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.Read full review