I'm on the road again (a week in Kingston, now on my way back to Washington for the first time in 2009). And of course that means I'm up in my head again, and listening to a lot of music. It's one of those chances to discover something new, or re-discover something old or overlooked from the collection.
I've been especially hooked on Madonna's largely overlooked "American Life" from 2003 on this trip.
Of all the many reviews (some were very praising) that accompanied the launch of this album back in the day, I agree the most with Billboard. It's an infectious album, and hard to jump around on it. The slide from "Nobody Knows Me" to "X-Static Process" (chased with "Easy Ride") is very affecting for me right now. I don't know why. Maybe because, for Madonna at that time, she was in the fourth year of her relationship with her then-husband. I am also in my fourth year. Maybe it's something about the fourth year, paired with career success and contentment, getting older and wiser, looking back. Looking ahead. Being nervous and anxious and ecstatic and confused. And wise.
Who knows? But I love this album.
(And let's not forget one of Madonna's legendary opening numbers for the VMA's was a triumphant performance of "Hollywood" with Britney Spears, Cristina Aguilera and Missy Elliot that will go down in history of one of the greatest, slyest statements of girl power in the music business.)