This is Ms. Ciccone-Penn-Ritchie's first venture in mainstream R&B, some would say with better results than her more recent ones.
It features some of her tenderest ballads 'Love Tried to Welcome Me' (a personal favourite of mine) 'Forbidden Love' and 'Take a Bow' and Bjork's little gem 'Bedtime Story'.
It also features 2 proper turkeys in the shape of 'Survival' and 'Don't Stop' 2 songs so bland and pointless that deserve a B-side-to-5th-single-off-the-album status.
It's hardly an unmissable CD, especially if you own the title track on cd single, but it's easy to find for a couple of quid (including p&p).
It was a shame that this album was preceeded by the Erotica/Sex furore, maybe it would've been taken more seriously. Due to the bad reputation Madonna inherited from that phase, this album was somewhat tarnished by critics without them really giving it the credit it deserves. The purpose of the album is to highlight a softer side to Madonna's character, in contrast to the more outrageous, sexual persona from her previous album. In many ways, Madonna sought to repair some of the damage she had done to her public image through this album.
While certainly the album is stylistically more mainstream than its predecessor and less controversial in terms of its lyrical content, it includes perhaps some of Madonna's most confrontational work. Indeed, the song "Human Nature" appears to be a scathing commentary directed towards the media for its treatment of her during the Erotica era.
Interestingly, this was one of the few occasions where Madonna collaborated with well-known established artists including Bjork, Dallas Austin and Nellee Hooper. Fundamentally the album has an R n B/Soul feel with exception of the title track which is a quirky ambient techno tune written by Bjork. Personally, the stand-out tracks are "Take A Bow" and the title track. It's a clear, well produced album, but it is an acquired taste in that it fits into the R N B genre perfectly. So fans of this genre will love it.
It ' s Madonna at her creative best. A 'love' album, free from cheesy lyrics and vocal athletics. Just top, tuneful, memorable, believable love songs from the woman who made it ok to develop muscles and go out in your underwear.
I bought this CD through e-bay as my husband only has the records of some of the madonna albums and wanted to get the CD's so that he could listen to them. The CD itself is not one of her best but buying it for a small amount of money more than made up for it that is why we used e-bay.