American Life - Madonna
American Life Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 220 Ratings

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  • Summary: Madonna's second collaboration with French electronic producer Mirwais includes the lead single title track as well as her recent James Bond theme, "Die Another Day."
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 17
  2. Negative: 3 out of 17
  1. Aside from the thumping groove of "Nobody Knows Me" and a few other bouncy beats, much of the electro style Madonna experimented with on 2000's Music has been replaced with warmer sounds and earthy touches, like acoustic guitars and a choir that comes from nowhere on "Nothing Fails."
  2. 80
    This may be the first time Madonna hasn't pushed herself to explore new ground, but at least she's chosen a good place to rest. [June 2003, p.155]
  3. All perfectly good stuff, technically excellent. But 'American Life' also feels like an unnecessary sequel, a 'Men In Black II', made because hell, if it ain't broke...
  4. Making records, it seems, may not be her strong suit anymore.
  5. 60
    American Life is revealing and diverting -- no bad things in a record -- but in the end the brow-beating, finger-wagging and psycho-babbling take their toll. [May 2003, p.86]
  6. Overall, American Life is better for what it promises than what it delivers, and it's better in theory than practice.
  7. Even modest expectations can't salvage the clunky, ponderous American Life, which fares only slightly better than "Hanky Panky" and Swept Away on her list of offenses.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 90
  2. Negative: 6 out of 90
  1. Mar 26, 2012
    American Life is Madonna's most underrated album. You can tell from reviews all around the web that it's a love it or hate it album. It's definitely not in-your-face pop, so I would avoid this one if you're just looking for radio-friendly material. On this album, we see Madonna at her most vulnerable. From the cynical American Life to the touching Mother and Father, Madonna takes us on a tour of her world. I applaud her guts, especially for the American Life video, which raised controversy like never before. Notable tracks: American Life, Love Profusion, Nothing Fails, X-Static Process. Expand
  2. ClifC
    Jun 23, 2008
    That's why I hate American music critics: they are all offended when we talk badly about American government! So they give bad reviews and grades. This is one of her best albums (for me, it's her best), and nobody can't deny. I see also another solution: Bush paid them to underrate this masterpiece. Expand
  3. TRhgfegdsghs
    Jan 9, 2005
  4. AndrewL
    May 21, 2003
    Give it a few listens before making up your mind. This is truly her best albulm.
  5. Jun 10, 2012
    This is her best album so far....I´m not a fan at all but I have to admit that "American Life" has been criticized in a wrong way because people was focusing on lyrics or the way it was a alternative to "Music" (Which was a puzzzle/transition album) I really listen to that album nowadays and think that it is much better than her "Confession on a dance floor" (an album much more focused on the "old fashioned disco dance sound") or the ridiculous last one"MDNA (A mixture of her last successes cause of her lack of imagination....) She would have to risk herself again, as she did 10 years ago, because, without that, she will belong to the "ridiculous artist Family" (when a cousciousness generation of listeners was about to give her the musical legytimacy). Expand
  6. GCQ
    May 22, 2004
    Features the euphoric Nothing Fails, lyrical gem Intervention, and the stop the presses this is the shit EASY RIDE. Not the dance Pop record you typically expect from her...but those expectations be damned this is a deeply personal and solid piece of work. Only misteps are the title track and I'm so stupid. Everything else is top notch! Expand
  7. abern
    Jul 3, 2005
    a big letdown. could this be the end of her musical career?

See all 90 User Reviews