Madonna Music (Maverick)
Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., Oct. 13, 2000
Music (Maverick)Madonna, that cheeky little wench, has obviously had her fill of the Britney-Jessica-Christina clones encroaching on her sacred Queen of Clubs dance floor, so what does she do? Shimmies into get-the-hell-out-of-Dodge duds, cocks her index finger like a gun, and blows away the competition. Returning to her dance roots is a smart move, but she's very coy about it, always keeping one step ahead of the game. Celebrating Music's release in a glitzy L.A. dance club, with fans breathlessly sporting their best cowboy drag and Stetsons, Madonna showed up hatless and straight-haired in a subdued pants-and-blouse combo. Would you have expected less? No, and that's why Music is a delightful experience, as retro in its disco-glory-days sound as her pseudo-Nudie ensemble in the booklet's gatefold is just for show. "Music" the single is already an unqualified success, but she's taking a critical drubbing. Too synthy, too disco, too teenybopper. Well duh! Who thought Madonna made music for grownups? This near-40-year-old mother of two may still be singing about "boys," but there's nothing wrong with her post-teen angst. Main producer/collaborator Mirwais Ahmadzai provides the throb that permeates Music's 10 tracks, helping create the adolescent heartache of "I Deserve It," a simple song layered over a dance track, and as naked and tender a ballad as the Material Girl has warbled in a while. Her two cuts with Ray of Light collaborator William Orbit, "Runaway Lover" and "Amazing," are gems akin to the single, ruby-studded high heel that's pictured on a bed of hay when you take the disc out of its jewel case. If Madonna's decided that a Wizard of Oz metaphor is in order, then you can't ignore the man behind the curtain, because when his mask is ripped away, it's Madonna herself rather than Dorothy, who's tucked safely back in Kansas.