Madonna news - April 2003

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MTV On Stage and On the Record video

26 April 2003

Go to the Hot Hot Hot section at to download video files from Madonna's performance at MTV's On Stage and On the Record. And click here for a sample of her performance at Tower Records.

Madonna at VMA? *rumour*

26 April 2003

Madonna is rumoured to appear at this year's MTV VMA on August 28th. MTV is said to be in talk with her for a possible performance. More on this as soon as we hear it.

Madonna tops list of 'Greatest Video Stars' on MTV

Source: Madonna Information report - 26 April 2003

MTV's Internet audience has named Madonna the greatest music video star ever, according to a new special airing Saturday. Madonna's "innovation, creativity, and contribution to the music video art form" puts her at the top of the list during "The Greatest Video Stars" special airing at 1 p.m. Saturday on MTV, the channel said. The list of greatest video artists was determined through a recent poll conducted at

"The video has really become a marriage between the artist and our audience," says Michele Dix, senior vice president of music and talent programming at MTV and MTV2. The list, she says, includes "the broad entertainer" as well as "artists who were just there to make a video all their own."

Madonna's lexicon of videos includes controversial works such as Like A Prayer, in which she dances in front of a burning cross; Justify My Love, involving sadomasochism; and What It Feels Like For A Girl, banned for its violent content. "Her ability to always intrigue the audience captives (viewers)," Dix says. "Her last video reinvented her in a cowgirl image. She is someone who is truly a sex symbol and she was (seen) in this cowboy attire with a hip-hop beat."

The MTV online honor comes at a time when Madonna is having yet more video woes. She pulled her original video cut of American Life, her current single, because of its political imagery. In the original video, Madonna dances in a military uniform and throws a grenade in the lap of President Bush. Her new "performance" version has Madonna still in uniform but dancing in front of a collage of images.

The MTV list also names 1990s rock act Guns N Roses at No. 6, though the band has not had an active video on MTV in almost a decade. MTV viewers have a long memory, Dix says. "Those videos were epic," she says of the Guns N Roses inclusion. "You felt like you were watching a rock band in their real element." Artists are "taking making their videos as seriously as they do writing their lyrics," Dix says.

Many are involved in finer details of the video shoots these days. Five years ago, she says, artists weren't as involved in the video production, leaving many of the decisions up to record labels and marketing gurus. The poll include a wide range of music styles, from hard rockers (Aerosmith, Limp Bizkit) to hip-hop (Eminem, Dr. Dre). MTV would not release an exact number of how many votes were cast.

People Magazine article

25 April 2003

Read the complete Madonna interview in People Magazine here.

Golden record auctioned for 6000 euro

25 April 2003

Radio Donna ended their auction of the golden record with a bid of 6.000 euro! In two weeks the anonymous bidder will receive the record, personally signed by Madonna. The money will go to the Red Cross in Bagdad.

Meanwhile, Donna will give away a double ticket for Madonna's performance in Paris (on May 7th) to the fan who can present the best rap, in which he expresses his desire to see Madonna live in Paris. Good luck!

New Madonna book

25 April 2003

De Stem van een Generatie 2In October 2001 we reported about the first Belgian Madonna book "Madonna: Stem van een Generatie" which was mostly about the Drowned World Tour. Right now, there's a sequel.

"Madonna: Stem van een Generatie 2" talks more about the Drowned World Tour and continues with Swept Away, Die Another Day, Up For Grabs and of course American Life. The book (for now only available in Dutch) contains 48 pages and costs 14,82 euro.

AL in the charts

Source: Madonna Information Report - 25 April 2003

Hot 100 position down 37-52 in its 5th week.

* Hot 100 Airplay: Down 61-67 (3 weeks)
* Hot 100 Singles Sales; Down 2-3 (5 weeks)
* Top 40 Tracks: Down 32-34 (3 weeks)
* Top 40 Mainstream: Holds at 27* (4 weeks)
* Dance Music/Club-Play: 37-22* (2 weeks; previously reported)

Meanwhile, it's doing better in other territories, with a #1 in Canada and Italy.

Shakira blasts Madonna as 'spineless'

Source: Ananova - 25 April 2003

Shakira has called Madonna "spineless" for axing the controversial anti-war video to new single American Life. She says the star should have stuck with the promo for American Life, rather than axing it weeks before its release because of the Iraq war.

In the video Madonna dresses as a soldier and throws a grenade into George Bush's lap. She told fans she had withdrawn the video out of "sensitivity and respect" to the armed forces involved in the Iraq War. But Shakira said: "I'd expect a little more backbone from Madonna. Good pop music is always political in times of crisis."

Shakira made a strong anti-war statement by projecting images of Saddam Hussein and Bush as puppets during her tour. But they lose control of the game and the puppeteer is revealed as the grim reaper.

Second part of Madonna Top 30 on Donna

25 April 2003

Tonight at 7pm there's the second part of Donna's Madonna Top 30, including: Holiday, Borderline, Express Yourself, Die Another Day, Material Girl, Like A Virgin, Into The Groove, Papa Don't Preach, Beautiful Stranger, La Isla Bonita, Music, Ray Of Light, Like A Prayer and Vogue.

Meanwhile, the highest offer for the golden record stands at 2700 euro. Bids are still taken at

MTV special on MTV Europe

24 April 2003

MTV Europe will broadcast the Madonna special "On Stage & On The Record" tomorrow, friday:

"Tune in on Friday 25th at 15.00 for the exclusive premiere of "Madonna On Stage & On The Record", which marks Madonna's debut performance of songs from her new studio album American Life.

This exclusive and intimate show was taped live from the MTV Times Square studios in New York City, and also includes an interview with the queen of pop, live questions from the audience, plus a sneak peak at more never-before-heard songs from "American Life".

And as if that isn't enough you will also be treated throughout the weekend to her entire collection of chart success', from her 1983 debut, all the way through nearly two decades and over forty video releases to her latest offerings, as MTV goes Madonna Mad!"

The special will also re-air on:
MTV: Madonna On Stage and ON the Record: 04/25/03 01:00 PM Friday
MTV2: Madonna - The Definitive: 4/26 @ 1pm, Madonna "Extended Play" - 4/26 @ 3pm, 4/27 @ 9:30am & 11:00pm

First part of Madonna Top 30 on Donna

24 April 2003

Belgian fans should tune in to radio Donna tonight at 7pm for the first part of the Madonna top 30, including following songs: Cherish, American Life, Bedtime Story, Crazy For You, Who's That Girl, Rain, Secret, Open Your Heart, Don't Tell Me, American Pie, This Used To Be My Playground, Live To Tell, The Power Of Good-Bye and Justify My Love. The evening playlist also contains Nothing Fails (around 8.30pm) and Hollywood (around 9.30pm).

Meanwhile, the radio station has begun their auction of a golden record, personally signed by Madonna. Right now (10.30am) someone offered 1200 euro for it, but I'm sure that price will rise still. The money will go to the Red Cross in Bagdad.

More nostalgia: Like A Virgin live!

24 April 2003

Yesterday Madonna did an in-store performance in Tower Records in New York. While promoting her new album with the performance of 5 new songs, she went again down memory lane; this time it was Like A Virgin's turn. Who would've thought we'd ever hear that one live again? Here's a short report from Madonna fan Daniel (from MadonnaMad forum):

The set list was:

Madonna at Tower Records - courtesy of MadonnaCenter- American Life (acoustic)
- Mother and Father (acoustic)
- X-Static Process (acoustic)
- Nothing Fails (acoustic)
- Like a Virgin (acoustic)
- Hollywood (plugged)
- American Life (plugged)

As for the signing M only did 120 (of those 50 were contest winners).... so of the 250 with wrist bands who waited only 70 got in... the final people did not get personalized signatures, only her name...

Words cannot express the energy of her performance and how much she interacted with the audience.

She said that Hollywood was a code word for the establishment.... and "fuck them all." She also said if you want to protest for peace in the world you should find it in your own life first.

The coolest thing was her saying "Thank you for making me feel like a star -- a star in the real sense. I really feel loved."

~ Many fans reportedly left upset and without autograph... Those who saw the performance note that the audience had to help Madonna with the Like A Virgin lyrics!!

MTV special: Madonna performs Like A Prayer!

23 April 2003

Madonna (looking young & gorgeous with one of her now signature hats on) opened the show with a live performance of American Life! Madonna sounded amazing and even did the rap part perfectly! Throughout the special, Madonna went on to perform Hollywood, Nothing Fails & LIKE A PRAYER (With a choir)!

Madonna at MTV - courtesy of Madonnacenter

Madonna went on to answer some audience questions. Here are some of the things she discussed: On whether she was planning a greatest hits tour... to which she swiftly replied "NO"... When a fan asked what video she had most fun making, she joked Justify My Love... On what her favorite dance song of hers was, she answered Music!...

Madonna at MTV - courtesy of Madonnacenter

When a fan asked her what her favorite book was, she answered "The Alchemist"... An audience member asked her if she felt that she had conquered the world... and while the audience screamed "yes", Madonna replied "No... There is a lot more to do"!... During a commercial break, Madonna told the audience that she wanted Nothing Fails to be the THIRD single!

USA Today review

Source: USA Today - 22 April 2003

There've been lots of contradictory reviews the past few days. Unfortunately, some critics just seem to hate Madonna whatever she does, and write a negative review about her rather than about her album. However, posting only the positive ones wouldn't exactly give a good representation.

The following one by the USA Today is a nice one, and will be the last one we post. After all, it's now your turn to buy the album and judge yourself. You can always let us know what you think in our American Life polls.

"The naughty nymph who breached taboos in 1992's Sex book is back to expose herself again. Brace yourself. This philosophical striptease act is a true revelation. Aimed more at the head than the hips, American Life, which arrives in stores today, offers an all-access pass into Madonna's psyche. It's not a lurid undressing room but an offstage confessional where the intrepid diva jettisons her jet-setting lifestyle for a spiritual plane.

Matter doesn't matter, the singer asserts over percolating dance beats in the crackling title track. She segues into a sassy rap inventory of star perks that define her material gains but failed to nourish her interior world. Throughout Life, Madonna is an earnest, sometimes strident disciple of humility and family values who rejects greed, revels in newfound serenity and spreads the gospel of goodness and gratitude.

Though a scolding tone creeps in now and then, most of her denunciations are leveled at the success-obsessed Madonna of yore. Her pronouncements that lasting love trumps casual affairs and that the cult of celebrity beckons with false prophets (read: profits) are hardly noteworthy discoveries. But coming from a marketplace dominatrix with 20 years of attention-seeking sexploits, this Life takes a bold turn.

Musically, Madonna's 10th album of original material builds on the disco structures of Music and Ray of Light, though with less mirror-ball flash. She again collaborates with French electronic master and Music partner Mirwais Ahmadzai, whose noisy stutters and Vocoder effects are less overtly techno this time. The insistent rhythmic base remains prominent, and much of the music is digitally diced and sliced, processed through computer programs and spewed forth in audacious blasts of rubbery bass lines and noise-scarred melodies.

Madonna drives home the heady themes with minor chords, spare arrangements and alternating patches of rock grit and hushed acoustics. She plays guitar more than competently and sings with renewed discipline and clarity, applying her prettiest girlish vocals to gorgeous lullaby X-Static Process and billet-doux Love Profusion.

The funkified synth-pop of Hollywood, lush Intervention and sonic perfection of Nobody Knows Me attest to her undiminished skills as a shrewd pop composer. More prayerful than playful, Madonna narrates her faith-based autobiography with style and sincerity, abandoning the devil-may-care treatment of religion that marked her Like a Prayer video and Blond Ambition tour.

No doubt, cynics will see this self-effacing turnabout as a holy smokescreen for a midlife crisis. And detractors will dismiss Madonna's soul-searching as ego-tripping. It's more accurately a layover to unpack baggage."

Matt Lauer interview / Madonna on TRL?

22 April 2003

Madonna performing Mother And FatherMadonna's exclusive interview with Matt Lauer will be broadcast twice on NBC, first on "The Today Show" on April 22nd, then on "Dateline" on April 29th. The picture on the right shows Madonna performing Mother And Father live (photo courtesy of MadonnaCenter / Madonna's Ashram).

MTV's Carson Daly announced that Tuesday's TRL will play American Life and Madonna is rumoured to be doing a walk-on! In addition, Carson also said that more than 700,000 people listened to Madonna's CD on The Leak

American Life in stores now

22 April 2003

The album was already available over the weekend in several countries, and is now worldwide available for purchase.

Tower Records appearance and performance

Source: - 22 April 2003

Madonna is doing an in-store appearance at the Tower Records on 4th and Broadway in New York City on Wednesday, April 23rd. She'll perform at 6pm, and then meet fans for an hour and a half. If you're thinking of getting there fifteen minutes early, think again. Rumor has it there might be an itsy bitsy line.

~ Don't bother for tickets anymore: only those few hundreds that were first in line yesterday and received their wristband, will be able to get in. Read a funny comment on this at the NY Times.

Some Madonna quotes

21 April 2003

Here are some recent quotes from Madonna on her new album (thanx for The Missus for the translation):

On Che Guevara: "I did the Che Guevara cover because I felt kind of revolutionary at the time. And this picture is such a well-known symbol, everybody knows it..."

On Mirwais: "Mirwais is a very unique individual. His influence on me obviously was very big, he's a great musician and great guitar player. He can also program syntheshizers and create the most amazing futuristic sounds on the computer. He's a sort of genius, "experimenting and I'm lucky to be there."

On her guitar: "It's nice to know that I can just sit down with the guitar and I don't need anything else and I can be my own band" and can create my own music. There is something very intimate about this. When you first have this huge aparatus of light and moving stage elements and dancers and lots of drama and then all of a sudden all that comes to a halt and there's only one spotlight left, I sit on a stool and play guitar. There's something very simple and intimate about that and I like that. I like having that option as a performer."

On why X-Static Process is her favorite song: "X-Static Process is my favorite song because it's only me and my guitar and I sing my own harmonies. There's something about it that reminds me of my childhood. Just really simple."

On playing the guitar: "Well, it's just one more thing that you can do on stage. Of course you have to be much more exact when you play guitar and it was an additional fear factor on stage. On my last tour the hardest thing was to play guitar and hitting every note, getting it right."

On Mother And Father: "This song, Mother and Father, is about letting go of the pain caused my my mother's death. And at the same time not to use it [the pain] as an excuse for a certain behaviour: oh please feel sorry for me because I had to suffer so much pain, or: I am only doing this because I went through such a hard time. That’s really bullshit. In the end you have to be responsible for your own actions. Towards my father I often pretended to be this rebel who doesn't care about anything, and I say whatever I want and do whatever I want. But that's not really true."

On being creative: "It's just like poetic magic. When I listen to music the songs just come. Now that I've learned to play the guitar I don't always depend on the help of other people. The ideas just come and I write them down. I also always carry a journal with me so when I’m going somewhere, in a car or on a plane I read in them and add things or cross things out and change things so that it's a constant sort of work in progress."

On the meanings of her songs: I'd rather just tell my stories in my songs and then let people feel about them what they want and they can draw their own conclusions and I'm not going to tell people: this is what it is, this is what you're supposed to think."

AL misses UK no. 1 spot

20 April 2003

American Life is kept from this week's #1 spot on the UK charts by Room 5 and lands on #2. In Australia the single is at no. 7. And in the Billboard Dance Charts it climbs from #37 to #22.

Letterman cancelled

20 April 2003

Madonna has cancelled her appearance on the Letterman show due to scheduling conflicts. hacked

19 April 2003

Some fans clearly don't agree with Madonna's anti-download policy: her official website got hacked today and replaced by a page with links to download the complete American Life album as well as some remixes.

Fake soundfiles to mislead downloaders

Source: Seattlepi - 18 April 2003

Sharing must not be part of Madonna's Kabala faith because she is clamping down something fierce on online peer-to-peer piracy of her new album, American Life, (due April 22).

Her people are flooding file-sharing networks with decoy sound files, and those who download tracks from such services as KaZaA are greeted by the voice of Madonna asking, "What the f ---- do you think you're doing?" Other ways she's controlling the release of the "American Life":

No advances are being sent to journalists; instead, in what has become a common practice, writers were asked to listen to the record at the office of Madonna's publicist. She's also not allowing her music to be rented out via subscription services like MusicNet, Pressplay and Rhapsody.

Madonna: sex in forties is 'better than ever'

Source: Ananova - 17 April 2003

Madonna has quashed rumours her marriage was in trouble and declared that sex in her forties was "better than ever". The singer said reports she was close to breaking up with Guy Ritchie were "absurd", explaining her love life had never been so good.

"I'm a very passionate person, and when you really love someone, the sex and love is going to be great," the 44-year-old told People magazine. But Madonna said the marriage had proved very different to how she and Ritchie, 34, had expected when they tied the knot two years ago.

"Guy and I have done a lot of growing up in the last few years and we understand that marriage is about having shared goals. "We have things we each want to do, but we're clear that the partnership comes first." The mother-of-two said she was not pregnant but acknowledged she would like to have more children.

She also explained why she pulled the controversial anti-war music video for her new album American Life following the outbreak of war with Iraq. "Children, brothers, wives and sons were over there and people at home were worrying about them. I'd be putting salt in their wounds." Madonna is expected to claim her 11th UK number one this weekend with American Life.

New AL video

17 April 2003

The new video for American Life has premiered on VH1. It consist of the footage of Madonna as a general, but the flames in the background are replaced by international flags. And... that's pretty much it.

While the original video had a very strong statement, this version lacks both a statement and a story. Personally I would've preferred that there was no video at all for the song, rather than this cheap attempt. Judge yourself.

AL review in NY Post

Source: New York Post - 17 April 2003

When they call Madonna the most savvy self- promoter in music, better believe it. This is a woman who never misses a trick. While the rest of music's movers and shakers fret that the 'Net is destroying their careers and profits, Madonna's gone digital - and like a musical cyberslut, she's giving away her latest album for free.

She knows that what she gives she'll get back when the record goes on sale Tuesday. The precedent-setting alliance between the singer and allows fans to hear every song - without being able to download it and keep the music.

Madonna believes that once you hear it, you're going to buy it. She's right. The 11 tracks of American Life are musically varied and the lyrics rank among her most revealing. After listening to songs in which Madonna shows her insecurities, and her feelings about her parents and what love means, you feel you were allowed access into her private world. In the title track, she twirls the knobs and dials in a synthesized electropop arrangement.

American Life is Madonna's autobiography. In it, she sweetly croons about living "the American life," where you're judged on what you've done, not who you are. Despite the controversy surrounding its video - in which a President Bush look-alike gets a hand grenade tossed into his lap (it turns out to be a cigarette lighter) - the lyrics are a blueprint for the great American Dream. Uncharacteristically, Madonna fattens the disc with power ballads.

While there's nothing wrong with the guitar 'n' voice melody Love Profusion, it isn't terribly different from the strings 'n' things orchestration of Easy Ride or her modified Southern rock of Nothing Fails.

The sleeper hit is X-Static Process, a simple lullaby that has a hymn-like arrangement and poetic lyrics about how you can't be complete without the ones you love. Here, too, is Madonna's James Bond song, Die Another Day. It ranks among the album's best, though 3-inch computer speakers don't do it justice. That's a small concession for getting to hear this disc a week before it's officially released.

Too bad the flow's interrupted at least once every song with Madonna's muttering, "Hi, this is Madonna and you're listening to my new album, 'American Life.' "

This is an excellent album musically, but more important, it's a ground-breaking concept where music lovers and the artist win. You have to ask yourself: Why isn't everybody doing this?

AL on the charts

17 April 2003

American Life sold a poor 11,507 copies during its first week available in the US as a 2-track CD single. On next week's Billboard Hot 100 it jumps from #67 to #37.

Meanwhile, it's looking like it might get to no. 1 in the UK. On Canada's sound scan chart the song made an impressive jump from #101 to #1!

Madonna wants life lessons in her children's books

Source: BBC - 17 April 2003

Madonna's venture into children's books will see her writing morality tales based on Hebrew texts she is studying. The pop star has signed a deal to write five books that will be based on the Kabbalah religion, the first of which will be called The English Roses.

Madonna said that she wanted to achieve something deeper than the "vapid and vacant" books that were available for young readers. She also said the idea of writing the books was suggested to her by a Kabbalah teacher and she originally planned to co-write them with husband Guy Ritchie.

In an interview for music channel VH1, to be screened in the UK on Good Friday, she criticised children's books for not containing any life lessons. Madonna said: "I have a teacher I've been studying Kabbalah with for the last almost seven years now, and he's suggested that I write some children's stories based on a lot of things that I've learned in Kabbalah - so that's what I did."

She said that husband Ritchie had got caught up writing scripts so the responsibility for writing the books fell solely to her. She added: "He did stay really involved - you know, he's my greatest critic. Whenever something gave him the retarded tingles, he was not shy about letting me know."

The impetus for writing for children came after reading to her daughter Lourdes. "Now I'm starting to read to my son, but I couldn't believe how vapid and vacant and empty all the stories were," she said. "There were like no lessons, just all about princesses and like the beautiful prince arrives and he takes her for his wife and nothing happens, no efforts are made. "Nobody asks her what her opinion is, or I didn't see anybody struggling for things. There's like no books about anything."

Speaking to Will & Grace actress Megan Mullally she also explained why she split her time between London and Los Angeles. "I find that people in Europe are much more interested in the quality of life, they're not so work-oriented," she said. "They're not willing to stay in the office 12 hours a day, they know how to enjoy life better. But Americans know how to get things done quicker."

Madonna: "US is no celebrating democracy"

Source: ITV - 17 April 2003

Madonna has been setting the record straight for the first time about the controversial video for her song American Life which she decided to withdraw. It was due for worldwide release last month but the Queen of Pop had second thoughts at the last minute.

The four and a half minute video, which has yet to air in its entirety, apparently shows some uglier aspects of US culture including overweight dancers, war related imagery, sports utility vehicles and models wearing military fatigues, army helmets and gas masks at a fashion show.

But it was the scene showing Madonna tossing a grenade at a George W Bush lookalike - who uses the grenade to light a cigar - that caused the most uproar.

Madonna said the video was filmed before the war in Iraq started and did not want it to be released because it may offend people who might misinterpret its meaning. But she accused people of judging the video before it was even released.

She said: "Somebody was saying something like 'Oh, this is what's it about' and at that point, no one had had seen it and it just took a life of its own. "So suddenly, I was making this video that was horrible and full of horrible things and you know it was terribly irresponsible and meanwhile, nobody saw it and nobody knew what they were talking about.

"You know, it's ironic we're fighting for democracy in Iraq because we ultimately aren't celebrating democracy here. "Because anybody who has anything to say against the war or against the President is punished and that's not democracy, it's people being intolerant.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion, for or against and that's what our constitutional rights are supposed to be - that we all have the freedom to express ourselves and to voice our

Mad-Eyes reviews American Life

16 April 2003

The majority of fans probably has already heard the complete album, either through yesterday's leak, either through today's previews such as The Leak and other similar ones. However, I'd still like to share my own little review.

Yes, I must admit I couldn't resist to the temptation yesterday evening to download most of the new songs and give them a first listen. But tonight I had the chance to attend the official Belgian preview listening party.

Warner Belgium chose The Atomium in Brussels as location, and not without reason. The building, which represents the structure of an atom, as well as the Belgian provinces, does have a resemblance to the Kabbalah 'Tree of Life' which was used as symbol for the Drowned World Tour. In the top part of the building, overlooking Brussels by night, American Life bursted out of the speakers.

For once, the title track couldn't be over soon enough, coz we knew there'd belesser known material waiting. And in fact, after hearing the album, one would wonder if American Life was a good choice as first single.

Hollywood builds on the same theme but is maybe a bit more dancey. Intertwined with birds tweeting in the background, the music creates the ambiguous atmosphere in Hollywood, as described in the lyrics. It does sound like a good single, but with the third song, the album only got better.

I'm So Stupid is the last one of the same-themed trilogy and has got a crazy hook! From the beginning it showcases the guitar work that is a basic ingredient of the album. It borrows some vocal effects from the Drowned World Tour (think Human Nature's seeeeeeeex). Once she gets into "pleeeeeeez don't try to tempt me" you just can't but start shaking along. This song got me hooked immediately. It also features that infamous 'stiff sound', with Madonna even going a bit raw-rock.

From there, it calms down a bit, with Love Profusion starting as a sweet love song with acoustic guitar. But soon it's backed up by a nice beat as well. It's like I Deserve It getting into Don't Tell Me. Thumbs up to Mirwais, who doesn't only do great guitar work and producing, but also some backing vocals.

He and Madonna take it a step further with Nobody Knows Me. If you thought Impressive Instant was experimental, then listen to this! Beware, I had to give it a few listens before appreciating it. It's not easy to catch the song, as it doesn't have a real structure, not even a chorus; it's quite chaotic. But a dance floor killer for sure; this is the song that'll get remixed for sure, even though it's probably not accessible enough to be a single.

Contrary to Nothing Fails, that is rumoured to be the third single. And I hope Warner decides indeed to release this, because it's probably the best track of the album. Though backed up nicely by Mirwais' guitars and Colombier's strings, Madonna's voice comes out beautifully.

This is something striking throughout the whole album; her voice isn't hidden in the music like in many of her songs. The songs on this albums can all perfectly be performed acoustically. Nothing Fails in particular I'd love to hear live. When the gospel choir kicks in, I had shivers down my spine. It's just breath-takingly beautiful!

Intervention has the ungrateful place behind this masterpiece, but is a beautiful song in its own. It builds up slowly from an acoustic beginning to a great feel-good love song.

Madonna gets more emotional as we move on to X-Static Process. Once rumoured as a successor for Impressive Instant, this turns out to be a downtempo acoustic track. Vulnerable but beautiful vocals backed up by a guitar, it can best be compared to an intimate campfire song. Madonna herself has also said this is her favorite song, because it shines from its simplicity.

One would think that this build-up vulnerability goes on with a song as Mother And Father. But don't let the lyrics trick you: this is an uptempo dance song! Madonna's voice is high-pitched as if she's the little girl singing about her mum and dad. Again there's a catchy dance beat that kicks in, obliging you to get up and get into the groove.

Mirwais gets out his beeps and bleeps, an gives the song another great hook. Madonna adds some more rap, though it works less well than with American Life. And the song ends abruptly. Which is another characteristic of the album: Madonna is not afraid to replace a simple fade-out by an abrupt ending.

It's like with the choir in Nothing Fails, which disappears as quick as it came. Once you're used their presence, they're gone and leave you behind, yearning for more. A creative emptyness that is filled with Colombier's strings.

Mother And Father didn't flow into Die Another Day, as some people said, but the Bond track does fit in between the rest. Personally, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the album version is the same as the video version, so including Madonna's laugh and the long fade-out ending.

Finally, the album closes with Easy Ride. On this nice album closer, a bit like Gone, Madonna sings about how she only wants a good life if she deserves it. Again building on the beauty of simplicity, the song is vunerable yet powerful. Colombier's strings get the last words on the album.

To say that I was satisfied with the album would be an understatement. I was overwhelmed by it. When Music was released, I feared it wouldn't make the competition with its great predecessor Ray Of Light, but it did. Now I feared even more, with competition of BOTH Ray Of Light and Music! And again I'm pleasantly surprised to see Madonna has done it again! This album ROCKS!

Just to add: during the preview party, a new Madonna book was presented. "Madonna, De Stem van een Generatie 2" is the successor of "Madonna: De Stem van een Generatie" and talks about Madonna's accomplishments of the past two years, from the DWT, Up For Grabs, Die Another Day and Swept Away to American Life. There was also an announcement of a Belgian exhibition, coming later this year, celebrating Madonna 20th anniversary. More soon on Mad-Eyes. ~ Bartie

Madonna comments on new songs

Source: Los40, translated by Daniellillo - 16 April 2003

About Hollywood: "This song is like a metaphor for me. It's the city of dreams and superficiality. It's the place where you forget about the really interesting things in life. In Hollywood you can loose your memory and your vision of the future. You can loose everything because you can loose yourself"

About X-Static Process: "Is my favourite song of the album because it's only me with my guitar and I sing all the melodies and the chorus. I don't know why, but this song reminds me of my childhood... it's a very simple song".

About Mother & Father: "It's a way to free me from the pain for my mother's death, but i'm not asking for a medal for finding my way in life or for compassing bor suffering so much. It isn't an excuse like"I'm like this because i've suffered so much when I was a child. These excuses are rubbish, because you have to be responsible of all the things you do in your whole life".

About the album: "I used to think that the American Dream was the posibility of arriving to NY with 35 bucks in my pocket and say "I'm going to be a huge success". It was for me like this. Thanks to this I've travelled so much I know that the people from USA have more things than other people in other countries and i'm gratefull for that. But, I also think that us, the people from USA, are involved in a wrong way of living: being attractive, having lots of money, giving a rich-and-famous image, or just being famous"

Clear version of Like A Flower and You Thrill Me

16 April 2003

Though all eyes are now pointed at American Life, we now have a clear version of the demo track Like A Flower, as well as a demo cut from the Erotica sessions, called You Thrill Me.

New AL video premieres tomorrow on VH1

Source: Billboard - 16 April 2003

A newly created performance-only video for Madonna's American Life will see its world premiere tomorrow (April 16) at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on VH1. The clip will air following the cable channel's special "Madonna Speaks," in which the artist discusses fame and the state of the world with actress Megan Mullally (NBC's "Will & Grace") and, in a separate interview, the decision to pull the original American Life video.

As previously reported, earlier this month Madonna canceled the release of the anti-war imagery-laden American Life clip to video outlets. She said in a statement that she did not want to risk offending anyone and did not want the video to be misinterpreted.

The title track from her Maverick/WB album American Life debuted at No. 4 on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Sales chart and is No. 67 this week on the Hot 100.

Promo tour

16 April 2003

We updated our calendar with all the dates of upcoming interviews and performances.

VH1 interview

Source: VH1, thanx to Madonna Information Report - 16 April 2003

Madonna sets the record straight for the first time about the withdrawn American Life video. The star also discusses her new album, her feelings on the current state of the world and her family in the VH1 special "Madonna Speaks," premiering Wednesday, April 16, at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT). Immediately following, VH1 will have the exclusive U.S. premiere of a performance only version of the new American Life single at 10:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

The half-hour show includes her in-depth interview with Megan Mullally of TV's "Will & Grace" where the newfound pals cover a variety of topics rarely discussed publicly ranging from where she is now in her life to her views on fame, Hollywood and public opinion. Additionally, Madonna in a second interview, also shares with VH1 viewers her thoughts on the factors that led to her decision to pull the video.

Madonna's l0th studio album, American Life is scheduled to be released on April 22nd. Madonna will be appearing in a new episode of "Will & Grace" scheduled to air on April 24th.

Here's a glimpse at what Madonna has to say:

Madonna on the theme of the first three songs on the album, American Life, Hollywood and I'm So Stupid -- "The first three songs on the album are me wanting to shout from the rooftops that we have all been living in a dream. I have been living in a dream -- and you're all living in a dream and we have to wake up to reality."

Madonna on the idea that freedom of expression has been compromised in America "... you know it's ironic we're fighting for democracy in Iraq because we ultimately aren't celebrating democracy here. Because anybody who has anything to say against the war or against the president or whatever -- is punished, and that's not democracy -- it's people being intolerant. And you know, everyone's entitled to their opinion, for or against and that's what our constitutional rights are supposed to be, that we all have the freedom to express ourselves and voice our dissent if we have that."

Madonna on what's truly important to her and what helped inspire American Life -- "I'm very successful, I've been in the business 20 years, I have lots of 'material' things and I've had lots of beliefs about things and what's important, and I look back at the 20 years behind me and I realized that a lot of things that I'd valued weren't important."

Madonna on seeing her personality reflected in her children -- "my daughter is very emotional, very passionate, very dramatic, she is that side of me... and then I see my son, and he's like a clown and he's funny and he's got this really irreverent, kind of cheeky sense of humor and he's that side..."

Madonna on MTV

16 April 2003

Big News: A Leak You'll Like. Madonna's new album, American Life, comes out April 22nd. Because waiting sucks, has agreed to stream the entire album as part of their new program "The Leak." American Life will be there from April 16th until April 22nd, the day you run out and buy it.

Big Big News: Madonna Speaks. You listen. You've heard all sorts of things about the American Life video. Now hear the truth. On Wed, April 16th, at 10:00 pm ET, VH1 will be airing "Madonna Speaks", an exclusive interview with Madonna discussing the video for American Life. The video itself will debut immediately afterwards, at 10:30 pm. This is not something you want to miss. Here's when to watch (all times are ET):

"Madonna Speaks" special followed by the American Life video:
Wed 4/16: DEBUT at 10:00 pm
Thu 4/17: 11:00 am, 6:00 pm, 10:30 pm
Fri 4/18: 3:30 pm

"Madonna Speaks" special only:
Sat 4/19: 12:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 10:00 pm
Sun 4/20: 10:00 am, 1:00 pm.

MTV2 is also featuring Madonna all weekend long. Some of the shows to look for April 18-20:
Madonna Videography
Breakfast With Madonna
Madonna: No Bull - The Making of Take A Bow
MTV2 Artist Collection: Madonna
MTV Ultra Sound: Inside Madonna
The Madonna Definitive: Viewer's Choice.

Excruciatingly Huge News: Madonna On Stage. You In Audience.
MTV will air "Madonna On Stage & On The Record" on Madonna Day (AKA Tuesday, April 22nd), at 10pm ET/PT. Madonna will perform songs from American Life for the first time ever, and answer questions from the live audience. The show, hosted by Carson Daly, will be taped live in New York in front of a very small, intimate crowd. You seem nice. Maybe you'd like to go? Enter to win tickets at This is a once in a lifetime event, kind of like being born. So don't miss it.

The album leaks

16 April 2003

Last night, (most of) the album leaked onto the Internet. If you didn't get the chance to download the songs, or decided to wait until the official release, we can tell you to rest assured that this album ROCKS!!

Myself, I'm going to a preview listening party tonight and will provide my own review soon. But from what I heard so far, I can tell you that I'm extremely excited about it!! :)

Donna auctions golden record

15 April 2003

Radio Donna announced today they'll auction Madonna's first Belgian golden record for American Life. They convinced WBR to have Madonna personally sign the record! Profits of the auction, which takes place next week, will be donated to the Red Cross.

Photo by Craig McDeanPhoto by Craig McDean Photo by Craig McDean

Album preview on RTL

15 April 2003

Not only MTV is previewing the album tomorrow. According to the website of RTL, the album will be available for previewing tomorrow noon.

They also announce an interview and performance by Madonna on their Madonna special "Absolut Madonna", which is broadcast on saturday May 3rd, at 10.15pm (CET).

AL heading for UK #1?

Source: MadMax - 15 April 2003

It's midweek in the UK and sales of Madonna's title track from her new album American Life are outselling all others in its first week of official domestic sales. If this continues until Sunday, then Madonna will have her 11th UK #1 hit with American Life.

UK charts are calculated based on number of singles sold per week, not on airplay (as in the US). However, let's not count our chickens just are the sales figures for the top contenders...

1. Madona - American Life (11951)
2. Room 5 Featuring Oliver Cheetham - Make Luv (8300)
3. Blur - Out Of Time(7477)
4. Robbie Williams - Come Undone (5896)
5. Kym Marsh - Cry

Madonna's lead is decent but not by any means commanding, and it is possible that American Life could be overhauled by Robbie Williams, Blur or especially Room 5 (featuring Oliver Cheetham) with "Make Luv" which is proving to be an early summer hit, played all over the place.

Fingers crossed that this lead will be maintained - just to put this in context, if Madonna gets #1 spot this weekend, she will draw level with ridiculously soppy Irish pop band "Westlife" on 11 UK #1s.

No free mini for Mo

Source: Automobile Mag - 15 April 2003

Mini obviously doesn't realize the marketing powers of Madonna:

If Madonna is hoping to receive a complimentary MINI after featuring one of the cars in her latest video American Life she can think again. Despite the material girl's free advertising for the popular sixties car, bosses at MINI UK are laughing off suggestions they should name one of their new models after her.

A spokeswoman for the company says, "We have no plans to launch a Madonna Special Edition because we would have to give one away to her and that is something we've never done. "If a celebrity - including Madonna - decides to pay for a car that's fine, they're making their own choice but the mini is held in such high esteem by the public that if we start giving them away it will detract from the car."

Win tickets to see Madonna's MTV performance

Source: - 15 April 2003

"Want to watch Madonna perform LIVE on MTV? Of course you do. Enter our new contest and win a chance to see her play songs from American Life in the MTV studios on the album's release date, Tuesday, April 22nd.

We've got 20 tickets to give away (1 ticket per winner) and transportation/hotel are not included. And don't forget that this Wednesday, April 16th, will debut their new show THE LEAK where they'll also be streaming the entire American Life album.

Starting April 16th through April 22nd, every track of the full album American Life will be available to stream on You'll hear it here. (Prize consists of tickets to the MTV performance and does NOT include transportation to New York or the MTV studios.)"

X-Static Process online

15 April 2003

X-Static Process, which turns out to be a hauntingly beautiful acoustic campfire song, now also premiered on Launch.

Madonna week on Donna

14 April 2003

There's probably no music website or radio station in the world that isn't eagerly awaiting the new album. Next week is Madonna week on Belgian Radio Donna.

In "De Weekendshow" (sunday 20/04 at 5pm) they'll broadcast their own Madonna-Mi, made of a collection of her greatest hits.

During "His Masters Voice" on thursday 24/04 and friday 25/04 (7pm) there'll be a Madonna Top 30, voted by the listeners. So go to the site and give them your Top 3 Madonna hits!

Madonna to quit WBR? Probably not

14 April 2003

There's a rumour that Madonna is so angry at Warner Brothers for pulling her video that she decided to leave the record company. However, this is most likely untrue.

AL remixes for streaming

14 April 2003

If you haven't heard the American Life remixes, you can stream them all at SoundGenerator.

New song previews

14 April 2003

Though claims that X-Static Process will premiere on Yahoo today, the website of Yahoo/Launch mentions a premiere on April 16th.

Meanwhile, Love Profusion premiered on AOL (members only). You can listen to Mother And Father on MSN.

AL single in stores

14 April 2003

The American Life single is now also available in stores around Europe (and other territories), so don't forget to go out and buy it, so we can boost the song to no. 1 worldwide!!

Trick or no Trick?

14 April 2003

For months, there's a rumour circulating that the Japanese edition of the American Life album will contain a bonus track. Long time ago a rumoured title was Trick.

Now there are also some supposed lyricsfor this. But other sources claim the rumour is completely false. So we'll have to wait and see.

AL enters UK charts at #57

Source: MadMax - 14 April 2003

American Life the single has charted on the UK charts at #57. But before you all start wailing in dismay, this is purely on the basis of its import sales - so this is actually quite an impressive feat!

When the single charts properly, there will be a different catalogue number so we should see a high debut for the song - maybe even number 1!

New video for American Life

Source: NME - 13 April 2003

Madonna has recorded a new video for her controversial forthcoming single American Life. Madge withdrew the original video before its premiere on April 4 as she believed its military theme was "not appropriate" with the US at war with Iraq.

The content of the new video for the single, which is set for release on Monday (21), will be kept secret, according to today's (April 11) Daily Star. A US source said: "As with the album, it's all very hush-hush, but she's keeping a few scenes from the original video and including a lot of newly shot footage."

Madonna's tenth studio album, also titled 'American Life', will be released on April 21.

Madonna on MTV's 'The Leak'

Source: - 12 April 2003

Starting Wednesday April 16th, premieres a new online initiative called "The Leak," in which fans can preview full-length tracks from an upcoming album before the album's release.

Madonna will be the inaugural artist for "The Leak," as songs from the American Life album will be exclusively available on the site through April 22. Click here to check it out!

Three songs to premiere on monday

Source: - 12 April 2003

On Monday, April 14, three songs from American Life will debut online:

- Love Profusion on AOL - Keyword: Artist of the Month, Madonna
- X-Static Process on
- Mother and Father on

Madonna vs. privacy

Source: Dotmusic - 12 April 2003

Madonna has gone to unprecedented lengths to prevent fans from downloading copies of her new album American Life, dotmusic can exclusively reveal. American Life, which we heard at a top-secret airing in London last night, is the subject of unprecedented security, as record companies and musicians attempt to confront internet piracy.

A string of Madonna fans have contacted dotmusic in recent days having accessed dummy copies of the album on 'illegal' sites and been confronted with a foul-mouthed tirade. According to their reports each track is blank, save for the Queen of Pop shouting: "What the f*ck do you think you're doing!"

The tight security has also been reflected within the music press, with promo copies of American Life not expected until around the time of the actual release, on April 21. Meanwhile, the long-awaited new album was given its first airing in the UK last night, and, fittingly, captures the Queen of Pop wading through a jungle of emotional problems and paranoias.

The tenth studio album was unveiled in the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill to a select audience of media and marketing big-shots and looks set to become regarded as her mid-life crisis record.

American Life has been co-produced by French electronic guru Mirwais, who produced much of Madonna's landmark 2000 long-player Music and has co-written all of the new material. We can report that the album reprises the electro beats and acoustic guitar meanderings of much of Music, particularly Don't Tell Me, whilst perhaps lacking the immediacy and power of tracks such as Music and Impressive Instant.

The record also finds Madonna in emotional meltdown, as she strives to cope with the multiple issues of international conflict, stardom and the pressures of fame, alongside closer to home dilemmas, such as motherhood, marriage and, significantly, self-obsession and personal insecurities.

Amongst the many questions she asks of herself during the course of the album, 'Jesus Christ' is mentioned on a number of occasions, while forthcoming single American Life features the Queen of Pop throwing the word f*ck around at the chorus.

Madonna at war with her label?

12 April 2003

Pop superstar Madonna has left her record label Warner Brothers"furious" over her controversial American Life video. Sources tell American magazine US Weekly that the pop diva defied recommendations to avoid shooting the video, preferring to do things her way. A source explains, "For weeks before the shoot began, they label pleaded with Madonna to change her mind, since the US was headed for war."

But the 44-year-old singer reportedly refused to do a video for her album's first single "unless it was her 'vision'", explains the source. Madonna's spokeswoman contests, "Her label always gives her complete creative control of her videos and music."

However, even after the record company voiced its concerns, says the source, it still went along and paid up US$600,000 (S$1,068,346) for the video - which features, among other images, Madonna throwing a grenade at what is described as an American President George W Bush lookalike. Now that the video has been shelved, the label is saying it "refuses to pay the US$600,000 tab", says the source.

Will & Grace preview

11 April 2003

Check fansite Madonnalicious for a promo preview of the upcoming Will & Grace episode featuring Madonna.

Madonna and her co-stars of Will & Grace

Another great album review

Source: BBC Radio 1, thanx to Hector - 10 April 2003

Most people have heard the single and title track of the American Life album, and for the first time in years, people have an opinion about a Madonna record. It might be a difficult single to get used to, but it serves as a good introduction to the album.

On Ray of Light post-motherhood she was spiritual. On Music she was in the throws of Guy Richie induced love and a new found friend in Mirwais. Here on American Life, Madonna talks and really opens up. American Life succeeds as an album where Music failed. It sounds like an album, with an agenda of what the singer wants to say.

On Music the mix of Mirwais, William Orbit and Mark 'Spike' Stent all producing made it sound unresolved as a whole and a bit messy. And it had American Pie on it. Here the sound is consistent and as a result it's brave and strong where Music was afraid to really go for it. Initially it's not an easy listen. There is a lot going on here, but it sounds fantastic and definitely an album which you want to listen to again and again. With her vocals right up in the mix, this is as close as we've ever got to Madonna.

Moreso, than the last album and also on Ray of Light. It's braver too - no longer does she hedge her bets and mix an album with people which she scored earlier successes with like Pat Leonard on Ray of Light (Frozen), and William Orbit on Music (Runaway Lover, Amazing). On American Life it's her vision and Mirwais's production alone - and it's all better for it.

However, like Erotica this album could be overlooked if people judge the album by the first single. And like with Erotica, that would be a real shame. It's a strong album. It's a break-up album, a fed up of work/school/college album. It has attitude and balls - just like a good Madonna record should have.

- American Life: First single (not including Die Another Day) and it's the mission statement of the album. Whether you love it or hate it, as the beginning of the album it makes sense and serves as a good introduction as to what the rest of the albums' lyrics are about. It's also, in my opinion, the weakest song.

- Hollywood: This is going to be the second single. After the first track it's actually a huge relief after the single American Life - instantly catchy and fast-paced it reminds you of what Madonna really is about when she's good. Great tunes, attitude. It starts with bird singing noises in the background, and soon Madonna gets into the Hollywood is not-a-very-nice-place theme of the song.

- I'm So Stupid: A bit slower with her voice distorted at the start. It's sounds a little 60s with the synths in the background, and has more of a rock feel to it. With lyrics like 'Everybody's looking for something', it's a grower.

- Love Profusion: Probably the most straight forward dance track on the album. I think this is one of those which could become a favourite and it feels like a classic upbeat Madonna song. It fuses the message behind the song American Life with Mirwais' beats and acoustic elements really well.

- Nobody Knows Me: This song is insane. Very electronic, chaotic, fast, manic. Pounding synths. There is so much going on here several it'll take several plays to really get it, but it's ace.

- Nothing Fails: Rumoured to be single no.3, this is classic downbeat Madonna. It's also the first time the album drops the pace. Think Don't Tell Me mixed with the low, gravelly voice on Live to Tell. The London gospel choir sounds amazing when their voices take off. Strong, with beautiful strings.

- Intervention: Mid-paced, it builds up to be a lovely album track. Not a single, but with its REM 80s-style guitars in the background it's a good track to follow Nothing Fails.

- X-Static Process: Early rumours that this would be the big Impressive Instant dance track were wrong. It's one of the slowest tracks. It's also striking because throughout the album Madonna vocals feel very close and real - here's she sounds bare. Intimate.

- Mother and Father: This isn't the sad confessional track the title leads you to believe. It's stronger than previous attempts on a similar theme - Inside of Me, Promise to Try and Oh Father.

- Die Another Day: Like the American Life single, this song had mixed reactions when released. But bizarrely, because the production sounds consistent throughout the whole album, it fits. Where on Music American Pie irritated the flow of the album, Die Another Day finds itself a home here and compliments the set.

- Easy Ride: Like Gone near the end of the last album, this feels like an epitaph for the album. It sounds like she's exhausted - and no wonder - in a good way, and again the strings sound amazing. A great and natural end to the album.

Madonna has said of the album via an official statement from her record company that: "All of these songs reflect my current state of mind. I feel like I have just woken up out of a dream. They range from dismay and anger to joy and certainty. Hopefully, I have taken the personal and made it universal."

Steven Klein to direct M video? *rumour*

Source: Village Voice - 10 April 2003

"I hear the equally comely Madonna is using Steven Klein—who did those contortionist shots of her in W—to direct an upcoming video, and this one will actually get aired. Will she pin her legs behind her ears and pop out a hand grenade?

One can only hope so, after her Swanking of the American Life video. (Come on, Madonna, we don't need you to second-guess your chutzpah and cave in to the big boys. We need you to tighten the belt around society's neck and return to your old mantra, "I am not ashamed!")"

BBC interview and performance

Source: Ananova - 10 April 2003

Madonna is to talk exclusively to Jonathan Ross on his BBC1 chat show. She will appear on Friday Night With Ross on May 2. The star will also perform several tracks from her new album American Life. Jonathan has interviewed Madonna once before back in the 80s. He says he is delighted to have another opportunity to talk to the queen of rock.

"She is without doubt, still the most exciting woman working in rock today and with a life like her's, you're never in danger of running out of interesting questions," he said. "For any talk show host she's a dream guest and I can't wait to sit down and start grilling her," he said.

Madonna gets personal

Source: Sky News - 10 April 2003

Madonna's has penned her most personal song to date, about the traumatic death of her mother. The song, called Mother and Father, is featured in her new American Life album. It is written from a child's perspective and reflects the pop queen's loneliness at the age of five after her mother died of cancer. Several of the songs in the album refer to her love for her husband, the film director, Guy Ritchie.

Madonna said: "All of these songs reflect my current state of mind. They range from dismay and anger to joy and certainty. Hopefully I have taken the personal and made it universal". The track is due to be released on April 21. Only handful of copies will be available for the record industry before it hits the shops.

Madonna confirms MTV performance

10 April 2003

Madonna is to perform material from her new album, exclusively for MTV. 'Madonna On Stage & On The Record' will take place in front of a live audience in New York on April 22, before airing on MTV UK and Ireland shortly afterwards.

The performance will be the first time Madonna has showcased tracks from her upcoming album American Life, released on April 21. The one-hour special, hosted by MTV's Carson Daly, will also include an interview with Madonna, live questions from the audience, plus a sneak peak at more never-before-heard songs from American Life. This will be the first time her fans will be able to hear directly from Madonna since the recent controversy surrounding her video for 'American Life'.

"When I look back on my career, so many of my favourite TV moments have happened on MTV: singing Like A Virgin at the first MTV Video Music Awards, performing Vogue and Express Yourself at subsequent MTV Awards shows, interviews with Kurt Loder from all over the world," Madonna said. "We grew up together. I'm really looking forward to continuing the tradition and performing the music from my new album live on MTV."

No place for irony in this pop world

Source: The Nation - 10 April 2003

She's the ultimate quick-change artist, with a style that can absorb any trend and an image to match. She's gone from material girl to S/M maitresse, from power diva to contented mother. I'm not talking about Hillary Clinton in the mind of the angry white male. This is Madonna.
Under all her convolutions lies a core persona, some would claim.

In the pomo pantheon, Madonna is the emblem of desire in all its variations. But what's kept her on top of the pops for more than twenty years is her ability to select the variation that fits the theme of the moment. Madonna's great gift is staying ahead of the curve without getting truly out of line. That's why it's stunning to see her burned by the promotional video for her upcoming album, American Life.

Madonna's chameleon instincts have been failing her lately. Sales of her music have slipped, and she's made some terrible acting choices (such as starring in last year's ridiculed remake, Swept Away). In these straits, a sex goddess can always fall back on provocation, but Madonna chose to walk a much trickier line by attaching her erotic energy to an antiwar statement. The result was a wet dream for Matt Drudge.

This video may be "the most shocking antiwar, anti-Bush statement yet to come from the show-business industry," drooled the dean of Internet factoids. From Drudge's description, you'd think Madonna had put a bullet through the President's unimpeachable head.

The closest she came to that is lobbing a grenade at a man in a Bush mask who uses it to light his cigar. But that sort of fantasy is treason these days, and with visions of demonized Dixie Chicks dancing in her head, Madonna withdrew the offending video.

That was embarrassing enough, but did she have to say she was acting "out of sensitivity and respect to the armed forces, who I support and pray for"? This was a little like hearing Trent Lott praise affirmative action--not exactly a credible gesture of repentance. Now Madonna seems headed for icon limbo.

Meanwhile, the contraband video is circulating on the web. This may be one of those telling moments when the promo outlasts the product, and maybe it should, since the video is one of the best Madonna has ever made. Some of its mock violence looks eerily like the nightly news. But unlike the "real" thing, it bristles with ambiguity, deftly locating the hidden connections between sex and war--and exploding them. If you want to understand the erotics of contemporary combat, this video makes a good primer.

But pop culture isn't down with ambiguity at the moment. Irony is the new Communism, which is why an artist like Madonna can't get her message across. Nothing in her career prepares her for a climate where every intention must be clear and earnest. She has no experience with optimism, the official affect of the Let's Roll Generation.

She can rap, she can vogue, she can do bondage and ballads, but one thing Madonna can't be is clean-cut. In order to plug into the present, she will have to play the Marlene Dietrich camp-follower role in a remake of Morocco, running off into the desert after some latter-day Gary Cooper. It's come to that.

New AL video? *rumour*

10 April 2003

A new version of the 'American Life' video will be released to TV networks next week. We are unable to confirm if this has been re-shot, or re-edited at present.

Madonna poster in Het Nieuwsblad

9 April 2003

Belgian fans can go out today and buy an issue of Het Nieuwsblad. Today's issue of the newspaper has a free large American Life poster included.

Poster in Het Nieuwsblad

TV blitz to promote new album

Source: Billboard - 8 April 2003

Madonna is set for a TV blitz the week of April 21 to promote her new Maverick/Warner Bros. album, American Life, due April 22 in North American and a day earlier internationally. On April 22, the singer will perform her new songs live for the first time in a one-hour MTV special, "Madonna on Stage & on the Record." The show will be taped at the network's Times Square studios in New York, and will air on MTV at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Madonna will also take live questions from the audience. Contest winners from Infinity Broadcasting-owned radio stations around the country will be invited to attend the show (Infinity and MTV are both owned by Viacom.)

Also on April 22, Madonna will be featured on NBC's "Today" and "Dateline," and she is set to perform on CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman." The artist also will also appear on ABC morning talk show "Live With Regis and Kelly" on April 23, and will, as previously reported, make a highly publicized guest appearance on NBC sitcom "Will & Grace" in an episode airing April 24.

Last week, Madonna canceled the release of her American Life video, which features anti-war imagery. The artist said she did not want to risk offending anyone and did not want the video to be misinterpreted.

In related news, today (April 8) premieres a new online initiative called "The Leak," in which fans can preview full-length tracks from an upcoming album before the album's release. Madonna will be the inaugural artist for "The Leak," as songs from the American Life album will be exclusively available on the site through April 22.

American Life single in US stores

8 April 2003

American fans who want to push up American Life on the charts should go out today and buy the single; it's in stores now.

How Will & Grace nabbed Madonna

Source: TVguide - 8 April 2003

Madonna's April 24 guest shot on NBC's Will & Grace caps a two-year pursuit on the part of the sitcom's coexecutive producer Tim Kaiser — a mission that involved some wishful thinking, a little behind-the-scenes diplomacy and, perhaps most importantly, a bribe no material girl could resist. "I sent a lot of flowers," Kaiser laughs. "Madonna loves English roses, so I began to send these fantastic arrangements."

The floral fawning helped Kaiser penetrate Madonna's inner circle, although, "There wasn't much interest," he notes. "I was informed Madonna didn't own a television, or know Will & Grace existed." But, crazy for the pop icon, the scribe didn't give up. "I sent tapes of appearances by Matt Damon, Michael Douglas and whatnot, and... pitched how wonderful it would be for her to come on the show."

But it wasn't until last November — shortly after her latest film, Swept Away, tanked — that the singer showed any true blue consideration. However, Madonna's manager, Caresse Henry, denies that her client saw an opportunity to justify her acting ambition in the wake of the movie's failure.

"She didn't do it to redeem herself," insists Henry, adding that the Evita star wanted a chance to "show her comedic side, because she's very funny." Another perk? The episode coincides with the April 22 release of her latest album, American Life.

Armed with a tentative OK, Kaiser — along with W&G exec producers Jeff Greenstein and Jhoni Marchinko — ran by the Music maker a number of potential plots. "She had one parameter," notes Kaiser. "She would not play herself. She wanted to act."

After passing on several ideas (including one that cast her as a pupil in Jack's acting class), Madonna — a quick convert to the cult of Megan Mullally's alter ego Karen — jumped at a storyline that had her playing the socialite's new working class roomie. "She's a wannabe Sex and the City girl," says Greenstein.

Despite her insane schedule, the Queen of all Media showed up on time for rehearsals and displayed no diva behavior on the set. "I expected to put a PA on full alert," jokes Kaiser, "but she was a real professional." Just as startling, at the March 18 taping, the sitcom virgin discovered what it feels like for the new girl. "She had a few nerves," he concedes, "but once she got the first take down, she hit it out of the park."

With that success story in the bag, Kaiser is already counting the hours until he corrals his next big get. Hints the ex-Seinfeld exec: "We're big Nicole Kidman fans." We hear she thinks red roses are to die for.

Madonna intends to tour in 2004!

7 April 2003

A half-hour American Life TV special has just aired tonight on channel nine in Australia where Madonna revealed to former MTV host Richard Wilkins that she plans to embark on a world tour in 2004. She said that she will include Australia on her agenda because she enjoyed her last trip down under during the Girlie Show. This is thrilling news for Australian fans as this will be a chance to see Madonna at her best! The TV special also included some other exciting news...

Madonna looked positively radiant and spoke with confidence and exuberance during her interview with Australian entertainment guru Richard Wilkins, who congratulated her on "another magnificent album." She said that the electronic music combined with the classical elements of accoustic guitar and violins represented her complex yet simple character. She also revealed that the video to American Life is an honest representation of the contradictions associated with modern life and the American dream.

She claimed that she could speak out about this issue because she strived for fame and fortune for so long and although she has acheived it, she realizes that these things alone do not make a person happy, therefore the song is about the realization that she has arrived at today. She also said that the video was anti-war and was a message to American president George Bush to divert his plans to wage a war. (thanx to Madonnarama)

~ The Channel 9 interview and the Australian TV Today Show are now available for download at Madonna-Internet.

More on X-STaTIC PRo=CeSS exhibit

7 April 2003

Read an interesting article on the X-STaTIC PRo=CeSS exhibit in The Village Voice.

Madonna to film Hollywood video? *rumour*

7 April 2003

"Madonna will be filming the video to her next single, Hollywood on the 4th week of May. Director will be Jean-Baptiste Mondino. Tom Pecheux is set to do the makeup. There is no truth in the rumour that Madonna is to totally reshoot an American Life video.

This will take place in LA immediately after the European promotional tour."

AL on the European charts

Source: Dotmusic, thanx to Krissy / MadMax - 6 April 2003

The backlash in the US for the AL single was to be expected, but it's looking good in the European charts. American Life entered at #4 on German radio, the highest debut for a single in a long time.

On French radio it debuted at #20, which might seem low, but it's actually quite high for a song in english.

On Danish radio it charted at #2 and in the UK it's topping the A-list of Radio One. It debuted at #35 on Hit 40 UK, based on airplay points alone (Hit 40 UK is a chart that combines both sales and airplay).

Dutch Radio 538 called AL their "alarmschijf van de week" and all her previous "alarmschijven" have become hits in Holland.

Belgian Radio Donna played AL heavily as their "smaakmaker van de week" (taste maker), while Studio Brussel placed it at #10 in their hotlist (second highest debut of the week).

So it's looking great so far! Don't forget to go out and buy the single next week!

Dan-o-Rama video of Die Another Day

Source: Madonna Information Report - 6 April 2003

There's a Danorama version of Die Another Day:
Or, direct link:

Good and bad reviews for AL

Source: Sunday People - 6 April 2003

"Drawn with dark, introspective hues, American Life is the flip side to 2001's Music, which was intentionally aimed to be easy on the brain and heavy on the hips. From the opening lines of the title track, it's clear that we've caught the 44-year-old artist in a reflective state of mind.

Within its framework of acoustic strumming and rubber-band bass-thumping, we don't see her surveying the landscape of all American life, just her own. And clearly it's been an inner battle, as she punctuates a jittery, almost codependent mantra of "I tried to stay ahead / I tried to stay on top / I tried to play the part" with a venomous, dismissive "**** it."

By the end of the track's cheekily delivered rap (which pays undeniable homage to Deborah Harry's classic rant on Blondie's 'Rapture'), we see that she may have all she thought she wanted but maybe not all she has needed." Larry Flick, senior talent editor at Billboard.

Madonna rapping? She really shouldn't have. Really. But that's just one of the missteps sabotaging new single American Life, a blurry snarl of style and composition that sounds more like a disjointed medley than a song.

Enough already with substituting electronic blips for melody; it may have worked well on Music and sufficed on Die Another Day, but the novelty effect is well-worn and just plain grating on this effort. To further the sting, the space-age noises are followed by a jarringly disparate fanning of acoustic guitars, and then what appears to be two choruses. Huh?

But watch out, next is the rap - soulless and in your face, it is positively atrocious. Our beloved Madonna is certainly the industry's most-accomplished musical chameleon, and previous evolutionary inquisitions have changed the face of pop music to great effect. Not this time. This American Life should be hastily deported. -CT

I am the first journalist to review the new CD by Madonna, American Life. As with Music her previous album she's written a song for Guy, X-Static Process. She sings: "I always wished that I could find, someone as beautiful as you, but in the process I forgot that I was special too." And in one of her most personal songs to date, Mother & Father, she sings: "My mother died when I was five, And all I did was sit and cry, I cried and cried and cried all day, Until the neighbours went away." Here's my track-by-track rating:

- American Life: It mixes R&B beats with her producer's familiar electronic sound. 4/5
- Hollywood: A mid-tempo sugary-sweet guitar song. 3/5
- I'm So Stupid: A great rock-based and upbeat track. Lots of electric guitar. This is more like ALANIS MORISSETTE than the Madge we are used to. 4/5
- Love Profusion: One to set the nightclubs alive. Great melody and acoustic guitar flavour to it. Definitely a grower. 3/5
- Nobody Knows Me: Not only the best song of the album, but one of her best ever. Shows why Madonna is Queen of Pop. 5/5
- Nothing Fails: Starts out like a campfire song. Towards the end comes a rousing gospel choir. 4/5
- Intervention: Fairly average, but it could be a grower. 3/5
- X-Static Process: Very laid back ballad. 3/5
- Mother & Father: Move over Kylie. This 80s-style disco tune has dark lyrics. Also sings of her love for her father. 5/5
- Die Another Day: Bond theme is not her finest moment. 2/5
- Easy Ride: Luscious strings of previous hit Frozen and the electronic beats of Music. 4/5

Overall it's good, but will take a few listens to get into. 4/5

MSN Madonna feature

Source: - 6 April 2003

All month long, MSN will feature Madonna, including the Missy Elliott remix of American Life, an interview and a debut of a song from the album. Click here to check it out.

Madonna is AOL's Artist of the Month

Source: - 6 April 2003

For the month of April, AOL will have lots of Madonna content, including an exclusive interview, trip to see her perform in New York, a remix, exclusive debut of Love Profusion and more. AOL Keyword: Madonna or

Australian interview shows M's quick change of mind

Source: Daily Telegraph - 5 April 2003

Confidential's old mate Richard "Tricky Ricardo" Wilkins is sitting on a major exclusive after being the only Australian granted an audience with Madonna last week. Wilkins' interview, to be screened in part on Nine's Today as well as a special presentation next Monday, has become even more timely following the Material Girl's decision to shelve the video for her latest single American Life.

The video, which was due for release on Friday, is chock-full of war images but the most controversial part features Madge saying "F . . k it" as she hurls a grenade at a George W. Bush lookalike, who uses it to fire up his stogie.

"Due to the volatile state of the world and out of sensitivity and respect to the armed forces, who I support and pray for, I do not want to risk offending anyone who might misinterpret the video," Madonna said on her website. But what Madge isn't prepared to show, Tricky Ricardo is.

In a brave broadcast-or-be-damned move, the video will be screened in full on Monday night's special. Wilkins' interview with the pop queen, conducted last week at the Four Seasons Hotel in LA, also reveals how quickly she has changed her tune.

Wilkins: "You're going to get all sorts of criticism I think."
Madonna: "Why. Tell me why!"

W: "People are going to say it's inappropriate to show bombs going off and planes bombing people."
M: "Why? That's on the news every five minutes! I'm just using news footage that's already been seen by everyone."

W: "I'm suggesting that some people are going to think maybe it's ill-timed."
M: "But in a way it's perfect timing, because it's what we are experiencing right now – so, it's American life. It's very current and appropriate I think."

Confidential yesterday put it to Wilkins that he may have convinced one of showbiz's greatest envelope pushers to go cold on the idea. "Maybe I did, perhaps I caused her to think again," he said. "She is very proud of the video, as she should be because it's incredible, but she could be engaging in a cunning marketing ploy or perhaps she genuinely believes it will offend people. Either way, we'll show it and let our audience be the judge."

The show Madonna: American Life will screen on Monday at 10.40pm on Nine.

Live special on MTV, but no DVD single

4 April 2003

"GREAT NEWS!!! The much questioned about MTV-Madonna Live special is VERY MUCH happening! We have obtained an advance copy of next week's People Magazine and Liz Rosenberg confirms that Madonna has been busy rehearsing for the Live MTV special. The special will air on MTV on April 22, to coincide with the release of the album!!!!

Onto the "American Life" Video.....For those hoping for a DVD single, It's not happening.....Liz Rosenberg tells People Magazine "It will go bye bye. In this climate, the war's impact will not go away so fast. The video will NOT be released."

The Madonna Speaks special for VH1 has been removed from the stations schedules. Chances are that it was to feature the now-shelved video."

AL on American charts

Source: Undercover - 4 April 2003

American Life the single has had a disappointing showing on the American chart. It debuted at #90 first week and crawled up to #74 this week. Some industry insiders suggest the single will fail to make the US Top 40 at all.

As a digital download the single sold 4,177 units in the first week and 2,502 in the second week. They are download figures, not sales of the single and actually reflect a fairly healthy number compared to what downloads normally sell in the market.

No Madonna for Madonna

4 April 2003

Madonna has admitted she hates listening to her own records. Madge said: "My children, Lourdes and Rocco, sometimes listen to my music. I switch it off because I can't listen to it any more." Madonna also talked about the future — saying she is working on a big-screen musical — and hinted she and hubby Guy Ritchie might be settling permanently in Britain.

She admitted: "We are travelling round with the family like gipsies. But we are thinking about living in one place in the future. All I have planned is lots of evening meals in front of the fireplace and to go to pubs in England, family things."

Family is now uppermost in the singer's life. Once the trappings of fame were important, but she says: "Now I know that I was stupid." Madonna's new single, American Life, is released on April 14.

Madonna on war and American Life

Source: Launch - 3 April 2003

Prior to making the decision to pull her controversial American Life video on Monday (March 31), Madonna gave her feelings about the war and explained her intentions behind the video in an exclusive interview with LAUNCH. "Well, I think the war that's going on in Iraq right now is affecting everything," she told LAUNCH.

"I think everyone is glued to their television, nobody knows what's going on, everybody's scared. I don't think that people are as concerned as they usually are consumed as they are being entertained or distracted, you know what I mean?

And that's kind of what the video is about, 'cause it starts out with the ultimate distraction, a fashion show, catwalk, beautiful people, perfect male, female six-foot Amazon Uber people…As a society we've become obsessed with obtaining that image or aspiring to it. But I needed that as juxtaposition to what's really happening in the world."

Madonna added that the video isn't necessarily about the war in Iraq and its concept was conceived back in November. "If it's not the war in Iraq, it's any number of wars that are going on at any given time. And that dichotomy the paradox that's going on in our lives right now, 'cause on the one hand life has become so convenient for everyone," she said.

"The technological advances that we've made have made everything, time, space, and motion collapse and disappear. But on the other hand there's never been more chaos in the world, and the video is like, 'Oh, ok, this is happening, what are we going to do about it?'

And the video is question that I pose to everyone. And, do I think, I think in a way everything is happening perfectly? And it's synonymous, there's a poetry to it, I mean I was planning this video and the concept last November and I didn't know we were going to where we are right now at the time of the release of my album."

Madonna's new album, also titled American Life, is due April 22 on Warner Bros. Records.
In the statement released on Monday, Madonna said she decided to shelve the video clip "out of respect" for the U.S. armed forces in Iraq. The clip features Madonna tossing a hand grenade to a President Bush impersonator. Madonna added in the statement that she decided to pull the clip after it became "the subject of rumors and misinformation."

"It was filmed before the war started, and I do not believe it is appropriate to air it at this time," the she said in the statement. "Due to the volatile state of the world and out of sensitivity and respect to the armed forces, who I support and pray for, I do not want to risk offending anyone who might misinterpret the meaning of this video."

Launch Artist of the Month

3 April 2003

Madonna is the artist of the month at You can already read an exclusive interview [see news item above] and see a shoirt video interview, in which brunette Madonna talks shortly about the projects she's done the past year (Up For Grabs, Die Another Day, Swept Away, new album recording).

You can listen to American Life, as well as the Peter Rauhofer remix. There's a contest; you can subscribe and maybe Madonna will make a donation to CHARITY in your name! Plus you get a signed CD/poster! Soon there'll also be exclusive behind the scenes footage of AL's creation and on the set of a recent photoshoot.

And on April 16th we'll get to preview one of the new songs (possibly Love Profusion, because this track is also rumoured to premiere on AOL as part of the album promotion).

Video cancellation, a good marketing strategy?

Source: Fox News - 3 April 2003

Madonna, whom the New York Times tried to kill off a couple of days ago, is about to be bigger than ever. Everyone who needs to, now knows that Madonna has a new album and single coming shortly called American Life. They know that the song ironically questions middle class values. If you took a poll right now, Madonna would probably have a higher visibility than Britney, Avril and Pink all rolled together.

What happened? Madonna, who didn't come to be worth $100 million by accident, made a totally offensive video which no one will ever see. She then managed to get it criticized and banned by all the regular outlets -- and then voluntarily withdrew it from circulation.

Now, no one except diligent users of the Internet will get to see "transvestite soldiers" and "President Bush catching a grenade lobbed at him." But you know American Life is now ensured at least a couple of very good week's sales at record stores when it's released on April 22.

I come here to praise Madonna, not to bury her. She is brilliant. After 20 years of making headlines, she finally pulled off her greatest trick. I'm not being facetious. You have to admire her. She knows that record sales are kaput, that no one's buying anything.

She also knew, like all of us, that we were headed into war and that patriotism would be questioned. (I loved her press release that said, the video was made before the war and now it's inappropriate! She didn't know war was coming? When did she make the video, before Sept. 11, 2001?).

Madonna has always been the great interpreter of American culture. She released her song Vogue, after "vogueing" had already been in and out. She is a cultural surfer who knows where to find the crest of the wave. Kowabunga!

Maybe you haven't heard American Life yet. I listened to it yesterday on the Web. It's very catchy -- and completely harmless. After all the hub-bub about it, I imagined that she was reading Chairman Mao to an electronic beat.

But "American Life" is very similar to recent Madonna musical outings like Ray of Light, Music and Die Another Day. The song has perhaps a catchier hook than any of them, but the lyrics are harmless. They will be sung mindlessly by waitresses under their breath at Kiwanis meetings.

The song will wind up as a beer commercial in three years. There's nothing to it. But Madonna knew the only way to get attention was to do something people would talk about. This used to be called a stunt.

Edward Bernays, the father of public relations, created this idea almost a century ago when he had to awaken the American psyche to things like toothpaste and automobiles for the first time. Bernays was the nephew of Sigmund Freud. Madonna might as well be Freud. She knows every button to push. God bless her. If only every record executive could learn something from this example, the industry would bounce back over night. We are not worthy.

MTV on video cancellation

3 April 2003

Following six weeks of controversy, Madonna has withdrawn the video for her new single, American Life. "It was filmed before the war started, and I do not believe it is appropriate to air it at this time," she said in a statement.

The video, directed by Jonas Akerlund, begins with models decked in military gear strutting down a fashion runway while images of warplanes in flight splash across the walls. During the chorus, Madonna sings against a black screen as orange fireballs erupt over her shoulders. The clip also depicts shots of Arabic peasants in the street.

Near the end of the video, Madonna and overweight female dancers in military garb drive a car through the wall and storm the show, strutting menacingly and spraying a roof-mounted water cannon at the paparazzi and crowd. The shots are juxtaposed with rapid edits of planes dropping bombs and huge fiery explosions.

Madonna has said that she originally wanted the video to convey strong anti-war, anti-materialism and anti-fashion industry statements. However, as the war in Iraq progressed, she edited the footage to make it less controversial, her manager said. The most dramatic adjustments were made to the clip's conclusion, which at first featured Madonna throwing a live grenade into a fashion show.

She changed the finale to depict her tossing a phony grenade at a George Bush look-alike, who catches it and uses it to light the cigar of a Saddam Hussein look-alike. In the final edit, Bush catches the grenade, then lights his cigar with the faux weapon.

Even with the changes, Madonna was worried the video would be misconstrued as anti-American or anti-military, which wasn't her intention. For this reason, on Monday night she decided to withdraw it.

Before her decision, many international networks had already aired the clip, which had been released abroad that day. Airing has since ceased, however. "Due to the volatile state of the world and out of sensitivity and respect to the armed forces, who I support and pray for, I do not want to risk offending anyone who might misinterpret the meaning of this video," she said in the statement.

During an interview last week, Madonna expressed frustration at the prospect of viewers reading things into the videos and her music, leaving her in a no-win position. "I feel like with everything I do, there's always gonna be that handful of naysayers, regardless of what I do," she said. "They've made their decision before they've seen it. And that's human nature. So I accept it. Obviously, it irritates me. I would like people to watch it, and I don't want to tell them what to think. I don't think it's offensive."

Now we may never know, since Madonna's label has no plans to make the clip available to consumers in the future.

Madonna pulls new American Life video

Source: - 1 April 2003

Madonna has decided to withdraw the video for her new single American Life which has been the subject of rumors and misinformation. The artist released the following statement: "I have decided not to release my new video. It was filmed before the war started and I do not believe it is appropriate to air it at this time.

Due to the volatile state of the world and out of sensitivity and respect to the armed forces, who I support and pray for, I do not want to risk offending anyone who might misinterpret the meaning of this video." Warner Bros. Records will be releasing Madonna's new album on the 22nd of April. The video was scheduled to premiere on VH-l this Friday, April 4th. The single American Life has just been released to radio.

Madonnarama adds: "Inside sources confirm that MTV informed Madona and WBR that they would NOT be airing the video in the U.S. today... which may have had something to do with this decision..."

~ It's sad that Madonna - who had a very clear point of view with this video - backs off at the very last moment. Americans are the first to say their country is based on freedom of speech - but these days the meaning of it seems more dubious than ever...

AOL to premiere Love Profusion*rumour*

1 April 2003

According to Madonnarama, AOL will premiere the track Love Profusion the week of April 14 as part of AOL's campaign for Madonna being their "April artist of the month".

However, this does not mean that Love Profusion will be a single; it's just part of an AOL album preview.

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