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Madonna - GHV2
GHV2 stands for Greatest Hits Volume 2 and was released in 2001.
Duration: 68.26 minutes
When you're talking about pop music then you quickly talk about Madonna. Born in 1958 she's rightfully called the Queen of Pop. This American singer sold worldwide for more than 300 million albums and is considered the best-selling female singer at all times. The first album was released in 1983 and since then it's impossible to imagine the music world without her. She is not only busy with music but she is also an actress, director and she does many more things.
Deeper and Deeper
Deeper and Deeper begins with a dramatic piece with a sort of heavy keyboard sound and then the voice of Madonna who repeats the words 'Deeper and Deeper ". Soon it becomes more a up tempo soon. The heavy keyboard sound is still present, although at the end you even have some Spanish influences. The song has a nice beat, and sounds good.
The song begins with a sort of loud crackling of the radio and you hear the voice of Madonna. This voice sounds soft and erotic. She does not really sing, but speaks more like in a sexy way.You have a catchy beat, so this number is actually quite nice to hear. It's a mid tempo song
A more r&b side of Madonna comes forward with Madonna singing "Express yourself, don't repress yourself. It is a quiet song with a particular drum beat on the background is present. The number remains very slow with a repeat of Express Yourself, Don't repress yourself.
The song begins with a male voice saying: 'DJ put on the record. I want to dance with my baby. 'After that you can hear the electro beat on the foreground and after about 20 seconds Madonna stars singing. Her voice is soft and the infectious beat is clearly present. It is a more mid tempo song which certainly sounds good.
With the song secret you suddenly here the guitar and all the dance elektro influences are gone. It's a very laid back song with just the guitar and the voice of Madonna. It's a pleasant change on the album.
The Great East Hits Volume 2 album is well filled with great songs over a period of nearly 10 years. I must say, What It Feels Like for a Girl and Do not Cry for Me Argentina surely are two favorites of mine. They are unique and the voice of Madonna sounds very good. The album is well composed with a good mix of up tempo songs and more slower songs. The Dance influence is certainly more present in her later period. I recommend this album.
Songs on the album:
"Deeper and Deeper"
"Don't Cry for Me Argentina"
"The Power of Good-Bye"
"Take a Bow"
"Ray of Light"
"Don't Tell Me"
"What It Feels Like for a Girl"
"Drowned World/Substitute for Love"
**Before you read this, I will warn you as the reader and consumer; this album review does contain sexual references, therefore may not be suitable for a reader under the legal age or if this material type makes you feel uncomfortable**
Ever since I was a little girl I have admired Madonna. I wasn't allowed to listen to her music very often; that was until I was in my teens. This was because of the heavy sexual references portrayed through her lyrics. I have always thought of Madonna as an inspirationally great person and I have so much admiration for her career and her strength. I love her tunes lyrically (now I am older) and almost every song she releases nowadays is a hit. I have a lot of her albums ranging from her first album to her latest album release of 'American Life'.
I always find I can listen to Madonna regardless of my mood. Her voice has a lovely relaxing alto tone which makes her easy to listen too. This album is has a nice vocal mix and features smooth soft ballads to heavier dance tunes.
I feel that Madonna portrays a lot of controversy in her music; talking about sexual fantasy, sexuality and religious beliefs - a lot of which has been picked up on and criticised over the years by the media. Many artists veer away from such subjects lyrically, hence why another reason why I love this musically inspirational woman.
Madonna has a huge gay fan base and is it to any surprise?! I think that she is a very iconic role model within today's society; she not only demonstrates her musical talent but is a huge role model within her home life as well; a devoted wife and mother.
I wish to present my review with both facts and opinion, so please sit back and enjoy, here is my CD album review of:
**Madonna: "GHV2" (Greatest Hits Volume 2)**
Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone was born August 1958 in Michigan, USA. She has become a household name to millions of people across the world. Such an inspirational figure that very few people haven't heard of. This superstar has not only produced many musical hits over the many years of her career, but has also starred in movies and written books. She has used her fame and fortune to help promote charities and has helped fight against the war of Aids awareness (By donating her own money and also, by jumping on the bandwagon when most people shied away from such charities). She has constantly revamped her image in the many years of her career which has allowed her to keep her music fresh and yet original - I guess this is how she remains to be such an inspiration to so many people worldwide.
The tracks on this album compromise of 15 hits from several albums that Madonna has released since the start of her career. Most of the tracks on this album can fall into the 'Pop' or 'House/Trance' genres. With a various mix of eclectic and synthesised vocals, upbeat dance tunes and smooth soft ballads; this album really does cover a wide range of musical choice for the listener. Although I can appreciate her musical talents and ability, I am also aware that it does not appeal too ALL musical taste; I would still none the less like to tell you why I can appreciate this woman for her controversial works of music.
I have the single CD version of this album; which is contained with a standard clear CD case. The front cover has been kept nice and simple; featuring a 'zoomed in' photo of the beautiful artist herself. From this picture you can capture her sexiness and style. The inlay card has small images of Madonna all over it (Taken throughout her ever-changing career) and contained is lots of interesting information about the singer and the tracks on this album.
The CD disc label has a much jazzed up logo on it and is made up of black and white lines - very eye capturing.
The back cover of the CD case lists the album track listing with the duration of each track while there is a very intense image of Madonna's body and it is a very light green in colour.
**Track Listing & Information**
(1). Deeper And Deeper, 1992: Taken from the 'Erotica' album this song is lyrically very controversial as the lyrics are about a minor coming to terms with his homosexuality. This track caused uproar when people finally realised what the lyrics were about. Musically this is a great upbeat tune to listen too; it offers a great tune, strong bass and a hard rhythm, fantastic to dance along too. I can still appreciate the strength of the lyrical depth that is contained in this song, although I cannot personally relate to the meaningful lyrics. This is a classic track that offers strength and inspiration to many people.
(2). Erotica, 1992: Taken from the album of the same name this track is probably one of Madonna's most controversial songs. The lyrics of this track actually reveal the sexual fantasies and thoughts within a sexual relationship. At the time of release this track was actually banned from several radio stations' air play and children worldwide were stopped from listening to it by their parents. I particularly like this song as I feel although it is about the erotica between 2 persons; it does display sensualist expressions and a lot of sexual depth. It lyrically portrays what is now widely acceptable within society from a sexual aspect. Musically I find that when playing this song it does literally set the right ambience for love making. Madonna's smooth whispering vocal tones and sexual style of the accompanying instruments really set the pace for this song. Spectacular!
(3). Human Nature, 1994: This track was taken from the album 'Bedtime Stories'. This track was released with intent to point the finger at those who had turned their noses up at her previously released controversial songs (Deeper & Deeper and Erotica). I find that this tune is actually dipping more into the R&B genre than the normal 'pop' style that Madonna is more recognised for. The vocals in this tune are heavily layered and the instrumental tones back these poignant lyrics with such style. A track which is very similar in style and tone to 'Erotica', this tune again sets the mood for love making. A rather dull toned bass line can be heard throughout this song while the subtle striking of the guitar makes this song a great one to have playing when getting ready for a night out - slow paced and sensual!
(4). Secret, 1994: Another track taken from the 'Bedtime Stories' album, this song features more vocal layering all the while being played in a minor key throughout. It has a strong bass line to start with, again which enhances the introduction to the sexual side of love. It features guitar playing as well as small electronic sound effects and muffled bass in the chorus line. This song lyrically is in my opinion about love; the depth of the feelings love gives you and sexual trust within that love. I feel a lot about this song as it can be interpreted into many a personal feeling from my relationship. It offers much more than just sexual thought and provokes a lot of emotion within me. I love this track; although it may not be to everyone's taste, it's a very sensual style song and has been sung with a very intimate style so that it can probe your mind and sexual awareness.
(5). Don't Cry For Me Argentina, 1996: This track has been taken from the famous motion picture 'Evita' and was actually written by Tim Rice. A totally different track to the previously mentioned tracks this one is such a beautiful song. Musically it has a fabulously huge orchestral group backing it - of course being composed by the world famous 'Andrew Lloyd Webber' may have something to do with this. The instrumental just adds too the intensity of this song.
For those of you who have not seen or heard of the film 'Evita' here is a brief outline: Evita is a musical drama, based upon the hit stage production by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. It tells the life story of Eva Duarte (Madonna) who leaves her rural home for Buenos Aires in the company of a Latin singer - Agustin Magaldi (Jimmy Nail), she then eventually becomes the wife of Argentinean President Juan Peron (Jonathan Pryce), in turn leading to becoming a heroine to the people of the Argentinean nation.
In this track, Madonna shows off her vocalist talents with sheer ease. She shows off her vocalist range with great style and pure clarity. While this song is in a minor key (Making it quite sad) - I can still appreciate every word sung by Madonna to portray the role of her character Eva Peron. Sensational listening value and very awe inspiring all in one breathe.
(6). Bedtime Story, 1994: Taken from the controversial album 'Bedtime Stories', Madonna has actually collaborated with the likes of Nellie Hooper and Bjork to launch this trance/house style song. There is a lot of sexual tension portrayed through the lyrics of this song with lines such as "And inside we're still wet, longing and yearning, how can I explain how I feel? As well as "lets get unconscious honey, let's get unconscious". I think this song was a daring song to for Madonna to release and I feel that personally it is probably the most sexually explicit one to date. Musically it has a fast droned type beat and is great to dance too if going to a trance orientated club for the night. Vocally it features more layering effects, dull bass sounds and a lot of echoing. Controversially outstanding!
(7). The Power Of Good-bye, 1998: This track has been taken from the more recent 'Ray Of Light' album, of which saw Madonna collaborating with the likes of William Orbit (Re-mix artist) to compose some of her best known hits to date. This is a beautiful track about leaving your loved one. This has to be one of my all time favourites as it's a slower and more meaningful song. It offers depth and emotion too the listener - it certainly takes me back to many a mixed emotion I have felt when breaking up with my ex partners. Instrumentally this track features a variety of instruments. The most heavily featured of which are the keyboard, drums and a muffled bass guitar. It has several electronic sound effects over the top to enhance the intensity and sadness of the words. I love this song with a passion.
(8). Beautiful Stranger, 1999: Taken from the motion picture: Austin Powers the Spy Who Shagged Me but also featuring on her 'Music' album. This track is literally lyrically about meeting a stranger. She sings about her love and feelings of falling for this so called 'beautiful stranger' upon first sight. Although I cannot appreciate the lyrics literally, I certainly can appreciate the fast up-tempo tune, hard bass and fabulous beat that as I find - can get even the most dance floor-phobic person dancing along to in a nightclub. A lovely 'feel good' song - this track has done its job by certainly drawing a wider audience to the film and compliments the style of her world wide selling album 'Music'. Vocally this song is a great song for Madonna's vocal range and style. You can capture all the emotional elements and feeling from this song as Madonna sings with her alto voice.
(9). Frozen, 1998: Taken again, from Madonna's 'Ray Of Light' album. This song was a world-wide sensational hit when released. This is a musical inspiration both instrumentally and vocally. The musical composure of this song was very fresh and new when originally released in the late 90's. I am glad to see that this has made its way onto one of her 'Greatest Hits' album's, as it is a multi-inspired song which musically has an oriental style sound yet it features electronic synthesizers throughout. Lyrically it is a song about love and regret, emotion and feeling. I love this song with every respect. It offers much more than being just another Madonna song on a CD album, it offers strong meaning and as I find is very thought provoking as well. Should you ever get the chance to see the accompanying video to this track then please watch with awe as it is a very uniquely produced video. This track is very easy to listen too and takes my emotions to another level.
(10). Take A Bow, 1994: Going back to the 'Bedtime Stories' album this is another track that was taken from it. Produced and written by Madonna and Babyface, I interpret the lyrics to be about reflection - reflection of a failed relationship and also addressing the issue of how you can portray one's life as a 'role' in a play. I feel that the questionable message trying to be relayed is "How do you know which way the story ends, if it's all just a role in life?" Another thought provoking song with lyrics that cannot be ignored, as the listener you will bring this song to your own level emotionally - it can be a very intense song to listen too particularly if you have ever experienced the betrayal or cessation of a relationship. Instrumentally it has been sung and composed in a minor key to engage the listener, to heighten the levels of emotion and to express the depth of the lyrics. With the slow, rhythmic bass line, the gentle keyboard strokes and soft tone of Madonna's voice it makes for a beautiful song.
(11). Ray Of Light, 1998: Of course this track has been taken from the famous album of the same name. This song musically, features heavy synthesized tones, break beats, pulsating electronics and blunted trip-hop beats and is definitely one for the dance floor. Madonna has had a dab hand in the dance genre for sometime prior to this singles release, so it's not to my surprise that she has pulled this one off as a huge hit. Lyrically this is a very difficult song to appreciate. I feel that Madonna is portraying the life of a woman who lives life in the fast-lane. The lyrics are enhanced by the fast beat of this track. Musically, it has a lot of buzzing sound effects added to the chorus and throughout; the most prominent instruments to the listening ear are the bass guitar and drums. With fabulous listening value and is a tune for setting the tone before a night out.
(12). Don't Tell Me, 2000: Now, I really am not surprised that this track has made its way from her more recent 'Music' album to her 2nd greatest hits compilation. A very thought provoking song that features lots of style and rhythm. More synthesised tones in this track but certainly not like her 'Ray Of Light' song. It offers a sharp bass line that is very prominent throughout and is another perfect one to move your hips too. The keyboard has been echoed from the start to finish which accompanies Madonna's alto voice. When I listen to this track I find it to be very inspirational although still being unique - she sings about 'not being told' what to do and how you cannot 'tell the sun not to shine'. I think the message being portrayed is that you can only have control over certain things in life - a sensational song.
(13). What It Feels Like For A Girl, 2000: This song lyrically opens with a snippet of a speech by Charlotte Gainsbourg (Actress) from the movie 'The Cement Garden'. This is definitely a brave choice of song for Madonna yet being another track that she has successfully pulled off with great ease. How does she do it? Quite easily, this track has to be the sweetest song on this album. It has multi-layered instrumental backing to the chorus and again the bass line and drums feature heavily throughout this daring masterpiece. This song speaks volumes for a female in this world today. Ever lyric sung is true to me and I think this has to be one of Madonna's all time hits. This song is by no means exhilarating from every angle.
(14). Drowned World/Substitute For Love, 1998: Wow! What a masterpiece this track is. Musically it dips from genre to genre. Starting with words by a man this song offers an insight into Madonna's own feelings of fame and love. Instrumentally it has the normal keyboard, guitar and drums too it but it also has a huge variety of electronica effects added to each beat. The bass progresses from being soft and smooth to being hard and overpowering. This adds to the intensity of the lyrics. Madonna sings about how she has searched for love throughout her fame and the feelings she has experienced with her sexual provocativeness over the years. This track is another song that you can interpret to your own beliefs and circumstances.
(15). Music, 2000: Taken from her album of the same name this song went to no.1 on both sides of the Atlantic. Although it can take a few listens to get used to the hypnotic beat, voiceover chorus and 'underwater singing' sound effects, it all adds up to being a fabulous track. It has synthesised vocals throughout and offers ease of listening resulting in great musical satisfaction. The vocal style is upbeat and is lyrically all about the appreciation of music itself, so if you like this electronica beat then you can certainly enjoy this song for what it is. A terrific tune!
Release Date: 2001
Label: Warner Bros. Records
Approx Duration: 70 Minutes
Audio Format: Stereo
**Where To Buy**
Although this album can be purchased in both high street stores and on the world wide web, it is without a doubt cheaper to purchase it online. You can either use the DooYoo search facility to return a competitive result or use a search bot such as www.kelkoo.co.uk to find the cheapest price. The RRP for this album is: £16.99 - so you can use this as a guidance figure.
www.play.com stock this CD album for £8.99
Other CD albums available by Madonna (All prices quoted are from www.play.com):
Madonna - American Life: £5.99
Madonna - Immaculate Collection: £9.99
Madonna - Music: £6.99
Madonna - Erotica: £6.99
Madonna - Ray Of Light: £7.99
Madonna - Something To Remember: £8.49
Madonna - Bedtime Stories: £6.99
Madonna - Madonna: £9.99
Music DVD's featuring Madonna (All prices quoted are from www.play.com):
Madonna - Immaculate Collection: £10.99
Madonna - Drowned World Tour, Live In Detroit: £10.99
Madonna - New Video Collection 93-99: £10.99
In Bed With Madonna: £11.99
Books (All prices quoted are from www.play.com):
Madonna - An Intimate Biography - J.Randy Taraborrelli: £5.99
Madonna - Ray Of Light: £11.49
Madonna - Andrew Morton: £5.49
Of course there is a vast amount of other media centred on the queen of pop but the ones listed above are in my opinion the best available to date.
For more information on Madonna and her music you can check out one of these following websites:
www.madonna.com - Official Site
www.madonnaweb.com - Unofficial Site
www.azlyrics.com/m/madonna.html - Lyrics
www.madonnaghv2.co.uk - Download free album sample
Although I think this album is tremendous and has a wide variety of musical talent, I do feel this album would not be appropriate for a younger person due to the lyrical content - obviously this would come down to parental advisory and discretion. For slightly older teens and young adults then I feel it wouldn't be anything new to them in this very sexually opinionated society we live today so should make for great listening.
Musically this album offers a wide choice of musical style. It features some of the best pieces of music that Madonna has produced, written and released to date. If you are a Madonna fan already then it is a must have album. If you are not a Madonna fan or a huge follower then as long as you listen to it with an open mind then I hope you will be pleasantly surprised.
This is certainly not an album for people who are easily offended by sexually explicit orientated lyrics.
When Madonna released 'Borderline' in the early 1980's, I wonder how many people thought she would carve out a career which would span 3 decades and possibly more. Not many I bet, but she has, and she has released so many hit singles and albums that she has enough material to make a follow up to 'The Immaculate Collection' which showcased her earlier work. GHV2 is a collection of her music from the last 11 years since the release of the aforementioned 'Immaculate Collection'. The time between the two albums saw Madonna go from media darling to the target of a huge backlash and back to media darling again. Most of it her own doing I must add! The album kicks off with the upbeat 'Deeper and Deeper' which was featured on the widely disliked 'Erotica' album. This is a song which goes back to her disco pop roots, and reels in the fans who loved her old material. 'Erotica' is taken from the album of the same name which I have just mentioned, and it is the track which I would say could be left out of this selection and the standard of the album would not suffer in anyway. The song was brought out at the same time as the highly controversial book of photos 'Sex', and I think that this was a direction Madonna deliberately took to try and shock people, but in my mind it backfired as the material released around this time was mostly overlooked as the focus was on her antics away from the music. My favourite track from the 'Bedtime Stories' album is 'Human Nature'. The style was a more watered down version of 'Erotica', as the subject matter was domination and bondage. Maybe it still was not mainstream enough as it certainly did not receive the commercial success it so deserved. I think if it had been released as the first single off the album then it would not have had to work so hard to get people to listen it, but fans and critics had applauded a change of style with a brill
iant track 'Secret' which was the debut release from 'Bedtime Stories'. 'Evita' was the film that Madonna had longed to make for as long as she had been in music, so it was no surprise that she not only got the part, but also released 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina'. This track shows a new warmth and dimension to Madonna's vocals which are sometimes brought into question when she performs live. It is a rousing version of a well known song, but she still manages to leave her mark on it. It is a strange but welcome inclusion on this album, especially as it is just so different from anything else on here. 'Bedtime Stories' was released from the album of the same name, and was co-written by Bjork and renowned producer Nellee Hooper, a fact which was not widely publicised at the time. It is a track which grows on you with each listen, and gave hints that Madonna was starting to dabble her toes in the dance music waters. It signalled a mini comeback. For me, 'Ray Of Light' was the album which put Madonna right back on top in terms of popularity and media coverage. She had a huge image change (one of many we have seen over the years) and enlisted the help of renowned producer William Orbit, and the result was a collection of truly brilliant songs. The first song here from that album is the slow tempo 'The Power Of Goodbye'. It is a haunting track, and the lyrics are astounding. There are so many styles emerging from this track, and they all combine well to leave you under no doubt that you have just listened to pure brilliance. The way to make money and guarantee yourself a hit these days, is to have your song feature on a movie soundtrack, and Madonna chose the Mike Myers comedy 'Austin Powers'. The box office success of this film guaranteed the sales for 'Beautiful Stranger', but I think that it would have done well even without the backing of the publicity from the fi
lm. It is a song which has dance, pop, rock and at times a jazz influence, but they fuse together and give a really funky track with more than a hint of a sixties feel to it. 1998 saw the release of 'Frozen' and this was the first track released from 'Ray Of Light'. It is very hard to try and pigeonhole this song because again it is a mix of so many styles. It is not a ballad, but it is a slow track. It is a track which no other artist could have done as well, and it just oozes a stylishness and classiness that sets it apart from so many other artists and their music. It was accompanied by a brilliant video, which showed a very sombre Madonna, but also very attractive. Jumping back in time to 'Bedtime Stories', 'Take A Bow' is a touching ballad, and surprisingly it is the least commercially successful single of her career to date. It is a track where Madonna really lets her vocals melt into the music, and the result is truly engaging. Next up, is arguably the best song of Madonna's career. 'Ray Of Light' leaned heavily on the talent of William Orbit, and it was a travesty that it did not reach the top of the charts. It is a much harder sound than we are used to from Madonna, but it is a very welcome change. Now onto the hugely successful 'Music' album and the track 'Don't Tell Me'. A much underrated song, with a real country and western meets pop feel to it. 'What It Feels Like For A Girl' would probably not be a track which would feature in the 10 best known Madonna songs, and that is not because it is a bad track, but it just has nothing to make you remember it. The lyrics pass you by without making you stop to think about them. A strange inclusion, which like 'Erotica' does nothing for the collection. A track which always reminds me of the media coverage surrounding the death of Princess Diana is 'Drowned World/Substitute For Love', and I th
ink it has more to do with the video rather than the song. It has the unusual style of merging two songs into one, but the end result is very impressive fusion of tracks. 'Music' ends the album on a high, and was the song that you heard nigh on everywhere you went in the new Millenium. It is funky, it is pop, it is a great track with a hint of humour, which I think will have a lot of staying power, and I love the opening line. This album was not as well received by the critics or the record buying public as 'The Immaculate Collection' was, and I really cannot see the reason for this, as I certainly prefer it. It is a mix of styles, and is certainly never bland, although I wish (like many other people who have reviewed this album) that the excellent version of 'American Pie' had been included. I would recommend this album. It is thoroughly enjoyable, and the change in style and tempo means the interest levels are always at a high.
I’m what you would call a casual Madonna fan. I like her a lot, but have only really started liking her music around the Ray Of Light era, as I wasn’t really aware of her before that, as her hey day had been back in the 80’s when I was only very young. So I don’t yet have a big Madonna collection. I have her two Greatest Hits and her two latest studio albums, plus three singles. So not too bad. I got Greatest Hits Volume Two (GHV2) the day it came out. As I only had her latest two albums, there was some material on here, half of it infact, that I didn’t have, so it was a good buy. But now, after glancing through her other 90’s album, it seems to have missed out quite a few important singles, and put on some that maybe weren’t at the level of a Greatest Hits when you compare the amount of tracks Madonna had to choose from. Anyway, first, lets get down to what Madonna did put on her best of the 90’s and 00’s. 1) Deeper And Deeper. This song is a fantastic dance tune from the first album to have songs drawn from it, “Erotica”. This is my personal favourite on the album, and I myself hadn’t heard it before I got this CD! It is just a perfect slice of dance-pop mixing a catchy bridge and chorus, with usual pop/dance music. The latin vibe comes through near the end, and she quotes Vogue in a clever way! Brilliantly done! 2) Erotica. Speaks for itself, this song. It is a journey of Madonna speaking her way through, singing the chorus in a lite kind of manner. Sounds rather interesting, especially with all the moans and groans! Certainly not a song that will be remember for its catchiness, or even quality really. Not a fantastic song, but it sure is memorable. 3) Human Nature. This little number grew on me quite a bit. It is Madonna bashing her critics her silenced her for doing the whole “Erotica” and “Sex” thing. It certainly isn’t a Ma
donna clas sic, but it does deserve to be here, and keeps the album travelling along. Not a highlight, but good all the same 4) Secret. The album is really slowing down throughout the tracks and this doesn’t change things. A nice enough song, with guitars being the main music. A more acoustic type song. Once again, it contains the catchiness, but at this stage of the album you are wanting a power ballad or a dance track, as this is just the same speed as the last two tracks, so it starts to get slightly repetitive. 5) Don’t Cry For Me Argentina. The album comes to a complete halt right here. A classic ballad, obviously taken from Evita. I personally like it. A lot of people complain that it isn’t the fast version, however, with Bedtime Story, a trance track, following, it fits in nicely in the album. I don’t mind either version myself. Madonna sounds good on the song, and the music is rather haunting. 6) Bedtime Story. This one has taken a while to grow on me, but now it has, I quite like it. Once again, like every other son so far on the album, it isn’t a Madonna classic. But it is still a good song. It seemed to go down alright, even if it is a bit too different. Good to see diversity already shown on the album. 7) Power Of Goodbye. Now the first one from “Ray Of Light” arrives, and it is a goodie! It is a sweeping love song, keeps going at a gentle pace, but certainly isn’t a ballad as such. Catchy, subtle and with a lovely instrumental near the end. A truly good Madonna song, and it comes at just the right time. 8) Beautiful Stranger. This speeds things back up! We all know this, from the Austin Powers Soundtrack! Took a while to grow on me originally, but by the time I got GHV2 I had loved it for years! A summery, 60’s-esque kind of pop tune with a cool video. William Orbit and Madonna make what really is one of the best pop songs of 1999. It did rather well
worldwide, especially in the UK (highest selling single from the album in the UK, I believe, at just under 500,000 copies!) deservedly. 9) Frozen. Madonna’s comeback single for “Ray Of Light” that did very well. A chilling ballad, with a dark video made this a very haunting, spiritual song. Despite the darkness, it is still a catchy song, with a solid chorus (the main part being the “mmmm-mmmm”’s!). The album is really going up and down as it goes along, which is good. 10) Take A Bow. This song did brilliant in America, but badly in the UK. At the start I didn’t like it much, however after a few listens I now really like it. A catchy little ballad that is, although nothing ground breaking or different, a good song. 11) Ray Of Light. The title track to the massive album, and this is a corker! A big beated dance/pop track. As catchy as ever, and in my opinion, Madonna’s best track of the last few years. It manages to go on for over 4 minutes (over five on the album) without losing interest whatsoever. A deserved smash hit, a definite highlight of the album. 12) Don’t Tell Me. The second single from “Music”. At the start it sounds jumpy, like the CD is faulty, but that is just part of the song! A country sound (and video) is in the song, a little different from the single previous to this, but still manages to work well. One of her biggest hits of the past five years, fits nicely in, as it slows the album back down to ballads before the finale. 13) What It Feels Like For A Girl. The song itself has grown on me quite bit, but it’ll never be a favourite of mine. The thing that annoys me, is that this is the slow, album version. I would’ve loved the fast single version, and getting this really lets the side down. It is a nice ballad, but it does get kinda boring. 14) Drowned World/Substitute For Love. Not a bad song, slightly bette
r than the last track, but goes on slightly too long, and the whole song se ems to really sound the same. Still a nice ballad, but not really deserving its place here. 15) Music. Could she have ended it better? This is Madonna’s signature tune of the past 10 years, and deservedly so. I hated it at first, but have grown to love it. A fantastic slice of pop music that has quirky sounds everywhere. Nice running time too – not too long or too short. Well done, Madonna! Overall, it is a good collection of solid pop songs. Mixing trance pop, with dance pop, to country pop, to ballads, to mid tempo numbers, to sex-pop! None of the songs are un-listenable , but in saying that none are really classics like “The Immaculate Collection” had. Although, in all fairness, “Music” and “Frozen” actually probably are Madonna classics, with “Ray Of Light” and “Don’t Tell Me” nearly at that level. The artwork is great. I love the cover – her first Greatest Hits didn’t have her n the front, this one has her on the whole front. The yellow colour works well, and the hundreds of little pictures and booklet that was written are really good. Presentation is top notch. So what could have made GHV2 better? *New songs. Now I’m in two minds about this. New songs would’ve made it interesting, maybe having delayed GHV2 by a year so “Die Another Day” was the new song? That would’ve fit perfectly well. Or maybe using “Impressive Instant”? I know Madonna wanted this as a single, it could’ve been slightly remixed to promote the tour and this album. Hey – it made #1 on the dance charts, and is a fan favourite. *If not new songs, maybe some other songs making the cut? 17 songs could’ve fit here. Firstly, “What It Feels Like A Girl” changed to the dance radio edit. Why put on the version
that is already on the some 12 million copies sold worldwide instead of the more know n publicly version? “Drowned World/Substitute For Love” wasn’t even a single in America, and only made #10 in the UK. “Rain” from Erotica should’ve been here in its place. It is a better, more popular ballad. The two other songs added on, well we should have “American Pie”. It didn’t do that bad in America – top 30. Plus it made #1 in the UK, Australia and so on. Surely this is a big hit? It deserved to be here. Finally, “You’ll See” should be the final song added. Sweet ballad, popular, big hit. The revised tracklist would therefore look something like: 1. Deeper And Deeper 2. Erotica 3. Human Nature 4. Secret 5. Don’t Cry For Me Argentina 6. Bedtime Story 7. You’ll See 8. Power Of Goodbye 9. Beautiful Stranger 10. Frozen 11. American Pie 12. Take A Bow 13. Ray Of Light 14. Don’t Tell Me 15. What It Feels Like For A girl (Remix) 16. Rain 17. Music Now that would make the album brilliant, and at the same level of her previous Greatest Hits. But overall, it is full of great songs that will be familiar to a lot of people. Improvement could’ve been made quite a bit, but overall, a good effort.
Things ain't going smoothly for Madonna at the moment. Her latest movie Swept Away has bombed in the USA and will got straight to video here, judging by the plot I'm not surprised. But when it comes to music the queen of pop had constantly re-invented herself to stay at the top of the game. Mind you I didn't expect to see this recent greatest hits album on sale in Tesco's for £3.99 but it was and the fact that Micheal Jacksons's latest was also the same price may be a sign that popularity isn't longstanding. Still for a few quid this is well worth it as the majority of the tracks on here are worth the time. It all starts with the 7" edit of 'Deeper and Deeper'. This is one Madonna track that I actually like, it's a pre-cursor to her current dance phase and one that has a degree of sexuality to it as well as some classic pop beats. Things move along to the period when Madonna was trying to upset the entire world. 'Erotica' is from her sex era and a track that is very sleazy but ultimately throwaway. Some people may get a kick out of the lyrics "erotic, erotic, put your hands all over my body" but to me it's very boring. 'Human Nature' is another one of those tracks from when Madonna was a bit on the barmy side. I'm sure you can remember the S+M themed video. With it's electronic street attitude it's another one of those tracks that try's hard to be a bit naughty but sadly doesn't have any real kick in it. 'Secret' is one of the best Madonna songs in ages, it's a got a real hook and musical arrangement that is both alluring as well as being pop. Not only that but it's R&B as well with a seductive edge. 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina' is the song that gave Madge some acting credibility. It's a nice show tune from the movie Evita and one that she carry's nicely. With it's broadway production values i
t will appeal to some but it's not my kind of thing and another track that will be skipped by most people in search of something more upbeat. 'Bedtime Story' is another one of those tracks from the Bedtime Stories era. It's very hypnotic and that's mainly due to Nellee Hoopers production. Again though some will be at this point be longing for more upbeat poppy moments. It's best not to listen to this one in the car unless you want to doze off at the wheel. 'The Power of Goodbye' is one of the better tracks, it's a slow moving but sweeping number which will drift you along. However once again it's a track with no real get up and go in it. It's from a time when Madonna was still flirting with the more dark side of music. 'Beautiful Stranger' is another stand out, the austin powers song with a retro feel as well as a distinct chorus put Madonna back onto the right track. It's infectious and a real treat. This is where the album then proceeds to give us the main singles from the last two albums. Tracks such as Music and Frozen will no doubt be known to most of you so I don't really need to comment. Greatest Hits cd's are strange affairs. For an artist like Madonna it seems strange that a cd such a this would be released very shortly after the Music album. It's as if she needs to movie on very quickly to the next chapter in her career. Of course any real Madonna fan will no doubt have all these tracks anyway and have no need to buy the cd, there's no exclusive tracks to be found. If you're someone who likes Madonna but not enough to have her records then this is a nice addition to have if you can pick it up cheap. The only thing I'd advise is that you purely listen to the CD and not read the sleeve notes that seem to have been written by one of Guy Ritchies mates. They ain't really funny and give the release the whole feeling of a rush job and
something to cash in on and quickly. But then again perhaps the money was needed after Swept Away's death !
I like Madonna, so I bought "GHV2" 8 months ago. It is a great collection of Madonna's hits from 1992 to 2001. It contains 15 beautiful songs and it is a great cd for Madonna fans. 1- DEEPER AND DEEPER The CD starts with DEEPER AND DEEPER from the "Erotica" album , a dance song with a beautiful lyrics about love. I think it's one of the best song. Very danceable. 10/10 2- EROTICA It is a sexual and powerful song from the "Erotica" album, with a wonderful background sound. Beautiful lyrics. It starts with: "My name is Dita I'll be your mistress tonight I'd like to put you in a trance" ... very trashy song! 9/10 3- HUMAN NATURE It is an 80's R&B- POP song, very danceable from the "Bedtime Stories" album. Very sexual song. Madonna sings: "You punished me for telling you my fantasies I'm breakin' all the rules I didn't make [Express yourself, don't repress yourself] You took my words and made a trap for silly fools You held me down and tried to make me break [Express yourself, don't repress yourself]" 9/10 4- SECRET It is a wonderful and damn good song from the "Bedtime Stories" album! An R&B song. I love Madonna's low voice in this song. But lyrics are not very good as you can see: "Happiness lies in your own hand It took me much too long to understand How it could be Until you shared your secret with me" 8/10 5- DON'T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA It is absolutely the best song. It's the theme from her musical "EVITA" and it's a beutiful ballad that shows us Madonna's beautiful voice. 10/10 6- BEDTIME STORY A danceable song, with a wonderful beginning and beautiful lyrics. Very beautiful. One of the best! 9/10 7- THE POWER OF GOODBYE From the "Ray of l
ight" album. It is a beautiful song! damn good song! A wonderful ballad with deep lyrics. Good. 10/10 8- BEAUTIFUL STRANGER Boring lyrics. A dance-pop song. It makes me dance but it isn't one of the best. 8/10 9- FROZEN A beautiful ballad, with beautiful violins. One of the best song!!! Lyrics are deep and very good. 10/10 10- TAKE A BOW I love Madonna's voice in this song. Lyrics are damn good and it is one of the best song. Good Madonna. 10/10 11- RAY OF LIGHT A dance track with powerful lyrics. VERY VERY GOOD. Beautiful 10/10 12- DON'T TELL ME A particular song. I love the video. Very good track. I think it is one of the best. 9/10 13- WHAT IT FEELS LIKE FOR A GIRL Very danceable song, with powerful lyrics and good background sounds. I like it. 9/10 14- MUSIC Lyrics are not very good but it sounds very good. Very danceable, with a strong rhythm. I love it. 9/10 In this album you can meet the real MADONNA. BUY IT
As the name implies, this is Madonna's second Greatest Hits collection, comprising most of her amazing songs from the 1990s. So is it comparable to the almost incomparable 'The Immaculate Collection'? Read on and find out... Deeper and Deeper is a jaunty song, right in the middle of the Ninties disco sound, describing how Madonna falls headlong in love after forgetting that she could. Stabbing portentous piano, a skipping syncopated drum machine, synth bass and touches of string form the basis of the melody, boasting a thicker arrangement than anything else on the album. The lyrics describe how Madonna's parents taught her how to love, but that she had forgotten how to and that her new lover had taught her how to love again: "someone said that romance was dead and I believed it instead of remembering what my Mama told me, let my father mould, when you try to hold me you remind me what they said". This is followed by an instrumental section with three spanish guitar, one solo and castanets - possibly the most interesting part of the music. A very powerful and moving track if only you listen to the lyrics. In Erotica, Maddy plays the part of a kinky dominatrix and she goes about seducing you, the listener. The song opens with a crackling sound of vinyl - an indication of how the 'dirty' analogue sound of this album is sexy whereas crisp digital sound is cold and uncool - and a low two-note bass riff. The arrangement is similarly sparse as 'Justify My Love' but more upbeat and there is also a jumpy funk guitar riff and the swirl of synth strings. Over this, Madonna does a low growly rap about the pleasures of S&M. Nice touches include the use of simultaneous spoken and sung phrases and the slowed down "I'm not going to hurt you". The mood is definitely spicey with a Middle Eastern air, heady and almost orgasmic at times, taking on a subversive power. The groove is hypnotic, and the attention to
detail is fantastic throughout the song - including a sample from Kool and The Gang's 'Jungle Boogie'. Don't be fooled into thinking that Human Nature is a cover of Michael Jackson's classic - this is an altogether angrier, more bitter song. In it, Maddy blasts her former lover, sometimes with scathing sarcasm - "oops, I didn't know I couldn't speak my mind, what was I thinking?". The inspiration for this song was the backlash Madonna received after Erotica/Sex - Madonna is in fact attacking the press and her detractors in general - and a typical stanza is "you punished me for telling you my fantasies, I'm breaking all the rules I didn't make", "oops, I didn't know I couldn't talk about sex, I must have been crazy" and "you're the one with the problem". She even implicates hypocrisy: "I'm just like you", "just look in the mirror" and "oops, I didn't know I couldn't talk about you" and also double standards "would you like me better if I were a man?". She is most certainly unrepentant ("and I'm not sorry, it's human nature". A great number with a superb kinky (catwoman suit, whips and fondling!) video, but not one for the kids, as there is some 'naughty language' and imagery. Of course, you wouldn't know it from the version on this CD as it's been edited out (quite unnoticeably if you haven't heard the original song) to make it suitable for kids (but what happened to "express Yourself, don't repress yourself"? This sort of emasculates the song). The music opens in a trip-hop style with heavy bass and drums looping to the accompaniment of Madonna whispering "Express yourself, don't repress yourself" (which became something of a motto amongst Madonna fans). The singing style Madonna uses is very nasal (in a Nineties soul way), something that would have sou
nded awful in any other song, but fits absolutely to the theme and sound of this song. In fact, she uses three voices in the song, sometimes simultaneously: the nasal voice, the whispering voice and a sung backing. All three blend together very effectively in a masterful song. Secret is bluesy track, with Madonna singing in a deeper register. In it, deeply unhappy Madonna finally learns the secret of happiness - namely that it lies in one's own hands - from her new lover. The song is introduced with acoustic guitar and flashes of wah-wah (the latter of which recurs later in the song in the form of a solo). The first chorus is supported with strings and then percussion kicks in. There is a good example of contrary motion between the descending guitar chords and the ascending string line. The song has plenty to keep one interested in it, including a good section of harmonising at the end. This is a very cool and laid back track, and deservingly a single. The most famous song in the film Evita is, of course, Don't Cry For Me Argentina. A real musical classic, which Madonna does not disappoint with, with a performance worthy of Elaine Paige and Julie Covington (who took it to UK number 1 in 1977), previous incarnations of Evita. Evita appeals to the people for support after Peron becomes President with a vast dose of fake humility and popularism, and she is stunningly successful. The song starts with strings only, to which harp is added. The second verse sees the introduction of light percussion with acoustic guitar. A fine piece of drama it is, but perhaps a little overdone over the years and certainly within the film and soundtrack this tune rears its head more than once. Bedtime Story is an ambient piece of electronica, this song is another wierd one, leaving you unsure what Madonna's on about half time. Not surprising as it was co-written by the wierd woman herself - Bjork. It's actually a hymn to the joys of unconscious
ness and a rejection of constraints of reason and language "today is the last day I'm using words...leaving logic and reason to the arms of unconsciousness...words are useless, especially sentences, they don't stand for anything...let's get unconscious Honey...". The music is very acid house, based over a skeletal synth arrangement over which Madonna groans, with prominent drum machine and machine handclaps - a very addictive blend. Madonna sings in a very subdued manner, with a twist of the East in "how can I explain how I feel?". Towards the end, the mixing is impressive, messing around with the stereo sound so that the lead synth moves between the channels - one for the headphones! The song ends abruptly with "and all that you've ever known, try to forget - I'll never explain again". Power Of Goodbye is another great song. The intro is incredibly cool and the blue-hued video sees Madonna looking simply stunning without any embellishment, healthy and shining. It is arguably the most compelling ballad of Madonna's career. Music-wise, acoustic guitar blends into keyboard reggae rhythms as Madonna bids farewell to a lover. Drawn from despair, it is an altogether beautiful ballad. In this song Madonna echoes what she first considered in her 'Promise To Try' back in her 'Like A Prayer' days, namely closure and the ability to move on - in this case the end of a relationship, rather than the loss of her mother in 'Promise To Try', perhaps talking about how she was finally over her ex-husband, Sean Penn. Madonna's voice is simply beautiful and radiant here. Frozen (another Orbit/Leonard collaboration) was the first single released from the Ray Of Light album and is frankly, quite astonishing. Also influenced by India (evident from the mehindi figure of 'om' written on her palm in the spectacular video), this atmospheric beauty is haunting (especially the chorus),
wierd and beautiful in equal measure. A magic spell seems to be cast on the listener, as Madonna beckons "give yourself to me", to the backdrop of windswept ambience and blunted beats which deepen the pathos of the song's lyrics. Time loses all meaning when listening to this song, and indeed it does seem to transcend time. It moves with an eerie, theatrical intensity, sheer simplicity is what makes it stick. Though it is a ballad (though it doesn't sound like a typical ballad), and though it is certainly a slower track, there is nothing boring about this track. It opens on strings before breaking into one of those glorious vocals that just oozes sensuality and atmosphere. The song folds back on itself with strong but random-sounding kettle drums echoing and a string-blissed centre which add to the grandeur of this majestic song, and Madonna's clear voice really adds the icing to this most delicious of cakes. Like 'Ray of Light', this is a clearly groundbreaking track. The version on this CD has been edited down so that it fits onto the CD with all the other songs, but it's been done so skilfully that you don't quite notice it unless you listen carefully. Take a Bow is a classic Madonna song - an extremely successful song that Americans in particular liked, though Europeans were less keen. A slow and rhythmic recitation, Maddy 'commends' her lover on his acting ability, and says that he ought to get an award. This doesn't refer to any acting aspirations, but to his relationship with her. He broke her heart and it's time to end it all...very sentimental. Musically, there is more than a hint of the Far East here, with oriental pentatonics and exotic chop-suey strings. The verse is sustained by a long descending chord sequence with a few odd twists. Backed and produced by Babyface, it bears all of his languid and laid-back style. Lyrically, it contains quite a few cliches, also drawing inspiration from Will
iam Shakespeare with "all the world is a stage and everyone has their part". As stylish and beautifully performed as it is, it lacks the final stage of emotion that would make it a great track, and it is perhaps a trifle over-long. Ray Of Light has a very different beat, with a strikingly distinctive guitar riff. Energetic, dynamic, pulsating and even operatic at times, this track has been hailed as the best song by Madonna, by a lot of people. The video is unmissable for its speeded up effects, mirroring everyday life. What most people don't know is that this is a cover of a song by Curtis & Muldoon in the 1970's. It however, was nowhere near as successful as this song, which benefits from 'orbitalisation' and Madonna's mastery of voice, gliding in and out of falsetto range, even tossing off a little Aretha-like growl and culminating in a shriek of sheer ecstacy - for the only time on the record, she breaking into wails, losing language altogether, before regaining it with "and I feel, and I feeeeel like I just got home" - which is remarkable in that it works in the context of the song, something that only true masters can achieve. The intro is like a rising sun after a nuclear holocaust and its a stunningly optimistic dance orientated track where Madonna voice soars way way above the fallout. The music bops from hypnotic disco to anthemic pop in a way that is simply remarkable. Sounding like Kate Bush on an E-pill, 'Ray Of Light' is the perfect antidote to the miserable lyric of all her female (and male) songwriting contemporaries. So proving that a great great song can still be a happy one. What exactly it is about, is a matter for debate. Unfortunately, the version on this CD has been 'butchered' to make it fit the CD and it is exactly that - butchered. The intro is shorter, which is more acceptable, but the song fades rather abruptly after the aforementioned shriek, which is quite noticeable even
to someone who hasn't heard the song before. Shame. Don't Tell Me (a Mirwais production) is an upbeat inroad into country music (originally written by Madonna's brother-in-law Joe Henry and referred to Madonna by her sister - Joe's wife) with an orchestral backing in places to an overall guitar and drums backing and occasional electronica (the so-called techno-country). Important note: the stuttering accousitic guitar intro is entirely intentional and is not a defect of manufacture...because some people didn't 'get' that, despite the same trick being played on one of Madonna's previous songs 'Erotica'. Madonna's voice mutates into a Sheryl Crow sound-a-like, which is surprisingly good. The pace is slower, but she sounds oh so cool, mostly flinty, but outright growly in places and slinky in others. The lyrics sometimes give you a tingling feeling, especially the hook "tell me, love isn't true, it's just something that we do..." and "don't tell me to stop, tell the rain not to drop, tell the wind not to blow, 'cause you said so...". Madonna seems to be warning her critics not to tell her to stop and to give up, not to write her off - another example of time-defiance, as started on 'Music'. It's a simple, uncomplicated message for the most part, but there are a couple of really wierd lines: "tell the bed not to lay, like the open mouth of a grave" and "...not to stare up at me, like a calf down on its knees. Only God and Madonna know for sure what she means by that! Madonna backs herself with some computerised vocals and some normal vocals and this complexity is fascinating. This is a song that ends (in terms of vocals) unexpectedly fading out into an orchestral finale and it leaves you wanting more. This is a much more successful foray into country than Madonna's only previous attempt - 'Crazy For You' - a real eye-opener. What It
Feels Like For A Girl is so very different, perhaps because it was produced by Guy Sigsworth. Before you do a double-take on hearing the start (as I did), it's not Madonna in the spoken intro section. It's an actress called Charlotte Gainsbourg (daughter of Serge Gainsbourg) and its a snippet from a movie called 'The Cement Garden'. Anyway, back to the song itself. Is this is 'Man, I Feel Like A Woman'? The answer is no! It is less jingoistic, more profound than the Shania Twain song, and sounds more like a female Semisonic song. It is more a question "Do you know what it feels like for a girl?" than a rocking country track. The song has some pretty lyrics detailing how a girl 'ought' to be like and basically the theme is: why is it alright for a boy (also read men in general) to do something but not alright for a girl (read women) to do the same thing; or, according to intro, it's OK for a girl to do something as long as it's what a boy would do but not alright for boys to adopt the female way of looking at things, as it's somehow 'inferior'. It's a challenging concept, and really probably a bit too profound for the bulk of music buyers, who are teenagers more into pure pop songs. The song had a cool but controversial (read violent!) video directed by hubby Guy Ritchie, and this improved the song's 'cool-factor'. Despite this, this is really a beautiful song in its original format and it veers smoothly (if that's possible) from slow rock to pop and back again, and it's a emotionally-sung ballad in the true sense rather than an electronica track...my only criticism is that perhaps it's a little (only a little, mind) too long. However, the welcome return to a strongly-themed debating song more than makes up for this. Drowned World/Substitute For Love is a hybrid of two component songs, and you can tell the difference between the two halves. But they have been welded t
ogether so seamlessly that it just seems like different phases of the same song. This is reputed to be Madonna's favourite song from the 'Ray Of Light' album, and even if one does not agree, one can certainly see why. It contains a poignant lyric which shows Madonna in the sudden realisation of how shallow fame can be. 'Drowned World' stays in the senses long after the final track has faded, such is its beauty and power. In a soundscape that sounds like a submarine trying to surface, the track shimmers into your senses for a full 6 minutes. The opening is spooky, all ethereal airs opening onto a gorgeous slow vocal before breaking into an equally slow beat that builds easily on a stuttering pattern before a guitar picks in 'Substitute For Love' which opens into a backbeat kicked dubby groove. There is even the hint of a jungle breakbeat, which is a piece of genius by producer William Orbit. Madonna's singing is extraordinary: beautifully phrased, no over-reaching, pure and emotive. Then, almost from nowhere, big, fat electric guitars drop into the mix and the whole thing metamorphoses into a rock song. In a video that was criticised as being too much like the plight of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, she flees from pursuing paparazzi, only to have her picture taken by hotel maids. Sporting a simple look in the video, Madonna creates a dreamy atmosphere and this is a worthy start to the album. The song is inspired by British author J.G. Ballard's apocalyptic 1962 novel 'The Drowned World', which is the first of four futuristic disaster novels by Ballard - each with their own theme of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth - in which the protagonist, at the end of a long journey through fire-engulfed and fantastic worlds, discovers the Truth. 'Drowned World/Substitute for Love,' draws the analogy between Ballard's ravaged landscapes and Madonna's former soul-killing obsession with success. Mature Madonna's 't
ruth' has turned out to be not showbiz but love, motherhood, and family. This is especially well expressed in two different ways by two parts of the song: in one part she sings "famous faces, far-off places, trinkets I can buy. No handsome stranger, heady danger, drug that I can try. No ferris wheel, no heart to steal, no laughter in the dark. No one-night stand, no far-off land, no fire that I can spark...", starting softly and increasing in volume and emotion until the end where her rage is something quite marvellous - one of the best parts of the 'Ray Of Light' album. The second is at the end, where she sings softly "and now, I find I've changed my mind. This is my religion.". Music is a party anthem dedicated to music. A curiously masculine sounding intro vocal of "Hey Mr DJ, put a record on, I wanna dance with my baby" (produced by slowing down Madonna's voice) leads into the by-now famous godzilla thumping bass synth and accompanied percussion crash (and interspersed with Prince-like guitar riffs) leads which in turn leads to a crazily digitally-altered question "do you like to...boogie-woogie?" repeated three time, and ended by "do you like my...acid rock?". Basically, this song returns to the age-old Madonna theme of getting up and shaking your booty - as started in 1982 with 'Everybody' - but refreshed to include the latest technical wizardly. As full of statements as vintage Madonna tracks, the song states that "music makes the people come together" and "music makes the bourgeoisie and the rebel" (now how many pop songs have you heard with that word in it - how she manages to sing it like that with a straight face is beyond me), but it also covers ground not usually seen on a Madonna song, like the "uh uh uh" usually found on rap/hip-hop. There is an element of Madonna's psyche that seeks to defy time, and she reaffirms that here with &
quot;don't think of yesterday and I don't look at the clock". The song ends with a series of techno wails from producer Mirwais' machines to the accompaniment of "do you like to...boogie-woogie". Mirwais' production is certainly creditable and the song has a thumping beat with some nifty special effects, all set against the resurgent French disco scene. Influenced by work from bands like Daft Punk, there is no doubt that this song was going to do well ever since it was leaked on the Internet before its release, and it was a number one hit in many countries, including the UK and the US (where it was Madonna's first number one for several years). Don't look too deeply into the lyrics for hidden meanings, as that's a road to disappointment. You have to get your mind out of Ray of Light gear and firmly into party mode, as this is where this track ultimately thrives and not on the spiritual plane. It's so full of hooks that it's almost impossible to escape once snared! The live version of this song throws yet another hook in at the end, where Madonna alters the lyrics to "music, music, music, muu-oo-sic!". A superb way to end this album, as this song is now a modern-day signature tune of Madonna's. When you listen to this album, you will be bowled over by the sheer talent of this diva. This album is an extremely worthy Greatest Hits compilation for the entire career of a major popstar - and let's not forget that this particular Greatest Hits only covers half of Madonna's career up until this point! So the main question I guess everyone is asking is: does it match up to 'The Immaculate Collection'? Well yes and no. On one hand, there is no doubt that Madonna's songs have increased in depth and feeling and that her voice has matured immeasurably and become a real instrument in itself, from the Eighties. In that respect these songs are way superior to the old ones. Howev
er, there is a timeless quality about Madonna's classic hits from the Eighties, the complete domination of the charts that Madonna enjoyed in that decade and a recognition of 'The Immaculate Collection' as one of the greatest pop albums of the last century. It remains to be seen if 'GHV2' can match this iconic level that 'The Immaculate Collection' has set. I strongly suspect it won't match sales-wise and we'll just have to see about the cultural relevance. Another reason why it doesn't pass 'The Immaculate Collection' is the fact that it has no new songs on it at all. 'The Immaculate Collection' had the new songs 'Rescue Me' and 'Justify My Love', which helped to sell the album to fans who already had the other songs. In addition 'Justify My Love' became famous (or infamous!) in its own right and was a great boost to the album. 'GHV2' is a Greatest Hits album in the more classic sense, with some of Madonna's original hit songs collected together under one roof - there aren't even any remixed versions of songs - although some of the editing to make it all fit or have 'clean' language was quite brutal. While this does not matter to the casual fan or the non-fan public who will buy this album to collect songs they know and like, it does seem a little bland for core fans who will see nothing new or different at all. There is a danger of sounding too negative about these considerations - they are in fact picky points (apart from the point about the editing). The fact remains that this is a Greatest Hits album by the Queen of Pop and some of the best songs of the Nineties and early Noughties are on this CD. It's actually essential for pop fans who maybe don't have Madonna's original albums from 1992-2000. If there was any doubt as to who the top popstar in the world still is, refer to this CD.
Madonna is the most respected woman in music. From the time she moved to New York in 1977 with aspirations of becoming a dancer to becoming an overnight pop star to now running a highly successful record label, even Madonna’s most vocal critics have to be impressed with her determination and success to date. GHV2 is a collection of more modern Madonna music, highlighting her more experimental yet still commercially successful work. What is rarely noted about Madonna is her willingness to work with lesser-known or at least underground record producers to create new sounds to complement her highly publicized "new (physical) looks." "Erotica" is a sultry jam that Madonna worked on with Shep Pettibone that drips with sex as only Madonna can. The hook is sing-song, while the verses sound as though they're being sung by a high-priced hooker who could suck the chrome off of a tow hitch. "Secret" shows off Madonna’s more developed songwriting, lyrically highlighting the concept that we all have the ability to create our own happiness. The funky production and tasteful arrangement never shadows Madonna as a storyteller.
Madonna is an enjoyable album to listen to and is fairly priced. - Advantages: A lot of songs, You know a lot about madonna, interesting - Disadvantages: she doesn't look that buff in the picture, she scares me, she's not naked
One of the attractions of the icon commonly known as Madonna is her chamaeleoon like qualities. The rapid and successive transformations of her image over the years have shocked, pleased, repulsed, amused, indeed done everything that an icon of the pop world should. She has maintained an unprecedented amount of media coverage throughout the last decade, acquiring a new husband, a couple of kids and a few million dollars in the process. Indeed if you look at the pop idols that were kicking about when volume one of this mini collection started, you'll be hard pushed to find anyone still floating about with any kind of real credibility. Prince? Fallen down the back of the sofa. Springsteen? Probably doing 'artistic' numbers down at your local. Old Jacko is still churning them out, but can you remember the last time you heard any twelve year olds rushing out to buy any of his CD's? (Come to think of it, best not encourage that...) Like a true torch bearer for girl power everywhere, Madonna has teased us and then, with great delight, pleased us. After the 'naughty virgin' days of the eighties had past, the nineties began with the no holds barred sex symbol. Fantasy girls were in and Madonna flaunted it big style. Fickle pop tastes changed, so did our Madge. Next she was in a screen version of a stage musical. Then she was doing the soundtrack for a sixties retro style spoof. Some days, it was hard to keep up. As a catalogue of her career during the nineties and early millennium the GHV2 is almost a refreshment, giving us all some time to take stock and catch our breath before she launches off on another image change. The album itself runs almost chronologically (a refreshing change) and has some notable highlights. 'Beautiful Stranger'- the theme from the Austin Powers movie, is a number which lets you dance like your mum and feel cool doing it. For the four or so minutes that the song is playing, hipsters actually look
cool, and everyone begins reminiscing about the summer of love (even those of us not born until the late seventies). Like all classic soundtrack songs, you think of the film when you listen, and vice versa. She’s clever like that. 'Ray of Light' a product of Madonna's partnership with producer William Orbit, is another track worth putting on repeat, simply because of its sheer quality of sound. The guitar work mixed in with the thumping beat is simply magical, racing through, yet never making you feel like its rushed. ‘Frozen’ is another song taken from this partnership, and again, the resonance that the track produces is amazing. The song actually makes you feel cold inside, and that’s not bad going by anyone’s standards. (For other tracks in a similar vain, see '13' by Blur, also produced by Orbit) The album is not all a bed of funky roses however. 'Erotica', which was risque and damnright sexy when it was released, sounds a bit dated and plodding in hindsight and there are other moments during the album when taste certainly becomes a factor. Maybe I’m alone, but ‘Don’t cry for me Argentina’ as a stand alone song seems extremely weak. The ‘Evita’ period in Madonna’s career is certainly one that should be historically documented, but removed from its context in the show, it becomes a hefty weight on the back of the album. This problem of juxtaposition is the record’s main flaw. Any artist producing a greatest hits album will inevitably find that they have multiple bodies of work which may not necessarily marry with one another. In Madonna’s case this point is taken to extremes as her working styles over the previous decade have been so diverse. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word clash as ‘discordant sounds or colours’. If you look at the differences in style between Beautiful Stranger / Erotica
/ Don’t cry for me Argentina, then take you will inevitably find yourself agreeing with that statement. This is not to say that GHV2 is a bad album by any stretch of the imagination. 95% of the tracks on here are of excellent quality (The Jury is still out on ‘Human Nature’) and on their own each song could beat many of today’s pop acts hands down in a fisticuffs battle. In summation, I would recommend this album for two distinct groups of people. 1. Mobile DJ’s. Buy this and the Immaculate Collection and you’ll have all the Madonna material you are ever likely to need. 2. Compilation fans. If you’re one of those people who, like me have made a gazillion ‘crazy car tapes’ then this is clearly the album for you. If you’re a Madonna fan however, I wouldn’t bother. Go the extra mile and buy the individual albums. You’ll find that you’re less confused by the time you’ve finished listening.
I was really shocked when I saw the advert for this and I actually wanted to buy it! I have always had this thing inside me that kind of liked Madonna, but I have never had the courage to go and buy one! So there I was in Virgin Megastore debating whether to buy Madonna or something else. I just went for it; I picked it up and bought it. I got home and put it into my music system straight away and it started to play. My first overall thought was “good”. Here is an in depth look at each of the songs: 001: Deeper and Deeper It starts out good, you here Madonna singing Deeper and Deeper and then it goes onto that 80’s beat, even though it was made in the 90’s. That shows that she has a big influence on pop music. The song goes on and it sounds really good, that 80’s beat is still going and I think it’s really good. The vocals to the song are really good to, they sound good, and they go with the song and sound ‘groovy’ with that 80’s beat. The song comes to a part where it stops that80’s beat, goes onto a slow (ish) part and then onto Spanish sound. Then the song ends with her singing, the 80’s beat and Spanish sound. A good song! 002: Erotica The song starts out a bit boring, just a beat, nothing exciting then, it starts to go on a time proves the song better. It develops into a good beat, fun and ‘sexy’! What a song, it’s a real ‘making out’ song. The vocals are a bit of a turn off though. They don’t sound very good with how the song goes. They are too high in places and it doesn’t keep that ‘erotic’ sound! A fair song. 003: Human Nature Starts out good. Good vocals, again very sexy. The whole song sounds sexy, she has kept the vocals on a low note and the beat slow and a good. The song is very sexy, very erotic. The vocals are good, again that early 90’s beat in the song. Madonna is con
sistent with all her songs, they are all good, and not one hit wonders like some of the bands these days. You will want to play this song over and over. 004: Secret What an erotic title, you don’t know what you are expecting until you here it. Starts out with the guitar playing and then she ads the vocals. These are good strong vocals and they sound very good. The chorus is the best part of this song. It goes from a low playing sound to a high fun, faster moving sound. Madonna also does her “hmm” which always sounds good and doesn’t spoil the song, like some of the songs out today. 005: Don’t Cry For Me Argentina I love this song. Madonna sounds good. Madonna starts this song out with just a nice sound in the back round while she sings over the top. It sounds good and if you listen carefully to the words of the song they do have a good meaning and one that you want to listen to. The best bit is when Madge sings, “Don’t cry for me Argentina”. She sounds great. She looks good and the song sounds excellent. Then the song goes onto the choir singing (more like humming – but it still sounds great). We then have Madonna singing powerfully, it just get better and better. 006: Bedtime Story This sounds like another song on one of my Euphoria collections when it starts out. It is very good, a chill out dance song. I was shocked when I heard it, it sounds good and it is one to chill out to in your room when you have a bad day. The song sounds cool, is cool and is very good. It has a good vocal selection on it; Madonna keeps the chill out feel with the way she sings it. She sings it well. 007: The Power Of Goodbye My favourite song, it starts out well, that funny sound, it has an addicting sound to it, it is really dance like and then it does this funny organ sound. Madonna comes on and starts singing it. The words that she sings are very good, they
make sense, and it’s all about being left alone and then trying to find each other. That is the way I take it and I keep on playing it and playing it. The vocals that go on top of it sound excellent, her voice is harmonic and is in tune. One excellent song with twists and turns around every corner. 008: Beautiful Stranger This is another one of those songs that comes back every so often and you don’t stop hearing it. The radio plays it once and then everyone wants to hear it because it brings back memories. The memories of an excellent film (some may say). The video for this has only one word to describe it ‘FUNKY’!! This is such a 60’s song and it reminds me of the 60’s even though I wasn’t around in those days. I can just imagine all the people dancing to this in the fields! A great song with an excellent ending to, that flute (I think) is really cool. 009: Frozen This is another of my favourites. The vocals to this song sound good, they sum up everyone’s life ‘your so consumed with how much you get’, that is exactly what everyone is thinking! Madonna sings songs about life and this is a song that is one to prove that. The sounds in this song are good, all those other sounds in the back round, the beats and the drums. They sound cool and are cool. This is a song that is very good. Another song that I don’t stop playing. 010: Take A Bow Sounds a bit tacky at first. I don’t think too much of this song. It sounds like one of those one hit wonders love songs! (Sorry Madonna). This song sounds a bit like a love song and I don’t think it does. The vocals sound rubbish, she doesn’t have that low flat tune that she normally does. The words to the song aren’t any good either. I’m sorry everyone this song doesn’t do it for me. 011: Ray of Light: Starts good, a slow beat and then those drums that lead
you in! I just turn it up and keep it playing a full volume. It totally rocks and I always do her funny dance to it, the arms out and back and forth! It so goes with this song, you just want to dance to it. The vocals go with the song and it sounds good when she sings, she goes up and down and she holds that note, and ‘tunes’ it up and don between high and low, on class song! Crackin! 012: Don’t Tell Me: This is another excellent song; she starts it of good, that guitar playing in the background. It sounds cool and the video and the dance go with it. She dresses up as a cowboy and it looks good. The songs words are fun and dancy! One hit that you want to play again and again! It has a good beat that keeps on going on and going on through out the song. 013: What It Feels Like For A Girl This song starts out weird. Madonna (I think) starts talking, she says “ Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short, wear shirts and boots, because it ok to be a boy, but for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, because you think being a girl is degrading” I think this is a very true statement and something that should be sorted out. Why can’t men look like women, because they are going to be called names and not look ‘right’? But what is the ‘right’ way to look?? Madonna like I said before brings out important issues in her songs. That is the excellent thing about Madonna; She does this thing with out intending, but does it. I love this song and it really sounds great, puts across an important message and Madonna – well no more needs to be said! 014: Drowned World/Substitute For Love I had never heard this song before I bought this album and now I really like it. It starts out calm and smooth, then it comes in with a beat, just a simple beat and then Madonna sings, soothing and calming. This is another song that is cool and a chill out. It picks up th
e tempo after a while, sounds good and then, comes in with a scary noise, but that goes and it goes back to sounding good. I love this song, this again shows that Madonna can mix her songs and make them sound good. 015: Music I LOVE THIS SONG!! “Hey Mr. DJ put a record on, I want to dance with my baby”, it sounds cool, has an excellent video with one of my favourite comedians, the beat and tempo, sound good. It is just an excellent song. The song just sounds cool, is cool and I have it on full volume know. My favourite part is where it just goes up and down after the middle of the song! If you have no idea what I’m going on about it is at 1.58 ish on the CD clock!! Madonna is a legend sand she can just keep bringing out hits that sound cool, are cool and that are excellent. The CD cover on this CD is just the best, you have loads of little pictures of Madonna there and in most of them you can see how she used to look and how she looks now – there is a over hundred pictures. A totally excellent album. 10 out of 5 !! Go out and get it! Now!
My love for Madonna's music started when I bought 'True Blue' in 1986. I was the tender age of 8 years old and I loved it. I still do. That is the appeal of Madonna. After numerous albums and singles, not to mention image and musical direction changes, I can still, hand on heart on with pride, call myself a Madonna fan. Hey, how many ex- Sonia fans still boast about liking her in the 1980s? ;) Madonna's first, and vastly superior, Greatest Hits package was released in 1990. Going by the excellent title 'The Immaculate Collection', it contained the perfect array of hit singles with no fillers to be seen. This is where 'GHV2' has its downfall. Maybe I shouldn't compare 'GHV2' and 'The Immaculate Collection'; just about every song on 'The Immaculate Collection' are Madonna classics and have had time to find a special place in Madonna fans hearts, whereas 'GHV2' contains many recent songs which can be found on her most recent albums. The main problem for 'GHV2' is the timeline it covers. After 1992's 'Sex' book, Madonna's popularity in music started to wane and her over-exposure backfired on her - songs like 'Human Nature' and 'Deeper and Deeper' were in the charts for a week or two and then forgotten about. Not exactly classics in my opinion. During the difficult musical period between 1992-1995, where Madonna's chart positions were at their lowest they had ever been, she released a hidden gem of a song called 'Rain', a gorgeous ballad which was easily the highlight of the 'Erotica' album. She has commited a heinous crime by not including it on 'GHV2'. 'Rain' would have been a much better choice than 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina' which spoils the flow of the album and bores me to tears. Get ready to use the fast forward button on your CD remote control whenever t
his one is about to start. ;) Another stand out track is the ethereal 'Bedtime Story' which was written by Bjork and Nellee Hooper (Massive Attack's producer). There are plus sides to this album though (once you bypass the majority of pre-1996 singles). 'Frozen' and 'Ray of Light', which single-handedly put Madonna's musical career back in the fast lane, are definitely Madonna classics and truly deserve a place on this album along with 'Music', 'Beautiful Stranger', 'Take A Bow' and 'Don't Tell Me'. 'Nothing Really Matters' has been left off the album which is a great shame as I actually much prefer it to 'Ray of Light'. Oh well... One other important point is how all the songs gel with each other. The album doesn't flow very well maybe because it is such a pick 'n' mix of an album. There are many styles of music on 'GHV2' and although that is to be commended, it also makes the album seem a bit incomplete and not quite sure what it's aiming for. All being said, the majority of songs are good, if not what most people would term as Madonna classics. It's a fantastic album if you play it from track 6 and onwards... :)
A great variety of styles from the ever changing Madonna. Bow down to the Goddess of pop, Britney! - Advantages: A wide variety of musical styles, I feel the 90s were Madonna's best decade, It's Madonna! - Disadvantages: Bad name!!!!!!!
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Deeper and Deeper
3 Human Nature
5 Dont Cry For Me Argentina
6 Bedtime Story
7 The Power of Goodbye
8 Beautiful Stranger
10 Take A Bow
11 Ray of Light
12 Dont Tell Me
13 What It Feels Like For A Girl
14 Drowned World (Substitute for Love)