Madonna news - April 2003


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Photo by Craig McDean Photo by Craig McDean Photo by Craig McDean 15 April - Donna auctions golden record
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.

15 April - Album preview on RTL
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).

15 April - AL heading for UK #1?
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 yet...here 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. (source: MadMaxb)

15 April - No free mini for Mo
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." (source: Automobile Mag)

15 April - Win tickets to see Madonna's MTV performance
"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, MTV.com 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 MTV.com. 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.)" (source: Madonna.com)

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

14 April - Madonna week on Donna
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!

14 April - Madonna to quit WBR? Probably not
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.

14 April - AL remixes for streaming
If you haven't heard the American Life remixes, you can stream them all at SoundGenerator.

14 April - New song previews
Though Madonna.com 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.

14 April - AL single in stores
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!!

14 April - Trick or no Trick?
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 lyrics for this. But other sources claim the rumour is completely false. So we'll have to wait and see.

14 April - AL enters UK charts at #57
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! (source: MadMax)

13 April - New video for American Life
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. (source: NME)

12 April - Madonna on MTV's 'The Leak'
Starting Wednesday April 16th, MTV.com 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! (source: Madonna.com)

12 April - Three songs to premiere on monday
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 Yahoo.com
- Mother and Father on MSN.com
(source: Madonna.com)

12 April - Madonna vs. privacy
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. (source: Dotmusic)

12 April - Madonna at war with her label?
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.

11 April - Will & Grace preview
Madonna and her co-stars of Will & Grace Check fansite Madonnalicious for a promo preview of the upcoming Will & Grace episode featuring Madonna.

10 April - Another great album review
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." (source: BBC Radio 1, thanx to Hector)

10 April - Steven Klein to direct M video? *rumour*
"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!")" (source: Village Voice)

10 April - BBC interview and performance
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. (source: Ananova)

10 April - Madonna gets personal
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. (source: Sky News)

10 April - Madonna confirms MTV performance
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."

10 April - No place for irony in this pop world
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. (source: The Nation)

10 April - New AL video? *rumour*
From Madonnarama: "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."

Poster in Het Nieuwsblad 09 April - Madonna poster in Het Nieuwsblad
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.

08 April - TV blitz to promote new album
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, MTV.com 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. (source: Billboard)

08 April - American Life single in US stores
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.

08 April - How Will & Grace nabbed Madonna
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. (source: TVguide)

07 April - Madonna intends to tour in 2004!
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.

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

07 April - Madonna to film Hollywood video? *rumour*
According to Madonnarama: "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."

06 April - AL on the European charts
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! (source: Dotmusic, thanx to Krissy / MadMax)

06 April - Dan-o-Rama video of Die Another Day
There's a Danorama version of Die Another Day:http://www.danoramaproductions.com/danorama.html
Or, direct link: http://www.dan-o-ramaproductions.com/quick/Dan-O-Rama-Pro_04.mov
(source: Madonna Information Report)

06 April - Good and bad reviews for AL
"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 (source: Billboard Magazine)

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 (source: Sunday People)

06 April - MSN Madonna feature
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. (source: Madonna.com)

06 April - Madonna is AOL's Artist of the Month
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 http://music.netscape.com (source: Madonna.com)

05 April - Australian interview shows M's quick change of mind
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. (source: Daily Telegraph)

04 April - Live special on MTV, but no DVD single
According to Madonnarama: "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."

04 April - AL on American charts
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. (source: Undercover)

04 April - No Madonna for Madonna
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.

03 April - Madonna on war and American Life
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." (source: Launch)

03 April - Launch Artist of the Month
Madonna is the artist of the month at Launch.com. 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).

03 April - Video cancellation, a good marketing strategy?
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. (source: Fox News)

03 April - MTV on video cancellation
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.

01 April - Madonna pulls new American Life video
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. (source: Madonna.com)
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...

01 April - AOL to premiere Love Profusion *rumour*
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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