Single Review: Madonna “American Life”

American Life
Album: American Life
Year: 2003

The old Madonna is gone. On March 31, 2003, Madonna pulled her new “American Life” music video. According to, she said “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.” Granted the music video wasn’t the best thing she ever did, but offending people was part of her marketing plan. She thrived on it.

On “American Life,” Madonna again works with producer Mirawis. This time, she reworks her image into a revolutionary, hence the military edge of the video. ‘American Life, driven by the blips and beeps of French techno and an acoustic guitar, is simply an excellent song. That is until Madonna opens her mouth. Self-absorbed lyrics about being a celebrity litter the single. “I tried to be a boy/I tried to be a girl../I tried to find a friend/I tried to stay ahead.” The rap is the single’s fatal flaw. It embodies everything wrong with the single: bad lyrics, manufactured controversy and tedious singing. In it, she raps she’s not really satisfied with her life.

There is one real highlight, though. The bridge, with Madonna singing along with an acoustic guitar that then leads into a delicious breakbeat. (1:24).

Without the self-indulgent lyrics, “American Life” could seriously rival Kylie Minogue’s last release. However, Madonna needs to stop taking life so seriously and find the fun again


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