Confessions on a Dance Floor (Maverick)

With Confessions on a Dance Floor, Madonna makes progress toward regaining the form she lost after releasing the preachy, pale American Life. But other than the breezy synth-flute that pervades through the single "Hung Up," producer Stuart Price isn't breaking sonic ground on the album, either. These songs contain the sounds of 1998, halfway between the Chemical Brothers and Stardust. In fact, Madonna explains the reason why Confessions is danceable on "Sorry": "I've heard it all before." Indeed, the biggest problem with the album is the pop side. Madonna's personality, which turned previous techno-thumpers like "Ray of Light" and "Music" into all-out hits, has been muted on these dance cuts. She sounds like any other generic singer slapped onto a DJ track — and so this seamless, beat-filled ode to dance clubs isn't enough to restore her pop relevance.

More by Sam Machkovech

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