[128] Overall, American Life became the 32nd bestselling album of 2003,[129] with five million copies sold worldwide.[130][131][132]. During the early 1990s, Madonna had focused on a number of provocative releases, like the erotic pictorial book Sex, the sadomasochist inspired album Erotica, and the erotic thriller, Body of Evidence, all of which she deduced was due to "a lot of rage and anger" within herself. So it was totally spontaneous," she added. [4] Madonna also remembered Ahmadzaï's downbeat existentialism regarding the condition of society around them, and the long discussions they had into the night, which ultimately reflected into the songwriting as anxiety they felt in their heart. [60] A second video was produced, showing Madonna donning military clothing and singing in front of the various flags of the world. Skip to main content Hello, Sign in. [32] The album cover was also compared to an infamous 1970s photo of kidnapped newspaper heiress, Patty Hearst. followed by minutes of silence. [56] "American Life" was released as the lead single from the album on April 8, 2003 in the United States and on April 14, 2003 in Europe. "[22] "American Life", the title track, is the first song on the record. Both had previously collaborated on Madonna's studio album Music (2000). Since electronic music was already popular, Ahmadzaï felt that it was necessary to go back to its underground roots and focus on the songwriting, rather than the technical aspects of recording and mixing. Recorded at three different studios using Ahmadzaï's own gear along with the studio's SSL mixing consoles, the album's recording process was often laborious but was sparse in the musical arrangements of the songs. But he faced problems with it, so he used a Yamaha O2R mixer. [101] On July 7, 2003, just months after the release, it was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), signifying shipment of one million copies in the US alone. According to biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli, the presence of Ritchie in Madonna's life had a calming effect on the singer, making her more matured and easing her temper. [7] Discussing her thoughts on the conception of the album, she told Q magazine that through her 20 years of being in the entertainment industry, she would have a correct opinion on fame and fortune and its perils, which would be the base of the album.[4]. And I just want to tell people, take it from me, I have all those things and none of them ever brought me one minute of happiness. [98] It was Madonna's second consecutive number one debut, and her fifth number one album overall in the US. In 2004, American Life was nominated at the 46th Grammy Awards in two categories "Best Short Form Music Video" and "Best Dance Recording", both for the song "Die Another Day. One of Madonna's most underrated records was her tenth studio album "American Life" from 2003. [26] The tenth track is "Die Another Day", the theme to the James Bond film of the same name which featured dominating string and synth parts. [17] This approach was an imperative for American Life. [24] The fourth track "Love Profusion" starts with another acoustic guitar introduction, with rhythm being produced by a bass drum with synth-strings added later in the song. And we're also completely obsessed with the way we look." [118] The album also gained Platinum certifications in countries such as France,[119] Russia,[120] and Switzerland,[121] and Gold certifications in Brazil,[122] Greece,[123] and the Netherlands. [95][96] Another nomination was for a similar category at the NRJ Music Awards of 2004. [17] Two machines were used for the vocal editing in "Hollywood". [54] The song also peaked at number two in the UK,[62] seven in Austria and Australia,[63][64] and ten in France and Germany. [25], Acoustic guitars introduces the seventh track, "Intervention". The worldwide singles were Die Another Day, American Life, Hollywood, Nobody Knows … Describing it as a metaphor, Madonna said that "in Hollywood you can lose your memory and your vision of the future. And it follows through on that promise, sometimes explicitly and sometimes implicitly, but either way, American Life winds up as the first Madonna record with ambitions as serious as a textbook. [82] Dimitri Ebrlich of Vibe magazine gave a positive review for American Life, saying that Madonna "stayed still" in the album, and commenting that "This may be the first time Madonna hasn't pushed herself to explore new ground, but at least she's chosen a good place to rest. The title track and lead single was hampered by that rap, in… The album peaked at number one in fourteen countries. [100] It continued to decrease in sales down the chart and fell off the Billboard 200. [31] Author Santiago Fouz-Hernández wrote in his book, Madonna's Drowned Worlds: New Approaches to Her Subcultural Transformations, that the inclusion of Guevara as an inspiration for the cover was one of the many instances of Madonna incorporating Hispanic identity and the Latino subculture in her work. Available with an Apple Music subscription. [50][51] The plan for the box set was eventually cancelled and Remixed & Revisited was released in its place. "[4] According to Lucy O'Brien, author of Madonna: Like an Icon, another concept of American Life was about "nothingness". Listen free to Madonna – American Life (American Life, Hollywood and more). Then again, it could also be that this is the first time that Madonna has elected to rap -- frequently and frenetically -- on a record, something that logistically would fit with Mirwais' dense, house-heavy productions, but sound embarrassingly awkward coming out of her mouth. The poster released for the tour used one of the images from the installation project. The song debuted at number ninety on the Billboard Hot 100,[61] and peaked at number thirty-seven on the chart, becoming Madonna's 45th Top 40 hit in the chart. [54][70] Also, it debuted and peaked at eleven on UK Singles Chart, becoming Madonna‘s sixth single, of eight, to miss the top ten on that chart, after "One More Chance" (1996). Label: Maverick - 9362-48439-2,Warner Bros. Records - 9362-48439-2 • Format: CD Album, Enhanced Explicit • Country: Europe • Genre: Electronic, Rock, Pop • Style: Folk Rock, Electro, Acoustic, Downtempo, Electroclash But all initial directions of the tracks were made in my home studio. [10] But "Nothing Fails", along with tracks "Intervention" and "X-Static Process," became the centerpiece of the album as a triptych of love songs for Ritchie. [54] American Life became the first album to achieve seven top ten songs on this chart. [25] Lyrically, the song discusses a lover who is the one, and how their meeting was not just chance. It was actually recorded between American Life … [94] At the Hungarian Music Awards of 2004 and 2005, the album was nominated both times in the category of "International Pop Album of the Year", but failed to win. The album, produced by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzaï, features references to many parts of American culture. Label: Maverick - 9362 48454 2,Warner Bros. Records - 9362 48454 2 • Format: CD Album, Enhanced • Country: UK • Genre: Electronic, Pop • Style: Synth-pop, Electro, Pop Rock American … You can lose everything because you can lose yourself. Tom Hannen and Simon Changer, both of them worked as assistant engineer during the recording. The song is a criticism of the American … "[4] American Life became Madonna's final studio album with Maverick Records, and marked the end of an eleven-year recording history with the label. [49] After "Hollywood" was performed by Madonna, she engaged in kissing with both Spears and Aguilera becoming an infamous moment for all three acts and in television history. [70] "Love Profusion", was the fourth and final single from the album, released on December 8, 2003. [25] Lyrically, the song is an optimistic track about how a relationship will last as Madonna says "the road looks lonely but that's just Satan's game". [47] A stage was built in preparation for the performances with long dark drapes and large speakers, and according to Billboard was so that over one thousand fans nearby could hear the performance. The album is a concept album, with themes of the American Dream and materialism. She returned to the Olympic Recording Studios and Sarm West Studios in late 2002 and finished off the sessions in London and Los Angeles in early 2003. 11 tracks (49:33). It was released on April 21, 2003, by Maverick Records and Warner Bros. Records. American Life is an album performed by a vocalist who has abandoned the U.S. for the … [3] She believed that the ensuing months with the war would lead to a politically charged atmosphere throughout the country, and wanted to express that in the record. The song was a top five hit in Canada, Italy and the United Kingdom. Even so, there's a lot that's interesting about American Life -- the half-hearted stabs at politics fall aside, and there are things bubbling in the production that are quite infectious, while the stretch from "Nobody Knows Me" to "X-Static Process" in the middle of the record can be quite moving. [72], In 2003, Madonna collaborated with photographer Steven Klein for an art installation project called X-Static Process. It was first released on April 21, 2003, by Maverick Records and Warner Bros. Records. [99] The next week, sales dropped by 62% to 91,000 copies, and the album slid from the top of the chart to number eight. How can you say that money won't bring you happiness if you don't have a lot of money? A reference to the "tree of life" is made during the song as Madonna states "I'm not religious" but she wishes to pray. The album, produced in its entirety by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzaï, features references to many parts of American culture. View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the 2003 Explicit CD release of American Life on Discogs. [25] The guitar is accompanied by a "light" drum section and low-pitched vocals from Madonna. While there are some interesting sounds on these tracks, they sound bleak and hermetically sealed, separate from what's happening either in the mainstream or in the underground. These themes reject the reputation Madonna held in the 1980s, earned by songs such as her worldwide hit "Material Girl" (1985). [23] The lyrics accompany a "punchy octave synth figure" synchronized with a drum and bass beat. But he used it to create a new groove. The duo are best known for their collaborations with musicians and Madonna hired the duo after discussing the concept for just six minutes. ", A sample of the song's chorus, backed by an, A 22-second sample of the song's chorus, featuring Madonna singing about the lifestyle of, Recording Industry Association of America, International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, Australian Recording Industry Association, "Los40.com Estrena en Exclusiva El Nuevo álbum de Madonna, American Life", "Jem Out To Make People Forget All About The Holograms", "Madonna, don't preach – you're still Material Girl", "Madonna: Five Things She Needs to Do on Her Next Album", "CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK; Madonna's Real Art: Getting Attention", "Master Minds: From album covers to Calvin Klein ads, the artists have revolutionised the way we see fashion", "Critic's Notebook; Madonna's Real Art: Getting Attention", "Madonna Follows Spiritual Muse For New Album", "Like a virgin – Madonna hacked for the very first time", "Madonna Plans to Take Her 'Life' to MTV", "Madonna Smooches With Britney And Christina; Justin, Coldplay Win Big At VMAs", "Madonna Box Set Will Mark 20th Anniversary Of Her First LP", "Madonna, Clay Aiken in Top 50 Worst Songs Ever", "Madonna Yanks Controversial 'American Life' Video", "Madonna Defends Her Violent 'American Life' Video", "2003 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive", "Chartverfolgung: Madonna American Life (single)", "Weighty Madonna: Rhonda Lieberman on "X-STaTIC PRo=CeSS, "Madonna Tour Gets Top 'Backstage Pass' Honor", "Re – Invention named Top Tour in Billboard awards", "Recording Academy Announces Artists to Introduce Performances on 46th Annual GRAMMY Awards Telecast", "2003 MTV Video Music Awards Winners List", "A 2004. évi Fonogram – Magyar Zenei Díj jelöltjei", "A 2005. évi Fonogram – Magyar Zenei Díj jelöltjei", "Madonna's 'Life' Easily Debuts At No. "[9] The beginning of the album cleared away what was not important for her, so Madonna could concentrate on the things that did matter. I have a journal and I note down ideas I get from newspapers and books". [80] Billboard's Michael Paoletta noted the lyrical differences from past albums such as Ray of Light positively, saying "American Life relies less on spiritual introspection and more on woman-in-the-mirror confrontation. Hosted by Carson Daly, she sang songs from the album and answered questions from the audience. But, overall, American Life is better for what it promises than what it delivers, and it's better in theory than practice. [11] The track is followed by the folk-inspired "Intervention" and "X-Static Process," both being reflective and emotional. [45][46] Another performance on Tower's Fourth Street in Manhattan was presented to around 400 people. [77][78] A documentary, titled I'm Going to Tell You a Secret, which chronicled the tour, was released in 2005. A controversial music video was pulled after scenes of war and violence were criticized which led to an edited version being released. [18] It was divided into five acts with different themes: French Baroque-Marie Antionette Revival, Military-Army, Circus-Cabaret, Acoustic and Scottish-Tribal segments. [2] The event had a profound effect on American society, with the cultural mood being bleakness and paranoia. While American Life certainly wasn't the kiss of death for Madonna, her ninth studio album did end one of the winningest streaks in the history of … [25] "Nobody Knows Me" is the fifth track, featuring vocoder treated vocals. I believe more singles were released from this album than any other. [23] The second track and single "Hollywood" is introduced with sounds of tweeting birds, before an acoustic guitar starts with a four chord sequence that has been compared to songs by the band Red Hot Chili Peppers. [17] He explained that there are some influences from his work, but Madonna mostly wanted a minimalist structure for the album. Try it free. On September 11, 2001, suicide bombers hijacked two jet airliners and crashed into the World Trade Center, resulting in the death of nearly 3,000 people. Blender magazine listed the song as the ninth worst song ever. Account & Lists Sign in Account & Lists Returns & Orders. American rapper Missy Elliott also performed her song "Work It" halfway through the performance. So, in contrast to the first three tracks, the later songs on American Life also deal with issues close to the singer's heart, like talking about her relationship with her parents on the track "Mother and Father". Without a compelling back story, her songs seem diminished". [85] Johny Davis from NME gave the album a rating of seven out of ten, saying that technically the album sounds good, but overall it felt like an unnecessary sequel to Madonna's previous endeavors like Ray of Light and Music. [18] During the Q Awards, Elton John accused Madonna for lip-synching in her shows which gained great controversy but was denied by Madonna's representatives. In addition, the page included an impromptu marriage proposal to Morgan Webb, the host of the daily technology show The Screen Savers. [3] American Life was deemed by some as a concept album featuring political themes based around the United States, with Madonna explaining that she felt "like America has changed over the years and that a lot of our values seem to be materially oriented and so superficial. "[21] Jon Pareles, writing for The New York Times, characterized the album's sound as a "mixture of acoustic guitar-picking, ticking drum machines and swooping, buzzing synthesizer lines", adding that "The guitar signals the sincerity of a singer-songwriter, while all the gizmos add the retro catchiness of the synth-pop music now being revived under the name electroclash. 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