The Celebration Rate: Four Decades Of Music - The Madonna Album Rate

My average score across these 15 albums is 7.883, and it includes one 11 and one 10. I didn't score anything with less than a 5.
Technically, I'm pretty sure there is not a single album ever released that I'd rate with a 10/10 because there's always at least one song which prevents it from being a perfection but I got use of these perfect scores for my top 2 faves and the rest kinda fell into place and I didn't rely too much on my rate averages (even though rating an album is definitely more difficult as a concept for me).
 
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"I'm Breathless" and "MDNA" fighting for the last place:

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Actually MDNA is way better than I'm Breathless if we're being honest, it might be uninspired and patchy but there are some genuinely great songs on it. There's really only one correct first elimination.
 
It has to be MDNA out first*. I’m Breathless is not good, but it’s harmless. MDNA is a parasitic disease on her career and I look forward to the post-mortem teebs.

*it won’t be because I know some of y’all’s taste.

I mean I know MDNA gets a bad rep but I seriously doubt anyone here would genuinely rather listen to the likes of Cry Baby, I'm Going Bananas, More, What Can You Lose, etc over songs like Falling Free, Beautiful Killer, Give Me All Your Luvin, Gang Bang etc. MDNA at least houses a solid EP... I'm Breathless very much doesn't, and features some of the lowest lows in Madonna's discography too.
 
Actually MDNA is way better than I'm Breathless if we're being honest, it might be uninspired and patchy but there are some genuinely great songs on it. There's really only one correct first elimination.
Both are trash in their own ways dd

"He's a Man" and especially "Something to Remember" are saving "I'm Breathless" from the ultimate demise and yes, "MDNA" does have a few more highlights. Both albums house some of her ultimate career lows too though.
 
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Gang Bang, Beautiful Killer and Love Spent are all great Madonna songs.

They sure would be if the awful mixing didn't make me want to take my ear drums out with a potato peeler.

I'm Breathless isn't an album I stan by any means, but I think it was the first time she took a major risk sonically and was fully committed to The Vision. Not to mention she sounds great on it. So for that I rate it much higher than MDNA.
 
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It must be because I was subjected to Golden and Disco but I can live with some of the mixing choices here nn.

Those are still listenable – they're just not great albums! Madonna is completely buried in the majority of the songs on MDNA. Vocal production all over the damn place. I've brought it up many times before, but the glaring example of how badly her vocals were handled on MDNA is heard when comparing the Martin Solveig mix of "Turn Up The Radio" vs the album version. She sounds amazing on the remix. Full of life, even. It's also not hiding behind the instrumental. Then the vocal on the album version is reedy, cold, and pushed back in the mix. Yet it's the same exact take.



So as good of an album MDNA could be, it's just not. Good songs don't mean anything if they're unlistenable.
 
Those are still listenable – they're just not great albums! Madonna is completely buried in the majority of the songs on MDNA. Vocal production all over the damn place. I've brought it up many times before, but the glaring example of how badly her vocals were handled on MDNA is heard when comparing the Martin Solveig mix of "Turn Up The Radio" vs the album version. She sounds amazing on the remix. Full of life, even. It's also not hiding behind the instrumental. Then the vocal on the album version is reedy, cold, and pushed back in the mix. Yet it's the same exact take.



So as good of an album MDNA could be, it's just not. Good songs don't mean anything if they're unlistenable.


Oh wow this really highlights how a vocal can be improved by the production.
 
MDNA should definitely leave before I'm Breathless. They're her two weakest albums, and I don't have much affection for either, but I can at least respect what she was going for with I'm Breathless (except for "I'm Going Bananas" which is the absolute nadir of her career). There's an actual concept and a sense of artistic vision on Breathless, whereas MDMA doesn't seem to have any purpose other than to build off of the hype of the Superbowl performance and to help launch another tour.
 
I’m Breathless contains some of her best vocal work, is a sonic departure/experiment, has a very overt context and reason for existing, contains multitudes (silly, sad, bop, bizarre etc) and she generally put her whole Dick into it.

MDNA is a stain by comparison, and the only time I’ve ever felt that the wheels might have begun to come off.

They should both be low/bottom end of the list but come off it with the idea that MDNA is deserving of flowers. It’s fleeting moments of greatness are mostly ruined by poor production and mixing. It’s just a poor product that is beneath both her and us as fans.
 
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