156 SCORE: 6.73 2015 PLACEMENT: UP 20 - 177 of 210 (5.835) HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 7 (@eatyourself @soratami @Ana Raquel @Up Down Suite @joeee @Crisp X @TheChoirgirlHotel) LOWEST SCORE: 1 x 1 (@Robsolete) MY SCORE: 5/10 Hmm. This one is a bit of a minefield to be honest. While the production is beautiful and it's good to see a song not entirely dismissed for not being performed in English, "Shanti/Ashtangi" comes with its own set of issues. Madonna's always been a bit of a musical magpie in the sense that she has plucked inspiration for several different sounds and walks of life and absorbed them into her music and... I actually do think she's slightly better at crediting her sources than people think. Even in interviews around the time of "Vogue" she's quick to talk about the culture it came from, and even with Ray Of Light she was also upfront in referencing the countries that had inspired the sounds, and the spirituality that had inspired the lyrics. Even on Madame X with its dodgy attempts at Portuguese and Spanish, she takes a step back several times and lets people who actually have these languages as their native tongue do it rather than taking it from them. She has generally provides her references without asking, but it's not perfect. @londonrain touched on this when this song came up in conversation earlier in the thread, but the problem stems from when things that people consider sacred and a way of life become a costume for others to put on and take off whenever they want, and the late 90s... was full of it. I found a great bit from an archived edition of SPIN from January 1999 that analysed the year before, and it spoke about this in a shockingly prescient, non-judgemental way. Yes, you can sympathise with celebrities making genuine attempts to reach for enlightenment, but when you publicise said enlightenment as a promotional tactic, it trivialises the entire thing not just for you, but to those who practice the same way of life outside of the spotlight. The thing you're meant to be taking in gets taken in by you, and it becomes just another re-invention. Again, to her credit, I think Madonna's realised in recent years that faith can - and maybe in her case, should - be a far more private thing; I don't think she's really spoken about her own faith and religion in great detail in a decade or more, and perhaps it's better that way. Anyway, like @londonrain also said: she absolutely mangles the pronunciation all the way through this track. I've reposted the link they provided at the time to illustrate how it should sound, along with the performance from the 1998 VMAs that is mentioned in the link article above. Madonna actually caught heat from Hindus for this performance for the way she disrespected sacred imagery. Madonna then responded, "If they're so religious, what are they doing watching MTV?" and on that note, I bounce.