation and the album virtually remains the same, but take away the instrumentals and you’re not left with very much.
It’s actually “all the darkness turned to white”, isn’t it?
I'm Addicted has become one of her great lost singles for me. It's probably the best thing on MDNA and would have been an amazing lead. Just imagine the performance at the Superbowl...
Sorry to admit it, but everywhere I look it tells me it rhymes light with light... WHYY AGAIN
I......don't like I'm Addicted. If feels like Future Lovers afterbirth
It sounds absolutely nothing like it though?
I only hear resemblance in the ''helicopter'' sound effect in the beginning (nope I'm not good at describing things)
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