Gotcha. SCORE: 9.43 11 x 5 @Lucy Honeychurch @Sleepycat @Holly Something @FrozenNight @Weslicious 2015 PLACEMENT: UP 1 - 10 of 210 (9.247) HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 83 (@Tigerlily @Vasilios @cheida @Raichu @No hay banda @dodoriazarbon @eatyourself @HEARTCORE @nanafan @djmakemewet @discoteca @Sprockrooster @Euphoria @maverick_79 @tylerc904 @Doenjang @Future Lover @JMRGBY @DJHazey @Remyky22 @AllGagaLike @Cutlery @Suburbia @matthew. @gezza76 @soratami @Mirwais Ahmadzaï @Andrew.L @relby @elear @Andy French @Up Down Suite @torontodj @Joe. @Dreampopboy @Skyline @FridayNight @Modeblock @Coochi @DominoDancing @muddleddreams @scottdisick94 @Drew @Robsolete @Fortune @Sideout @MilesAngel @unnameable @RetroPhysical @citoig @joeee @VeryPSB @DinahLee @BEST FICTION @Candy Perfume Girl @Miss Lange @Crisp X @Epic Chocolat @Mister_G @phoenix123 @Lila @K94 @clowezra @Rogue @wintersleep @TheChoirgirlHotel @KingBruno @eliminathan @Trinu 3.0 @MrMannacroix @LTG @ufint @Mikl C @M24 @nametag @sexercise @Mr Blonde @happiestgirl @Music Is Death @japanbonustrack @fancygreen @Bangers&Bops @Touchofmyhand) LOWEST SCORE: 7.5 x 7 (@AshtrayHeart @Dangerous Maknae @rdp @Sail On @ABoy’sGot2Suffer4Fashion @Verandi @Ramalama) MY SCORE: 9.5/10 Your hearts are not open, so it must go. Y'all have been wondering for quite a while what it was that was keeping "The Power Of Good-Bye" here, and the answer was... yourselves. The lowest score section tells the story quite perfectly. It was just an incredibly consistent scorer across the board. Maybe the most consistent scorer in the entire rate outside of a few girls in the Top 5. It does also, however, more or less fall exactly where it fell in 2015: as our first cut of the Top 10, and sharing the podium with another song. It remains to be seen if it's the same song next to it... We spoke about stories last night, and how in a perfect world, they resolve neatly. However, sometimes, they just need to resolve. Be it messily, sadly, brutally, or finally. @dodoriazarbon spoke on this already a few... weeks ago (?) when calls started for this track to leave, but yes: closure is important. Whether we realise or not, we compartmentalise our lives. We put life events into blocks and apply a narrative to our own lives. It's not necessarily a bad thing; it's a method of processing the things that happen to us, but if we don't close the door on something that is finished, we can get... stuck, perpetually in the grip of the past when it has no right to any claim on us anymore. You need to move on from all things eventually, and it's in that entire situation that we find Madonna on this track, yearning more the closure than anything else. The relationship has already ended, the post-mortem documented in the verses. So why are they both still here, standing sentry over a cold grave? Eventually, you have to go. The credits for "The Power Of Good-Bye" read like a Madonna supergroup of collaborators: Patrick Leonard, William Orbit, and none other than Rick Nowels, who is credited for writing the track along with the queen herself. It's an absolutely perfect track; absolutely glimmering with melancholy and longing, with maybe the album's most elastic, emotional outing with strings, which follow Madonna across the track, spiking and subduing in all the right places, and once again, William Orbit winds electronica around strings and guitars to create an absolutely beastly pop ballad. It also seems to be one of Madonna's most praised lyrical efforts, and it's hard to disagree. There's an economy and flow to them that are just sublime. A lyric like "I was your fortress you had to burn." is such a packed line. Like, what does it mean? That she was something for him to take shelter in before destroying? That he infiltrated her? That he had a self-destructive compulsion to obliterate his own sanctuary? Whole realms of stories told in a few words: that's talent. Madonna's vocal performance here is also just otherworldly. The fact that the same person sang this and "Rescue Me" is insane. Truly the voice of a generation! Forty octaves! It makes what happens when she performs it live all the more... depressing, but we'll get to that. It's without a doubt one of Madonna's finest ballads in a career that houses one of pop's best ballads already, and... I do think it deserves to be here, hyphenated or not. The first of our 11/10s to say something on this is @FrozenNight, who says, "I knew this would be one of my favourites, but playing it again after (mistakenly) not playing it for a while made me well up a bit. The lyrics really cut deep ‘Freedom comes when you learn to let go, creation comes when you learn to say no’, gets me every time. William Orbit’s production here shines with an outstanding and emotive vocal from Madonna. A deeply relatable song for anyone going through a break up or any kind of relationship ending. For me it also symbolises accepting change with a positive outlook which hits all too well with what is going on in the world at the moment." Hmm, I'm not sure I entirely agree that the song ends on a positive note considering the video leaves you wondering she walked into the sea in the end, but I do think you're meant to think of endings, at least. Next up is @Holly Something, "I'll admit to having a bunch of contenders (Crazy For You, Frozen, Sorry, Like A Prayer and Human Nature) but this is the one I had to land on when I looked in my heart. The lyrics have such a poignancy about them, and it's a message that I feel has only got stronger as I get older. Having to say goodbye to someone, whether through the end of a relationship, or the end of a friendship or even death really is the hardest thing to deal with. Really sitting and listening to the lyrics she manages to sum up some of my deeper feelings about my separation from my husband ("You were my lesson, I had to learn"). Also the production is just stunning, atmospheric and dreamy and orchestral but also electronic. It's just... everything really." I have a feeling you won't be the only one who has a connection like that to this song. Finally, we close with @Sleepycat, who found revelation in a fairly surprising place, "Choosing an 11 from this album alone was difficult enough, never mind from the whole discography, but in the end the decision was made for me by a Youtube comment, of all things: “this song helped me leave my abusive ex husband in 2001”. As a survivor of abuse it speaks to me on the same personal level. The way her voice almost breaks on the line “pain is a warning that something’s wrong”, the stunning vocals and strings, the transcendent “do you wanna go higher….?” Everything about it is perfect. In a discography of objective 11s, this is, to me, an 11 point 5 and I believe it has probably changed a lot of people's lives for the better. Thank you Madonna." The video for "The Power Of Good-Bye" is a feast, and I don't just mean the visual spreader bar that is Goran Višnjić starring in it as Madonna's piece that she desperately needs to let go of... so can grab him. Finger my rook, honey. The real magic for this video, for me, is in the distortion effects, mostly because... well, that's kind of what happens to things that go on too long, isn't it? They warp; get twisted. There are very subtle effects that make Madonna seem demonic in the first pass, before the distortion fully takes hold at the peak of the drama in the middle-eight, and the several passes of the chorus at the end. The colouring is beautiful and also means it's in-keeping with the cold blues and greys that "Frozen" set as the era's official colour scheme, which is a pop nerd erection right there. Shout out to Madonna's body double since queen obviously doesn't get anywhere near an actual beach. Shout out also to Madonna's body double's wig, which looks to be floating a good six inches off her scalp in some shots. "Batuka" was more convincing, sis. I also enjoy the recurring the motif of water across Ray Of Light making a reappearance here too. The live performances... remember when I said that the Grammys performance of "Nothing Really Matters" wasn't the honkiest performance of the era? I'm honestly confident in saying that every performance of "The Power Of Good-Bye" is bad. In both of the ones with live vocals, Madonna just can't... find the note. And when she does, she hunts it down and mercilessly guts it. She performs it like she hates it. It's like she just can't... relax into it? I don't know. "struggle" and "Madonna" are two words that are rarely in the same sentence, but... yeah. It's no wonder it hasn't been on a single tour setlist, along with the similarly butchered "Nothing Really Matters". And the lipsyncing ones are just awkward as fuck; for someone who came up during a time where miming on television was far more acceptable, Madonna actually has a very small amount of lip-synced performances. But then, I suppose all the televised promo was in the videos back then. I've also included the demo for people who are curious about it; it's genuinely haunting to these ears. Hearing how it was scrubbed up into a pop-radio-ready ballad is quite impressive. Also, mother's vocal... why did she make us suffer through those live performances when she was doing that in the studio? Enjoy!