Single Review: Madonna “Hollywood”

Album: American Life
Year: 2003

Walking down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a person will see women and men dressed up as superheroes, another handing out passes to see the L. Ron Hubbard museum, and yet another handing out ‘smiles.’ Surreal and yet strangely normal at the same time, Hollywood is its own world.

Madonna manages to capture the people who come to Hollywood to fulfill a dream and end up getting sucked into its false optimism. The lyrics are simply written and allude to an “it” that’s there, i.e. “there’s something in the air in Hollywood/the sun is shining like you knew it would.” There’s an excellent use of tone in this single. The first verse is light and breezy. However, after that, the song becomes introspective and regretful. It’s most evident in the verse: “I lost my memory in Hollywood/I had a million visions, bad and good/there’s something in the air in Hollywood/I tried to leave it, but I never could.”

“The Kiss” completely overshadowed the single.. It’s a publicity stunt usually reserved for television shows with low ratings. Instead, it became an attempt for two faded pop stars with declining sales to exploit themselves. For Madonna, she was the “shocker” again. However, in the end, it made her look desperate and foolish.


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