SCORE: 9.209 11 x 1 @TrueBeliever 2015 PLACEMENT: UP 4 - 23 of 210 (8.785) HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 71 (@nikkysan @AshtrayHeart @funkyg @Andreas @Tigerlily @Vasilios @aux @cheida @No hay banda @eatyourself @HEARTCORE @maverick_79 @tylerc904 @OSHi @2014 @JMRGBY @soratami @Endothelium @Mirwais Ahmadzaï @Babyface @Andrew.L @dylanaber @relby @Up Down Suite @torontodj @1991 @Joe. @Babylon @Aester @Syzygyz @Dreampopboy @Modeblock @Daniel_O @Coochi @scottdisick94 @Sideout @MilesAngel @RetroPhysical @Zdarlight @citoig @joeee @Xanax @VeryPSB @DinahLee @aaronhansome @Jimmyandroid @JonBcn @BEST FICTION @paperboyfriendd @Miss Lange @Crisp X @Epic Chocolat @Mister_G @phoenix123 @Pop Life @K94 @clowezra @Rogue @TheChoirgirlHotel @KingBruno @eliminathan @Remorque @Digital Ghost @Trinu 3.0 @MrMannacroix @sexercise @Mr Blonde @FrozenNight @Weslicious @Touchofmyhand @Maki) LOWEST SCORE: 5 x 1 (@Phonetics Boy) MY SCORE: 8.5/10 And we continue to clear out my high-but-not-really scores! "Nothing Really Matters" goes slightly further than it did in 2015, vaulting into the Top 20 with a pretty massive score boost to boot. It's also our first song to get over 9.2/10. How high will we go, I wonder. The track acted as the fifth and final single for Ray Of Light, and is probably the most explicit musing on how having a baby changed Madonna's life. To be honest with y'all, I'm a bit of a mood tonight. I've been ruminating on this song all day knowing that it was next, and went to some pretty harsh places while doing so. At this point in 2020, I'm not really sure a song that basically boils down to, "everybody say LOVE!" is going to cut the mustard when love barely makes the Top 20 on the list of things we collectively need at the moment. Additionally, Madonna's tone in the lyrics has always kind of bothered me a little. I find branding her past self as selfish to be a little unfair; she brings it up multiple times in the song and I always wonder what her context is. Like, with her time? Her actions? If she was the only one, and therefore the only one to consider, does looking out for yourself really count as selfish? Who was losing out here? Like I said above, "Nothing Really Matters" is probably Ray Of Light's most explicit "I'm a mom now!" track, but... it's also its most insipid too. Vacuous throw pillow sentiment. There are several superior tracks on the subject on the album that broach it in a far more intricate way. In fact, the album's opener alone is on exactly the same subject but done intelligently. And this is a Patrick Leonard co-write to boot! So why are we getting this redux in every way? And why is my score so high for it? Well, for starters, the production, which does the majority of the heavy lifting here. It's this soft, delicate, twisting, intriguing soundscape. The first verse slowly fading in like when you hear a radio on in the distance and strain your ears to figure out what the song is, before it explodes into the elegant electronica of the chorus probably makes up the majority of the points I gave it. It serves drama and a switch up. And of course, Mother sounds phenomenal. Her cadence and delivery is like the surface of a lake in the morning before the world wakes up; still, smooth, mesmerising, reflective. Whoever out of William Orbit and Marius De Vries was in charge of the vocal production did the damn thing. And from there the whole thing achieves this crystalline lift off. It's one of the cleanest, most economical songs on Ray Of Light. So much of the album relies on grungy guitars and stately strings, while "Nothing Really Matters" is probably the finest example of the electronica that Madonna is always referenced as having used for inspiration during the album. It also contains backing vocals by the iconic Niki and Donna. So, it has that going for it, at least. And also... okay, maybe we do need love. I've basically oscillated between furious and sad for the last six months. We been knew. That's not exactly a unique combination for anyone at this current time... but I have managed to have bright spots that made me realise I was maybe taking the things I did and, more importantly, the people I did them with for granted. And it's made even doing the simplest of things, like grabbing a drink, or a meal, or a random catch up in the park feel like a gift. And maybe I need to keep that perspective at the moment, and allow it to help me read this song differently too: that we should cherish the sources of love and joy in our lives, whether it's in the form of a baby (no) or finally seeing your friends again after a few months. And that's about as much time as I want to spend on this song before my fragile positive outlook melts, so. As a single, "Nothing Really Matters" received a video which... I'm not really sure counts as cultural appropriation? Even at the time, Madonna was clear in stating the source of her inspirations, but it's not her culture to be inspired by and that opening look is maybe crossing a bit of a line, but apart from that, it's a sleek, stylised, intriguing treatment for one of the simpler songs on the album. It was also the video that launched a thousand kimonos on Season 8 of RuPaul's Drag Race, which Season 3 winner Raja gloriously dragged. Tea. The song was also performed during the 1999 Grammys, in the now-iconic Gaultier kimono from the video. Mother... sounds a little honky tbh. However, it's far from being the honkiest Ray Of Light promo performance from the era. But we'll get to that later. Enjoy!