Madonna news - Nov. 2005

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30 November - Chart success made Madonna cry
'ME AND ELVIS? Are you kidding?! I'm gonna tell my dad. Maybe that will impress him."
That was Madonna's reaction when we told the Queen of Pop that she has now tied the King of Rock 'n' Roll with the most top-10 singles ever — 36 each. (Her latest being the crazily infectious Hung Up.) M had not heard the news yet. I guess she really does stay away from media! And at 47, touchingly, she still looks for Daddy's approval. The star called from London. I wanted her reaction to Confessions On A Dance Floor reaching No. 1 status in 25 countries, including the good old United States of America.

"It was my husband, Guy, who told me the album was No. 1 in America. I was shocked, stunned, happy. I said, 'We have to celebrate.' So we opened a bottle of champagne — not something I usually do, though I probably should do more of that — I had a glass, and then I sat and cried for 20 minutes. Really. So many conflicting emotions, but basically tears of joy. Don't let anybody tell you commercial success doesn't matter."

M ("everybody calls me M now, I never hear my own name!") is busy planning her next video for the second single, Sorry. She says, "I want it to be a sequel to the 'Hung Up' video — what happens after she dances the night away because her boyfriend is so unavailable." And M is thinking about her "Confessions" concert tour, which might include smaller venues "where I can hear myself singing; I can see the faces!"

Madonna also wants to build a film around her current troupe of dancers, which includes the phenomenally talented Cloud and Hypnosis. "They are not just dancers. They're filmmakers and artists. Creative cyclones. I adore them." We spoke of broken bones — I recently shattered a wrist, she quite a few more — and she said it was terribly difficult coming back from that, to dance again. "Your 46th comeback!" I joked. She laughed, "Yes, I've lost track of how many times I've been written off." She paused. "Maybe that's the reason I cried when I heard about the record. Here's a big scoop. We're human, too." (source: Liz Smith @ NY Post)

30 November - 'Im Going To Tell You A Secret' premieres in London
Madonna spilled the beans on Kabbalah, motherhood and making it when her documentary I'm Going To Tell You A Secret was released this week.

Madonna and Jonas Akerlund at the London premiere of her documentary Madonna and Guy at the London premiere of her documentary Madonna at the London premiere of her documentary The Material Girl arrived for Tuesday evening's screening at a West London cinema in a knee-length black, silver-trimmed dress with husband Guy Ritchie on her arm. For the premiere she'd packed the movie theatre with celebrity pals, including actress Gwyneth Paltrow - who was luminous in a pale gold satin number - Sharleen Spiteri and Stella McCartney.

The documentary - the singer's first since 1991's In Bed With Madonna - gives new insights into family life with the Ritchies. During one scene, the American superstar and her children try out the bed in her suite in a Paris hotel. "Who's the Queen, Rocco?" she asks her five-year-old son. "You, you, you!" Rocco replies.

In another, daughter Lourdes, nine, tells the camera she's looking forward to the end of her mother's tour so she can see more of her. At one point Madonna is shown sulking in a limo because Guy has attended so few of her gigs. "My husband did not turn out to be the person I imagined him to be," she reveals. "It is not easy having a good marriage, but I don't want easy."

The two-hour film will be shown on Channel 4 on Thursday, before being released on DVD. (source: Hello Magazine)
~ Pictures courtesy of AP & Reuters

30 November - Madonna officially the Queen of Europe
Pop superstar Madonna has cemented her position as the queen of pop in Europe as she sits atop both the continent's singles and albums charts.
The 47-year-old's dance anthem Hung Up, which samples ABBA's 'Gimme Gimme Gimme', remains the number one single in Europe for a second week, while her latest album Confessions On A Dance Floor is a new entry at number one.

Elsewhere, the top five European singles remain the same as last week - The Pussycat Dolls ft. Busta Rhymes are at number two with 'Don't Cha'; Robbie Williams' 'Tripping' is at number three; Sugababes' 'Push The Button' is at number four; and Westlife are at number five with 'You Raise Me Up'.

In the European albums chart, Williams falls a place to number two with Intensive Care, while operatic boyband Il Divo re at number three with Ancora.
Kate Bush falls two places to number four with Aerial, and German rockers Rammstein's latest Rosenrot drops a place to number five. (source: ContactMusic)

30 November - Madonna and friends light up capital
Madonna and Stella light up the xmas lights in London Madonna and Stella light up the xmas lights in London Even when she's not hanging off a glitterball, Madonna can't help making a dazzling impression. The disco diva did just that when she arrived to switch on the Christmas lights in one of London's trendiest shopping zones. The Material Girl had been invited to do the honours at Bruton Street, just a stone's throw away from her Marble Arch home.

Despite the chill the singer looked in high spirits at the festive engagement, laughing and joking with her assistants, funnymen David Walliams and Matt Lucas.
The Little Britain stars turned up in character, with David as carer Lou and Matt as his supposedly wheelchair-bound charge Andy. The comedians had spiced up their on-screen personas by dressing up as Santa and his elfin helper.
Fashion designer Stella McCartney, who has a shop on the street, also popped along to see her famous pal Madonna light up the capital.

The American superstar had added reason to look pleased with life - she's currently riding high in the charts with her latest dance tunes. After three weeks her single Hung Up is still in the top spot, while her album is enjoying its second week at number one. (source: Hello Magazine)

Secret Confessions 28 November - New book: Secret Confessions of the Re-Invention Tou
The book SECRET CONFESSIONS FROM THE MADONNA RE-INVENTION TOUR is to coincide the release on DVD of the long-awaited Madonna tour movie I'm Going To Tell You A Secret. Therefore this book is a recommendation for every true Madonna fan. It confesses the whole story of Madonna on tour from Manchester to Lisbon and is illustrated with never-seen photos on tour. What you didn't see in the movie, you'll find in this book.

28 November - Madonna is music to Warner
Madonna has become the first artist to have a simultaneous number one hit across Europe in every music format: single, album, download single and mobile phone ringtone.
The news, based on charts for Europe as a whole, points not only to the popularity of her single, Hung Up, and her album, Confessions On A Dance Floor, but also to the growing importance of new electronic media.

Warner Music, the US group behind Madonna, is placing more and more emphasis on so-called digital revenues from internet downloads and ringtones. Its most recent results show that digital revenues grew to $44m (£27m) in the three months to the end of June, accounting for 6 per cent of revenues, and up by 26 per cent on the previous quarter. (source: Telegraph)

28 November - What Madonna really wants to do is direct
Madonna says she would like to follow the lead of her husband, filmmaker Guy Ritchie, and direct a movie of her own.
The pop singer will appear in a documentary about her life, I'm Going To Tell You A Secret, which will air Dec. 1 on Britain's Channel 4 television.

"I would love to direct a film. I felt very inspired by making this movie, and I learned a lot about filmmaking and storytelling. I would like to do it on my own next time," she said in an interview broadcast Sunday with Channel 4.

Madonna said her 9-year-old daughter, Lourdes, is a good singer and dancer, and would one day follow in her footsteps.
Asked about her horse riding accident in England this summer, which broke her collarbone and cracked three ribs, Madonna said: "I don't want to go there. I get flashbacks. I'm just starting to feel better." (source: AP)

28 November - Madonna accused of 'stealing sample'
Superstar Madonna has been reportedly accused of using a disco sample without permission on her hit new album Confessions On A Dance Floor.
Composer Dominic King tells The Sun newspaper the Material Girl allegedly used his disco riff on her album track Get Together.

King claims he originally lifted the riff from Chaka Khan's track Fate - with permission - and used it for the hit dance anthem Music Sounds Better With You, by Stardust.
King says, "I know her song uses my riff and I'm surprised myself and co-writer Frank Musker didn't get a call.

"It would have been nice to have been asked.
"I am almost certain a discussion about money will happen with her people. These things can be settled in retrospect and something will definitely be happening, believe me." (source: WENN via Yahoo!)

27 November - Album outtakes
Apart from the 12 album tracks on Confessions On A Dance Floor, there are 4 other new song titles registered for Madonna. We've already heard of Super Pop and Fighting Spirit, which are used as bonus tracks for ICON members and the limited edition respectively. Both were co-written by Mirwais, as was a third track called 'Triggering'. Finally there's also another Stuart Price track, with the title 'History'. Whether the two latter will ever be heard is unknown for now. (source: Warner Chappell)

27 November - Chart update
Several sources reported a first-week sale of 4 million albums. However, this is actually the number of albums SHIPPED. According to Media Traffic, the number of actual sold copies is at 1.233.000 worldwide. That makes it the second biggest weekly sales by an album this year after Coldplay's 'X&Y', which sold 1.643.000 copies in week 25.

UK: Album and single are both dominating the UK charts for a second week in a row, which is quite unusual.
Belgium: In this weeks Ultratop, the album is at #1 in the Ultratop 50 albums (both Flanders and Wallonia) as well as in the StuBru Top 50. The single is at #1 in the Ultratop 50 singles (both Flanders and Wallonia) as well as #1 in the Top 30 dance.
Canada: The album is at #1, selling 74.000 copies in its first week.
Denmark: The album is #1 and certified Gold. The single goes down from #1 to #2 in the singles chart, but stays steady at #1 in the dance chart for a 3rd consecutive week.
Finland: The album debuted at #1 in the Top 40 albums, while the single is still #1 in the Top 20 singles and in the airplay chart.
Germany: Both album and single are at #1.
Ireland: The album drops from #4 to #3. The single is still #2 behind Westlife, though it's #1 in the dance chart and the airplay chart.
Mexico: The album stays at #1 for a second week.
Poland: Both album and single at #1.
Sweden: The album is at #1, selling 60.000 copies in its first week.
(sources: DrownedMadonna, MIR, MadonnaTribe & Mad-Eyes readers )

25 November - Frozen sells well... in Belgium
Frozen, the single for which Madonna was accused of plagiarism by a Wallonian judge, is now gaining popularity again, especially in Wallonia [southern part of Belgium]. The album Ray Of Light is raising rapidly in the Wallonian album chart. Flemish people [northern part] who want to get hold of Frozen, prefer to download the song.

Ray Of Light, the album which had Frozen als lead-single, rises to #9 in the Wallonian mid-price album chart of the Ultratop [the official Belgian chart]. One week earlier the same disc wasn't anywhere to be seen in the sales list. It's clear that many Wallonian buyers want to get hold of Frozen before the ban on the song starts. After the court ruling of last friday, the record company got two weeks to stop sale and distribution of the song.

Buying Frozen on single is no longer possible 7 years after its release. If you only want the song, you can still download it, and that has happened significantly more in the past few days. In the download charts of the Ultratop Frozen rises this week to #16. Before the ruling the song was only at #210. The download chart, that only represents a few percents of the national sales, contains other classic hits "But I've never seen a jump like this one" says Sam Jaspers of Ultratop.

The fact that Frozen hasn't sold more in Flanders is no coincidence: music store Fnac already removed all albums and DVD's that contain the track, even though customers keep asking for them. Also at Mediamarkt there's no Frozen to be found anymore. "You can hear customers talking about it, but that doesn't mean they'll buy it" they say, "Especially the new Madonna album is doing well." Madonna's new single Hung Up and the album Confessions On A Dance Floor are both at number one in the Ultratop charts of Flanders and Wallonia. (source: Het Belang Van Limburg; translation by Mad-Eyes)

25 November - Belgian radio stations not happy with Frozen ba
Most Flemish radio stations regret the court decision to ban Madonna's Frozen, but they'll respect the ruling.
Q-Music, radio channel of the Vlaamse Mediamaatschappij (VMMa), and Studio Brussel played the song immediately after the announcement of the court ruling. "We're waiting for a notice from the record company", says Johan Notenbaert, representative of Q-Music.
The judge demanded the record companies to send out a notice to all different media within 15 days communicating the court's decision. "In the meantime we played Frozen, also to let our listeners know which song it was about." Notenbaert calls the ban on the Madonna song a regrettable case, but stresses that the judge is always right.

That's also the opinion of Bart Brusseleers, general manager at 4FM. "We're following the court's decision and we've already removed Frozen from our playlist. Plagiarism is a delicate thing. It's not impossible that certain people get to the same music structure, independantly from each other, but if the judge made this decision on friday, it must've been researched very well", says Brusseleers.

Gerrit Kerremans, music coordinator at Studio Brussel, compared Frozen by Madonna and "Ma vie fout le camp" by Salvatore Acquaviva and noticed the singing lines resemble a lot. "Whether that's worth a court case, is a different matter. We don't care much really.", says Kerremans.

Studio Brussel, which doesn't have a large Madonna fan base, will remove Frozen from its playlist as soon as it received the notice. "Suing big artists for plagiarism seems to become a trend. There's also a court case of two Italians against rapper Eminem", adds Kerremans.
Sabam is careful with comments. The authors organisation knows about the court ruling and will take the necessary steps. "I can't add much to that, because we haven't received notice of the court's ruling. We're waiting for the official notice and will execute what's been told", says communication representative Thierry Dachelet.

The record company don't want to comment at the moment. All communication goes via lawyer Fabienne Brison. Right now, she's debating about whether or not she'll make appeal against the court's ruling. (source: Het Belang Van Limburg; translation by Mad-Eyes)

25 November - Hung Up enters Billboard Top 10, challenging Elvis
By moving up 14-7 on The Billboard Hot 100, Madonna's Hung Up (Warner Bros.) generates a great deal of chart news this week. The most important feat is matching Elvis Presley's 36 top 10 hits, the most for any artist in the rock era.

Madonna racked up that tally in 21 years, five months and three weeks, counting back to the week that Borderline peaked in the top 10. Presley scored his 36 top 10 hits in 16 and a half years, from the first week in 1956 that "Heartbreak Hotel" made the top 10 of the Best Sellers in Stores chart until the week in 1972 when "Burning Love" entered the top 10.
Hung Up is Madonna's highest-charting single in almost five years, since Don't Tell Me reached No. 4 in February 2001. It is her first top 10 hit since Die Another Day bonded to the No. 8 position in 2002. Madonna already held the record for the most top 40 hits by a solo female artist; she continues in first place as Hung Up becomes her 45th top 40 hit, out of 51 chart entries. Aretha Franklin is in second place with 43.

The parent album to Hung Up debuts at No. 1 on The Billboard 200. Confessions On A Dance Floor is Madonna's sixth album to achieve pole position. Her No. 1 albums to date are:

Like A Virgin, three weeks (1985)
True Blue, five weeks (1986)
Like A Prayer, six weeks (1989)
Music, one week (2000)
American Life, one week (2003)
Confessions On A Dance Floor, one week to date (2005)
(source: Billboard Chart Beat)

25 November - Confessions sells FOUR million copies!
As is her wont, Madonna will be stuffing plenty of stockings this holiday season.
The Material Girl scored her third consecutive chart-topper with Confessions On A Dance Floor, selling 350,000 copies in the U.S. for the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures.

Thanks to a worldwide marketing blitz backed by MTV, the disc opened at number one in 25 countries, including the U.K., Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Japan, Sweden, Australia and - despite protests over her invocation of a rabbi in the Kabbalah-inspired track Isaac - Israel. All told, Confessions moved 4 million copies worldwide, per Warner Bros. Records.
The 47-year-old superstar's previous album, American Life, topped the charts in '03 with a substantially fewer 241,000 copies, and the disc became her first not to yield any Top 10 radio hits. Consequently, Madonna went back to her dance pop roots with Confessions and landed another huge radio hit with the ABBA-sampling Hung Up, which also topped the singles chart this week.

The current Rolling Stone cover girl, who has already sold more than 250 million career copies, now has three straight number one albums for the second time in her career. Before 2000's Music kicked off the second set of number ones, she had gone 11 years--the entire '90s--without hitting the top spot.
Confessions is also part of a larger streak. Madonna's debut marks the 10th consecutive different album to open at number one on the Billboard 200 in as many weeks, a run that began back in September with Paul Wall's The People's Champ. It beats the previous mark of nine straight weeks of number ones in 2003, of which American Life was a part.

With Madge on top, American Idol babe Carrie Underwood had to settle for the undercard. Her debut disc, Some Hearts, sold 315,000 copies at number two, making her the second straight Idol champ to miss the top spot. (source: E Online)
~ Confessions is well on its way to become Madonna's best selling album ever! How many times can we say "Congratulations Madonna!" in one week? ;-)

24 November - Possible release date for Sorry
British music store HMV is listing Sorry as second single from Confessions On A Dance Floor, with a release date of 20 February, 2006. Please remember this date hasn't been confirmed by official sources yet and can still be subject to change. (thx to Madonnalicious)

24 November - Madonna quiz
Mad-Eyes reader Suzy has made a cool Madonna quiz. How good is your Madonna knowledge? Test yourself here! Thx for that, Suzy!

Limited edition 24 November - Picture of limited edition
Online store Barnes & Nobles have a teaser picture of the limited edition of Confessions On A Dance Floor, which will be released on December 13th. It will include a picture book, a dairy book with some entries by Madonna, fanclub membership, and the album with an extra bonus track called Fighting Spirit.

24 November - Message from Madonna
On the eve of Thanksgiving, I have many blessings for which I am thankful. High on the list are you, my fans, whose devotion and passion have not gone unnoticed. Although my career has been filled with many highs, I do not take having a Number One album for granted. Confessions On A Dance Floor was a joy to make but having it debuted at No. 1 all over the world brings that joy to a whole new level. You may be proud of me but trust me, I could not be more proud and grateful to all of you for your continuous loyalty and support. I wish you all a beautiful Thanksgiving and I give thanks to each and every one of you.
Love, Madonna

24 November - Madonna canvases available at Z Gallerie
Madonna canvas @ Z Gallerie Madonna's photographs have been re-invented as wall art and are being sold in Z Gallerie furniture stores around the US. Give your home the Madonna touch it deserves with a canvas that is 47x47 inches! Go to to check them out.

24 November - Madonna dances to No. 1 in Canada
Madonna notched another No. 1 album in Canada, but unlike her last effort, the sales figures were very impressive.
Her 14th disc Confessions On A Dance Floor debuted at the top of the charts on sales of 74,000, easily surpassing the numbers of 2003's American Life, which sold 18,000 copies in its first week.
Madonna's previous albums, 2000's Music and 1998's Ray Of Light, also debuted at the top of the charts with sales of 50,300 and 59,900 respectively.
Confessions On A Dance Floor surpassed Nickelback's "All the Right Reasons" (60,000) as the second best debut this year. Coldplay's "X&Y" continues to be the 2005 champion with first-week sales of 105,000.
Madonna also grabbed the No. 1 spot south of the border, selling 350,000 of Confessions in the U.S. (source: Canoe)

24 November - Madonna's Confessions floors Carrie and Carey for Billboard #1
It's not all that surprising that Madonna's Confessions On A Dance Floor — the Material Mom's first collection of fresh music in more than two years — opens atop the next Billboard albums chart, but it is something of a symbolic conquest. A top player in the game for more than two decades, Madonna has secured a spot among the most resilient pop-culture icons. But icon or not, bubbly "American Idol" victor Carrie Underwood and sultry diva Mariah Carey weren't about to just step aside and hand Madonna the Billboard championship belt. She was going to have to earn the win.

While Underwood came close, the latest "Idol" winner simply couldn't take the heat as Madonna scores her third-straight #1 debut (2000's Music took the top spot with close to 420,000 scans, while 2003's American Life finished at #1 with 240,000 plus). According to the latest SoundScan figures, Confessions sold close to 350,000 copies during its first week on record-store shelves, besting Underwood's debut, Some Hearts, by about 35,000 albums. Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi - Ultra Platinum Edition boosted the disc to #4 with 185,000 copies sold, right behind last week's #1, Kenny Chesney's The Road and the Radio, which slips to third with 191,000 plus scans. (source: VH1)

24 November - Madonna blown away by first nightclub outing
Madonna was blown away by her first visit to a New York City nightclub in the early 1980s, because she had no idea people could dance to music in public on their own.
Despite being a professional dancer at the time, the Like A Virgin hitmaker was naive to the idea that clubbers could dance the night away without a partner.
And she credits the experience with giving her a new found feeling of freedom and independence which helped her force her way into the music industry.
Madonna says, "I met this guy, as one does, and he brought me to a nightclub, and I was like, 'Wow.'

"It was called Pete's Place. In one room was John Lurie and The Lounge Lizards and all these guys who looked like 1940s movie stars, and all the girls looked like 1950s movie stars and had perfect eye-liner.
"I thought, 'Oh my God, are there other places like this?' I didn't know you could just walk into a club and start dancing by yourself. I thought someone had to ask you.
"You can just dance for six hours and nobody will bother you and you don't have to drink. I felt an incredible sense of liberation and I felt happier. That sense of freedom and feeling independent." (source: ContactMusic; this is an excerpt from the interview from the Observer)

23 November - Chart update for Belgium
Charts in Belgium are divided for Flanders (northern part of the country) and Wallonia (southern part).
Hung Up is already at #1 in Wallonia, while it's #2 in Flanders, behind Bob Sinclair's Love Generation. It's at #3 in the Top 30 Dance (for both areas)
Confessions is at #4 in Wallonia and at #3 in Flanders. In the Top50 StuBru (Flanders) it's at #2 right behind Robbie Williams' Intensive Care.
Sales are indicating that next week both single and album will be at #1 in both Flanders and Wallonia, so also counting for the entire country!

23 November - Album also #1 in France
Fansite Madonna Electronica reports that Confessions On A Dance Floor has sold over 140.000 copies in its first week on sale in France, which means a well deserved #1 on the French album chart! Hung Up is also #1 single, #1 downloads and #1 airplay!
The album is now #1 in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, UK and US. Worldwide it has already sold over a million copies in only a week time! Way to go, girl!

23 November - Vote for Madonna in CNN poll
CNN is holding a poll to know who is the real Queen of Pop. Madonna is up against Mariah, Beyonce, Britney and Kylie. Right now, she's NOT at the lead and we all know she should be! So get your ass over to the CNN website and cast your vote NOW! (thx to Joni and NH who brought this to our attention)

22 November - Confessions wins battle over US #1!
It was a close call with the album of Carrie Underwood, but Confessions On A Dance Floor won the #1 spot on the Billboard album chart! HitsDailyDouble mentions the sale of 344.061 copies so far, while Underwood sold 303.300 albums. It's Madonna's 6th album that reaches #1 in the US. Once again, congrats Madonna!

22 November - Latest on plagiarism case
Belgian media are still full of the unexpected (and quite absurd!) ruling in the plagiarism case between the Belgian songwriter and madonna. Several journalists are looking for evidence that Madonna actually lived in Belgium in the late 70s. Residents of local village Aalbeke and Moeskroen claim they remember her when she lived there as she was a background dancer for Patrick Hernandez. However, in a 2003 interview with Belgian television, Madonna denied ever having been to Belgium.

The songwriter Acquaviva has expressed interest in taking his case to other countries in order to have Frozen forbidden there as well. Meanwhile, the lawyers for Madonna and Warner hasn't decided yet if they'll appeal against the ruling. Radio stations stopped playing Frozen already. Music stores didn't receive a notice yet, but that should follow shortly. Ironically, the song is among top downloads on iTunes now.

22 November - Mad-Eyes G.A.Y. review & pictures
Queueing overnight (thx for the pic Josh!) Sunday evening, 11.30pm. I'm grinning ear to ear as I step off the Eurostar in Brussels; Let It Will Be is testing the boundaries of the speakers in my MP3-player. It was on friday late afternoon that I took that Eurostar in the opposite direction. Much like when I went to queue at Selfridges one year ago, I rushed immediately from Waterloo station to the place to be: the G.A.Y. Bar. As I arrived there around 10pm, there were only a few queueing. One queue for the G.A.Y. regulars with a voucher; another one with the real Madonnafans. Pretty soon I got some good company in our "non-voucher" queue: my mate Marcin, Josh from Brazil and a whole Italian gang from DrownedMadonna: Francesco, Cleo, Anna,... Together, the 24 hours waiting in the freezing cold got more bearable and we actually got to have a good time (btw, thx for that guys! :-)

We tried not to bother too much about the segregation of the queues, even though club owner Jeremy didn't make an effort to cover up the fact that for him this was a G.A.Y. event meant for his boyfriend-regulars rather than a Madonna event for Madonnafans. We put up with the humiliations and the endless favouritism of Jeremy and his assistant boys with the idea we'd soon get to see our Queen. As that moment neared, the atmosphere among the fans got more and more energetic and enthusiastic. An hour before the opening of the doors, we found ourselves singing both new and old songs out loud in the London streets. Not to mention the screams when Madonna's car passed us by. On top of that, I got to talk to 2 of the dancers who confirmed to me that they had been hired for next year's tour, which is definitely happening. YAY! :-)

Madonna performs at G.A.Y. London Once inside the club, that held about 2.000 people, the DJ heated up the anticipation by playing Madonna songs all the time. As we jammed in front of the T-shaped stage, we recognized Cloud and some other dancers inside the club. At 0.30am sharp, the DJ stopped Who's That Girl. Everyone screamed and watched the video wall in front of us. Stuart, Monte and Steve got on stage in white 70s suits. Then the video screen opened up and out stepped Madonna in her pink disco outfit! The dancers joined her for the high energy Hung Up choreography that we recognized from tthe MTV Awards and the KoKo performance. I immediately noticed how small the venue actually was. There were two guys in front of me but everyone pushed so much that the stage was only half a meter away from me. When Madonna came over to us, I could notice every detail: the twinkling diamonds on her eyelashes, the sweat drops on her skin, the tensed up muscles on her perfectly toned body. She was in fantastic shape and more importantly, she was having a good time!
She interacted a lot with the crowd (although the sound was sometimes so bad that she was hardly understandable). She joked "It's so hot in here; I should've worn my bathing suit. Oh wait... I am!" She then took off her blouse and ordered everyone in the club to do the same. Naturally, many followed her request and one even had the audacity to throw his shirt on stage to which she snapped "I didn't ask you to throw it at me; I don't want your dirt".

Madonna performs at G.A.Y. London As she kicked into the clubby Get Together, she called the KoKo performance only a warm-up for this gig. She asked if we liked the album coz "coz I made this record especially for you, f*ckers!". Before I Love New York, she apologized for the title and explained that it was only a "figure of speech". "Of course I love London; I live here! And the best fans are here!" (or did she say "fags"? ;-) The remix of Let It Will Be was a huge success with the crowd going balistic, as Madonna danced in front of cool video imagery. At one point, she provocatively stuck her hand down her pants and kept dancing like this. She again played with the audience when a fan had thrown some water on stage. As an assistant quickyl cleaned the floor, Madonna demanded who had done that. When I fan confessed his sin, she asked him to stick out his hand for a spanky and she playfully slapped it. Naturally, everyone started shouting "I did it! I did it!", much to the delight of our diva (/dita). She introduced Everybody as her first single, and did the fantastic disco dance while the crowd was singing "Dance & sing, get up and do your thing".

Those who knew the setlist of KoKo expected the end of the show when all of a sudden she launched into the chorus of Jump. And jump we did, in total ecstacy! Then it was really goodbye and she boogied her way out through the video screen doors. Like A Prayer sounded through the speakers and for a moment, we expected this as an encore but then realised it was the DJ who had again taken over. Completely exhausted but on a natural high, Marcin and I searched our new friends and collected our thoughts on this incredible Madonna experience.
~ Check Marcin's amazing pictures in our gallery.

22 November - Looks good on the dance floor
The Observer Music Monthly (OMM) features a great interview with Madonna and Stuart Price. Here are some of the highlights.

The Observer Music Monthly - click to read Madonna wanted to write the new album mostly with Mirwais, but the few songs she did with Stuart gave her a much better vibe, which made her decide to have him produce the entire album. She talks a lot on the production process of the album.
She says she has abandoned her musical Hello Suckers (at least for now)
She talks about her early disco years in New York
She discusses her career and the way she's grown throughout the years. "God doesn't give a shit about how many records I've sold or how many hits I've had. All he cares about is how I behaved, how I treated people."
The reporter mentions some highlights from the documentary
Madonna admits that Guy thought some of her new tracks were 'shit'; "he likes Irish folk music..."
Next year's tour is definitely confirmed! It'll probably be called "Confessions Tour" or "Confess Your Sins Tour".

22 November - Madonna dominates U.K. charts
Madonna sunday (Nov. 20) added a ninth U.K. No. 1 album to her career tally, joining her 11th No. 1 single to complete her domination of the British sales charts. Confessions On A Dance Floor (Warner Bros.) went straight to No. 1 on the new album survey, while Hung Up started a second week at the singles chart peak.

Confessions is the fifth of Madonna's last six album releases to reach the U.K. summit, the only exception being the 2001 compilation GHV2: Greatest Hits Volume 2, which stalled at No. 2. Her first British album bestseller was 1984's Like A Virgin.
On the singles chart, Hung Up continued to rule ahead of Westlife's former chart-topper "You Raise Me Up" (S/Sony BMG), which is still No. 2, and Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps" (A&M), which arrived at No. 3. (source: Billboard)

19 November - Double chart-topper in the UK!
Madonna is poised to confirm her Queen of Pop reputation by topping both the singles and albums charts this weekend. Her hot new LP, Confessions On A Dance Floor, has sold nearly 250,000 copies since going on sale on Monday and is poised to become the biggest-selling album of the year.

Meanwhile Madonna's single, Hung Up, has sold nearly twice as many copies as Westlife's You Raise Me Up, confirming her superstar status. Gennaro Castaldo, of music retailers HMV, said Madonna's achievement was a fantastic double and showed that she was worthy of her place in the pantheon of pop royalty. He said: "Both the album and her single Hung Up have been a massive event in the shops. We have struggled to fill the shelves back up quickly enough. She is a real superstar, the mere mention of her name causes a frenzy. (source: UK News)
~ Congratulations Madonna!

18 November - Reuters on plagiarism suit
A Belgian songwriter has won a court battle against pop star Madonna after accusing her of plagiarising one of his songs for her 1998 hit single, Frozen, his lawyer said on Friday.
Salvatore Acquaviva's lawyer said a court in the southern Belgian town of Mons had ordered the country's music stores to withdraw the record from their shelves within the next 15 days.The court also ordered radio and television stations to stop playing the song, he said.
"(They) cannot broadcast the work Frozen ... under pain of a 150,000-euro fine," he told the local radio network, RTBF.

It was not immediately clear if damages were awarded to Acquaviva.
The single comes from Madonna's Ray Of Light album of the same year. (source: Reuters)

18 November - Frozen forbidden in Belgium
It's all over the Belgian media now: Madonna has lost the plagiarism suit, which means that the distribution of Frozen is now forbidden in Belgium. Warner or Madonna's team hasn't yet reacted to the court decision, but they can still file protyest against it. Here's an artikel from Gazet Van Antwerpen (translation by Mad-Eyes):

"The court judge of Bergen has decided today that the song Frozen by Madonna contains plagiarism. He has forbidden to sell or play the song any longer on Belgian territory. With this decision, the judge agrees with the point of view of the plaintiff Salvatore Acquaviva.
Salvatore Acquaviva from Moeskroen has always claimed that Frozen was plagiarism from a song he composed, "Ma vie fout le camp". According to the judge, four bars of the track are indeed plagiarised by the American pop singer.

The judge has forbidden the sale and the distribution (on the radio) of the song starting today. The decision is valid for the entire Belgian territory.
The song Frozen was released by Warner, EMI and Sony. The judge has ordered them to send within 15 days a notice to all media in which the court decision is communicated, with two separate fines of 125.000 Euro each. The first fine is for the ban on the sale; the second for the ban on the distribution.

Judge Xavier Hiernaux doesn't just confirm the "original" character of Salvatore Acquaviva's song. He also judges that there are non-coincidental similarities between his song and the one of Madonna. According to the judge, Madonna definitely had "access to musical information allowing her to make Frozen". He also said that the argument of the plaintiff - that Madonna would have been in Moeskroen at the end of the 70s and that she got to know the song as a backup singer - is reasonable.

The judge didn't believe the claim of Madonna that she wasn't involved in the writing of the four bars in question. Patrick Leonard, the man who wrote several hits for Madonna, would have done it.
At the end of the trial Lawyer Victor-Vincent Dehin, counsellor of Salvatore Acquaviva, said that this decision is only the first step. According to the lawyer there have to be talks about the copyrights that were missed by Acquaviva. "It could be about a reasonable amount of money. But first there needs to be made an accounting expertise", says Dehin.

18 November - Belgian plagiarism court case starts today
Today the plagiarism court case of a Belgian composer against American pop singer Madonna starts in Bergen (Belgium).
Belgian Salvatore Aquaviva has been claiming for eight years that Madonna stole music from his song "Ma vie fout le camp" to produce the song Frozen.

Aquaviva says that Madonna was in Belgium in the late 70s, when she was still unknown, and heard the track as a backup singer. "Madonna got the tape from the producer himself", says Aquaviva.
"The two melodies resemble a lot, two parts that form half of the song Frozen, are stolen from me".

Madonna denies that she's ever been to Belgium and says she has never heard of the Aquaviva song and also that she composed those song parts herself.
Madonna won't attend the court case herself; she'll send a representative.
"The judge will have to decide. It's not because you're small, that you shouldn't act", resumes Aquaviva in his interview with "Voor de dag". (source:; translation by Mad-Eyes)

~ Check and click on the link under "Geluid" to hear a comparison of the two melodies. Judge yourself. Seems to me someone smelled easy money... (note that as a Belgian myself, I've never heard of the song nor the singer...)

18 November - Children in Need enlist Madonna
Madonna will join a host of stars to help raise money for BBC Children in Need on Friday night.
The singer will perform live during the seven-hour telethon, which hopes to beat the record total of £34.2m raised last year.

The evening also features a special broadcast of Doctor Who and performances by Craig David and Texas.
Presenter Terry Wogan said: "It's another show jam-packed with money-raising madness."
The evening will be co-hosted by newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky and Top of the Pops presenter Fearne Cotton.
As usual there are a number of events taking place around the country including Status Quo opening a fundraising show headlined by Girls Aloud in RAF Brize Norton and the Sugababes performing live from a concert in Wrexham.

The fund-raising begins with Liberty X performing the Children in Need charity single A Night to Remember.
Every penny raised goes directly to children and young people in need across the UK.
The casts of Casualty, EastEnders and Emmerdale are also taking part.
BBC news presenters including Natasha Kaplinsky and Dermot Murnaghan will perform rock band Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody on the night.
The BBC Children in Need Appeal begins at 1900 on BBC One. (source: BBC)

18 November - Madonna throws 'mother of all parties'
Material Girl turned pop queen, Madonna, may be picky about her pals, but once she has picked them, she sure knows how to spoil them.
click to enlarge And that was blatantly obvious at her post-gig bash at super-hip West End club Kabaret's Prophecy, on Tuesday night, where she treated her exclusive clique of pals, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Bob Geldof and former Spice Girl Mel C, to the "mother of all parties".
The party, thrown by the star to celebrate the release of her 11th album, Confessions On A Dance Floor, reportedly cost her over 75000 pounds, and included two giant bottles of Cristal champagne costing 10,000 pounds a piece alongwith the finest cuisine provided by flash restaurant Nobu.

"The guests were feasting on rock shrimp tempura and black cod and it was all polished off within minutes. It was an absolutely no-expense-spared bash.
"The canapes alone cost #15,000, the Cristal flowed all night, plus mojitos and lemon drop cocktails - but Madge stuck to vintage red wine and Kaballah water.
"The club even hired 50 extra staff just to valet park the guests' cars. It was a really incredible night," The Mirror quoted a source, as saying. (source: Sify)

18 November - Madonna film spills few secrets
A new documentary about Madonna gives fans an insight into the mixture of hard work and spirituality which drives the singer - but despite its title, there are few fresh revelations for fans.
I'm Going To Tell You A Secret, which will be screened on Channel 4 next month, follows her 2004 tour from the dancer audition stage through to the final performance.
The two-hour film is directed by arty pop video director Jonas Akerlund and executive produced by the singer herself, more than 20 years after her first hit.
It gives an authorised perspective on her personal life, including her interest in philosophy and theology.

Some of her favourite passages, from sources as varied as the Old Testament and her own pen, punctuate the film.
"Light is immortality," Madonna - a student of the mystical Jewish teachings of Kabbalah - says in a voiceover at one point.
"It's a place where there is no pain or suffering."

Disturbing images
The documentary opens with Madonna reading a section of the Book of Revelations about "the coming of the beast", over images of wolves and the singer herself being restrained.
This will be the opening film for her stage show.
A renowned perfectionist, Madonna, 47, takes the preparations very seriously.
"When you are putting together a show, it's like being in wartime," she explains. "There's a unity."

She sits in on the dancer auditions to have her say on the selection.
After watching the hopefuls, the former full-time dancer realises how far she has come.
"I'm glad I'm not a dancer any more," she says. "It's a dog's life."
Prayer is clearly an important part of Madonna's preparations.

Personal philosophy
She gets her dancers to join hands in a circle shortly before they take to the stage.
She tells them to lead the audience: "I want you to inspire them to be a better version of what they are already."
The backstage footage is mixed with live performances of hits like Vogue and Like A Prayer, along with newer material like Hollywood.

Madonna performs American Life on her Re-Invention Tour Madonna's more politicised stance sees her dancers perform American Life in army uniforms in front of a backdrop film containing images of war and religion.
Backstage, she explains she feels the urge to "wake people up". "You've got to give people solutions or they will fall asleep again," she explains.
Away from the stage, fans get an insight into her improved relationship with her father, with whom she often battled after her mother died in 1963.
Father Sylvio even gives his view on Kaballah: "I've read some of the books she's given me and there's nothing in it that isn't in the Scriptures."
Madonna's own children appear throughout, with daughter Lourdes saying she wished she saw her mother more when she was touring.

Home life
The singer admits her relationship with British film director husband Guy Ritchie is not "easy" at times.
"I thank God every day I am married to a man who makes me think," she says.
Ritchie appears regularly, wrestling with Madonna's bodyguards in the gym, hiring a London pub for his birthday or singing along to his favourite Irish folk songs.
Elsewhere, she is shown writing poems to thank her personal assistant and taking her dancers for a character-building evening watching classical pianists in Paris.
"I feel like I know so much more than I knew before," she reveals. "Sometimes fun is over-rated."

Those hoping for shock revelations about media-savvy Madonna may be disappointed by the film but she clearly wants her audience to know she is more responsible as she nears 50.
"I've a huge ego and I need to change," she says at one point. "Knowing is the beginning."
I'm Going To Tell You A Secret will be shown on Channel 4 on 1 December at 2100 GMT (source: BBC)

18 November - Madonna criticizes Bush
Madonna has urged US citizens to turn against President George W Bush over his failure to provide adequate aid for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in August.
The Hung Up singer was "devastated" when Michael Moore's documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 didn't stop Bush winning the 2004 election and insists America must now realise his incompetence.

She says: "I was just frigging devastated, It was a real sad day. I don't get how people can have all these facts and still turn away from them.
"9/11 was too ambiguous. You couldn't prove how the government was somehow in on the deal. You could say 'Oh that's just Michael Moore'. New Orleans was undeniable irresponsibility." (source: Ireland Online)

17 November - Album review: Fun but flighty
She used to be the mother of invention. Now, Madonna is content to be the mother of reinvention.
But who can disparage her for channeling her inner ABBA -- literally, on the smooth Hung Up, which samples the Swedes' "Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)" -- considering club land is where she has always thrived?

Not that Confessions On A Dance Floor, Madonna's 14th release in 22 years, is a return to her roots, because this is really her first intense commitment to full-on mirror-ball thumping. Getting a crowd to "Vogue" is one thing. Serving up a dozen tracks of buzzing, weaving synthesizers and soft electronica beats that seamlessly segue without coming up for air is an entirely different endeavor.

Does she succeed? Well, does Madonna ever fail?
If you believe the soft sales of 2003's American Life and the critical drubbing she received for being outspoken and political -- such a shock coming from her, you know -- then yes, that album is the asterisk in her footnotes. But closer listens extracted plenty of vintage Madge, with Hollywood, Love Profusion and Nobody Knows Me as worthy of positive spin as Secret or Rain from her early'90s output.

Perhaps that first experience with musical failure (obviously she's encountered the feeling, given her string of movie flops) triggered a retreat to a comfort zone and a desire to reshape classic disco. As lovely as some of her ballads (Live To Tell, Take A Bow), Madonna is always most comfortable when rhythm is chasing her thin vocals.
The highlight of Confessions Sorry -- is a relentless sonic whir that, just when you're being lulled by its monotonous beat, explodes with an arena-ready chorus. Confessions could have used more of that structure. Even with their sophisticated pulsing, I Love New York, Let It Will Be and Forbidden Love tumble into that chilly anonymous cavern that swallows most dance music. Fitness instructors, however, will be forever thankful she has provided these stable tempos that work so well during step class.

Confessions' lone musically adventurous offering is Isaac, Madonna's deliberate nod to her religious beliefs that is lightly dusted with strings and chanting. Its chorus alludes to Frozen much like the staccato strings that open Let It Will Be reference Papa Don't Preach, an obviously intentional move given the latter's reflective lyrics ("Now I can tell you about success, about fame, about the rise and fall of all the stars in the sky").

Many have already claimed this album as Madonna's purest since, if not her debut, then 1989's Like A Prayer.
Not so fast.
Those albums contained actual songs, with storytelling and melodies at the forefront. Confessions, as enjoyable as it is, is just a flighty dance partner. (source: Times Dispatch)

17 November - British press hails Madonna's return
"Short but oh so sweet Madonna" read the headline in London's Evening Standard, one of many British newspapers hailing the singer's brief return to the stage.
Madonna sang five songs, including four from her new album Confessions On A Dance Floor, at the Koko club in north London, the venue where she gave her first British performance in 1983.

The final song was Everybody, the song she performed that night.
Madonna @ KoKo "The promised brevity only made the show more desirable," the Standard said.
Fans queued outside overnight Monday to be one of the 200 let in for free to join the 1,500 ticket winners and celebrities, including actress Gwyneth Paltrow, singer-turned-activist Bob Geldof, and the groups New Order and the Pet Shop Boys.
The 47-year-old fell off a horse on her birthday in August, cracking three ribs, breaking a collar bone and fracturing a hand.
However, there was no sign of the singer taking it easy on stage.
"Madonna gives it her all", The Independent said. "She does, you have to admit, look fabulous."

The Guardian said: "She's a remarkably compelling performer".
Madonna trated the crowd to Hung Up, Let It Will Be, Get Together, I Love New York from her latest album.
"The last time I played Camden Palace was 22 years ago," she told her fans.
"It was my first show in London and I've got to tell you it's so great to be back.
"I feel like I'm really out of shape right now -- I don't like falling off horses."
Hung Up, the first single from her new album, is currently topping the singles charts giving Madonna her 11th British number one hit.
Music retailer HMV said the album is outselling the current number one by two to one and is expected to top the chart on Sunday. (source: AFP)

16 November - US chart news
In it's 4th week in the US Hot 100 Singles chart, Hung Up is expected to rise again to (20 => 21 => 27 =>) #14. This is mostly due to sales. Although Z100 has now (finally) added the song to their playlist, airplay is still only average. US fans: keep requesting! The video is back on #1 on TRL, which should give some extra exposure.

Meanwhile, the album has sold in a range between 325.000 and 350.000 copies. This could be enough for a #1 on the Album chart, but it depends how much Idol artist Carrie Underwood will sell. So, it will be a battle between #1 and #2. (thx to Krissy for the info ;-)
Update 17/11: it is now confirmed: Hung Up rises to #14. Now let's get it into the Top10 next week!

16 November - Madonna rekindles her inner disco diva
Madonna's career, as multifaceted as a mirror ball, gets a fresh shine and a retro spin with a dense and dizzying return to the club culture that hatched her 20 years ago.
The 47-year-old Kabbalah student, yoga pretzel, kiddie-book author and lady of the English manor rediscovers her inner disco diva in the feverish Confessions On A Dance Floor (* * * ½ out of four).

Out Tuesday, it's a giddy rebound from the stern political and spiritual turn she took on 2003's American Life.
At the moment, she isn't protesting or proselytizing. Her aim is to entertain. And maybe mop the dance floor with a few pop ingénues trespassing into her groove.
The ballad-free Confessions opens with the smashing Hung Up, cleverly built around a sample from ABBA's Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight). The song is an exceedingly rare instance of the Swedish supergroup granting access to its pop goldmine, and the track sets the tone for an electronic dance-pop bonanza.

Let It Will Be has a radiant psychedelic vibe reminiscent of Ray Of Light. The synth-heavy Future Lovers is a trippy delight, and Kraftwerk knockoff Forbidden Love is a knockout.
Isaac, splicing a Hebrew chant to sonic shimmer, succeeds as global-pop exotica despite fuzzy lyrics and a clunky spoken-word coda. (Madonna denies the charge of some kabbalists who say the song exploits one of the Jewish sect's ancient mystics.)
The music is passed off as "future disco," but it really is a vibrant flashback spiked with the contemporary precision-tooled wizardry of co-producer Stuart "Les Rhythmes Digitales" Price, the musical director on Madonna's Drowned World and Re-Invention tours.

Madonna isn't so much reinventing herself as reinforcing her royal status in pop as the Queen of Clubs.
Her voice, vastly improved since that '80s squeak, sounds pretty and unfettered (even when computerized) as it rides over tense waves of blip-whoosh-thrum technoise and blissful snap-crackle beats.
Like an extended club mix, each song segues into the next, creating a shifting hypnotic pulse.
The music is so heady and charged that the lean melodies, which can get trampled under throbbing rhythms, are forgivable.

There's no excuse, however, for clichés, nursery-rhyme simplicity and tired topics, such as the price of fame in How High. Surely Madonna is capable of wittier couplets than "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your names will never hurt."
Yet such missteps scarcely impede the furious momentum, and it's unlikely listeners will be pondering Madonna's self-empowerment mantras as she's causing a commotion on the dance floor. (source: USA Today)

16 November - Madonna mini-show wows London
Madonna turned back the years with a one-off gig for just hundreds of fans at the same spot where she first performed in Britain 22 years ago.
The 47-year-old star launched her new album, Confessions On A Dance Floor, in front of 1,500 people at London's Koko Club.
The undersize venue -- formerly known as the Camden Palace -- was where Madonna gave her first live UK performance in June 1983.

Madonna @ KoKo Madonna @ KoKo Madonna @ KoKo Fans camped out for more than 24 hours to get into the club -- once an old-style theatre played by Charlie Chaplin and where the BBC, in the 1950s, recorded the Goon Show. Most of the crowd consisted of contest winners.

When she last performed at the north London venue -- two miles from London's center -- she was an unknown singer who had just released the underground U.S. club hit Everybody.
In 2005 the gig by the woman dubbed "Queen of Pop" was described by British media "the hottest ticket in town."

Of the 1,500-strong audience, 200 had queued overnight in freezing temperatures to bag the last batch of free tickets.
British newspapers admitted to being star-struck.
"She is still the Dancing Queen -- live and at her glittering best," said the Times.
"Pelvic thrusts, high kicks.. they went wild," said the Daily Mail calling the show "noisy, panting and mildly pornographic."

"Never let it be said Madonna doesn't work for her millions," said The Guardian, adding that the star "is certainly one of the few forty something women on earth who could stand onstage playing air guitar."
Four of Madonna's songs were tracks from the new album, including her current and 11th number one hit Hung Up.
The fifth was Everybody -- the song that started it all.

She told the audience: "The last time I played Camden Palace was 22 years ago. It was my first show in London and I've got to tell you it's so great to be back."

Madonna @ KoKo Madonna @ KoKo Madonna @ KoKo Among the crowd were celebrities including Stella McCartney, Bob Geldof and his daughter Peaches, and Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant.
The club was a far cry from the huge venues Madonna normally plays -- her last London performance was at Live 8 in the capital's Hyde Park before tens of thousands.

After arriving on stage 40 minutes late, Madonna emerged from a giant glitter ball to sing the first number dressed in an all-purple ensemble of jacket, velvet pedal pushers and knee-high boots.
She took off her jacket to reveal a tight vest and when one fan threw his shirt at the stage she remonstrated: "Don't throw your clothes at me -- I took my shirt off, I don't want to put another one on."

Confessions On A Dance Floor is a return to Madonna's disco roots and she performed with a four-piece band dressed in Saturday Night Fever-style white suits.
Introducing her last song, Everybody, she referred to the riding accident three months ago when she suffered three cracked ribs, telling the crowd: "I feel like I'm really out of shape right now, I don't like falling off horses, so I'm going to do one more song."

One of the new songs she performed was I Love New York -- a title which prompted her to apologize to the audience at the north London club. She explained: "This next song is called I Love New York. But I love London too -- if I didn't, why do you think I'd live here? I wrote a song about New York because New York for me was about survival. It is more a state of mind than a place." And she added: "I want to thank all of my fans who camped out all night in the freezing cold so they could see me. That's what I'm talking about. That's a New York state of mind."

The gig was broadcast live on the Internet to a worldwide audience.
British media were quick to point out that the performance was also a chance for Madonna to prove she could sing live.
Elton John sparked a war of words at the Q Awards when he accused her of lip-synching during her last tour -- a charge she denies.

According to The Guardian, this was no place to find the answer.
Wrote its reviewer: "A guttural scream in the middle of I Love New York certainly suggests that her microphone is switched on, but, in reality, no one comes to see Madonna in a venue this small in order to marvel at her vocal prowess. (source: CNN)

16 November - Album review: Madonna's 'Confessions' glides
Madonna without the marriage, the children, the British estate? Such is the fantasy world conjured up in Confessions On A Dance Floor.
Madonna never completely deserted clubland, of course, but she hasn't made an album this consistently beat-driven since 1992's Erotica. Once again, she's the restless soul aching to connect, this time by way of fluid Ibiza techno (Jump, Get Together) and a robo-voiced Kraftwerk homage (Forbidden Love); Hung Up shows how effortlessly she can tap into her petulant inner teen.

Unencumbered by the freneticism and unevenness that marred her last few albums, Confessions glides on a jet stream; for that extra rave-new-world touch, the songs segue into one other.
For all its pretenses of being giddy and spontaneous, though, Confessions is rarely either. Madonna is no longer the free spirit of her youth, which is plenty obvious when she ponders the spiritual "place where I belong" (Let It Will Be) or indulges in further self-pity over the price o' fame (How High). It's as if a rain cloud has settled over her nightclub.

Yet Brit techno whiz Stuart Price, her new co-producer, overrides her cliches by focusing on the beats. The disingenuous I Love New York wants us to believe she feels like "a dork" when she's not in that city and that she's down on London, her new home. But damn if that chorus won't make for a perfect jingle for a tourism commercial.
Like so many Madonna albums, this one eventually runs low on gas; not even Price can make sense of her Kabbalah parable, Isaac, which evokes older, better Madonna hits. But she's smart enough to know that dulcet dance music for grown-ups is a worthy niche waiting to be filled.
EW Grade: B+
(source: CNN - Entertainment Weekly)

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