Madonna: The Discography Rate - COMPLETE | Page 506 | The Popjustice Forum

Madonna: The Discography Rate - COMPLETE

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by RJF, Apr 19, 2020.

  1. RJF



    SCORE: 9.209

    11 x 1


    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!

  2. I understand critiques of this song, but it's so euphoric and liberatory that I just ascend every time.

    My Madonna playlist begins with Vogue, Deeper & Deeper, Nothing Really Matters, Get Together, and God Control. None of them are my 11. Replace with basic Club 69 remix for a dancier through line.

    (I seldom actually listen to said playlist, especially in order, but a mood is a mood.)
  3. I wanted to point that out too. Dallas Austin and Babyface worked with TLC years before and after Madonna (and Human Nature is more in line with West Coast hip hop, no?)
  4. Nothing Really Matters is interesting, because I absolutely agree with the sentiment @RJF expressed about the lyrics being a bit...surface-level - and it actually crossed my mind just the other day, how funny - but honestly, M's delivery and the production do a lot to keep it from hurtling into Heal The World territory; there's a sincerity to it all that elevates it. And speaking of the production, it is immaculate - the middle eight followed by that furious piano solo is one of my favorite moments in her discography.

    Also, the remixes were excellent, particularly her first and sadly only to-date outings with Kruder & Dorfmeister:

  5. I like this song but it’s not Top 20 Madonna in the real world, definitely a surprise for me.
    Push, Chezam, Verandi and 2 others like this.
  6. Skin follow by Nothing Really Matters. Maybe one of her greatest two-punches.

    Pure bliss.

  7. Fantastic song! Always thought it was weird it was released as the final single since it’s definitely one of the more commercial sounding songs on the album.
    Maki, stuaw and Mister_G like this.
  8. I'm sure I read that Madonna believes it flopped as a single, hence why she ignores it on all tours?

    Fucking brilliant (obviously cultural appropriation aside) music video too.
    stuaw, joeee and Mister_G like this.
  9. That eerie intro. Those pristine vocals. The glorious middle 8. That piano breakdown. The moment when Nikki and Donna join in and it starts to feel as though the entire universe has collectively decided to ascend.

    I stan. Hard.
  10. I remember reading it was considered for the Re-Invention Tour and switched out for Frozen. I think it could’ve made a nice addition to the Madame X Tour as well, or The MDNA Tour with Kalakan.
    P'NutButter likes this.
  11. One of her best remix packages for sure.
    stuaw likes this.
  12. 2014

    2014 Staff Member

    I always forget how good Nothing Really Matters is and then I listen and that thumping chorus - it bangs.
  13. I see my 10's are starting to cannibalize each other... and now I'm only down to five perfect scores *sigh*

    "Nothing Really Matters" is fantastic and absolutely deserves a spot in the top 20. I would even place it in top 10 among her discography, or even top 5 given which songs are still left.
    A bit of an unpopular opinion is that it's my favourite single from "Ray of Light", alongside "Frozen", of course.

    Also, @Phonetics Boy - what are these scores for "Sky Fits Heaven" and "Nothing Really Matters"?
    They're very unlike you...
  14. Nothing Really Matters is an absolute must if she ever does an Anti Tour-style deep cuts show.
  15. If only the 1999 tour had come to fruition we probably would have a big performance of it.
    Womanizer and Andy French like this.
  16. At this stage any elimination that isn't Erotica is a win for me.
    dylanaber likes this.
  17. I know we have a new elimination but I'm still dwelling on fully losing Bedtime Stories. At the risk of getting a bit sentimental, Bedtime Stories has earned a newfound appreciation from me as it was the first Madonna album I got to share with my boyfriend.

    I think my lack of appreciation for the album prior to that was a lack of perspective: Bedtime Stories is one of Madonna's most introspective works, and having spent my early years stanning her more polarized work it ended up getting lost in the shuffle for me. I remember it was a late weekend night and we were at a loss because if I recall right it was miserably cold out so we rolled one and I suggested we listen to Bedtime Stories as it seemed the most aligned with his music taste. He had a passing knowledge of Madonna's work at this point but this was his first full album listen. What caught me off guard as the album played was how disarmingly...intimate about listening to Bedtime Stories with another person, particularly someone you care for. Love as a shroud or form of protection is hardly new territory for pop music, but I think it works remarkably well in Madonna's hands as even by 1994 she had weathered more storms than many artists can withstand throughout their career.

    There's an earned sense of resignation to songs like Secret and Love Tried to Welcome Me, an entrancing pull to Inside of Me, Forbidden Love and Sanctuary. This is made all the more impactful by the occasions where Madonna does gaze outward just slightly, be it on Human Nature or the title track: these moments solidify Bedtime Stories as a Madonna Album first and foremost, and I think serve as the perfect example for how Madonna is simply unparalleled as far as consistently delivering distinct album eras that feel both self-contained and part of a larger framework. Beyond this, Bedtime Stories connected with me as someone who had never really questioned their ability to give or receive love until they were asked to do so. Met with this, I struggled more than I ever anticipated in that first year of my relationship be it from internalized shame or fear of rejection. Bedtime Stories opened up a world where intimacy isn't just physical or even tangible: it is a mutual exchange, a gift you have to be willing to accept and also honor in order to cultivate it. Whereas I once perceived Bedtime Stories as a bit of a PR move (which in some ways rings true) it is more so a meditation on identity and how we express love. Why do we hold on or let go, what does it mean to be vulnerable, who is at the forefront of our minds in the stillness and who do we run to in our weakest moments? I've long turned to Madonna for clarity yet Bedtime Stories illuminated things I didn't even realize I needed to understand. For that it will always hold an especially dear place in my heart.
  18. Ultimately I'm really glad she got to do Evita, and obviously being pregnant with Rocco threw a wrench into the '99 tour - plus we probably wouldn't have gotten Music as we know it - but I think I'm always going to wonder what those two "lost tours" would have been like.
    rav4boy and joeee like this.
  19. Yeah me too. I would obviously rather have the Music album than the 1999 tour but it’s really interesting to think about what those tours could’ve looked like.

    I remember reading that Liz Rosenberg said the Ray of Light Tour would exclusively consist of songs from Erotica, Bedtime Stories, and Ray of Light, and Christopher had the concept of the show revolving round a tree changing its leaves like seasons of the year.
  20. RJF


    Glad y'all who love Bedtime Stories are giving it a better eulogy than I could muster dd.
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