American Life

Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 17
  2. Negative: 3 out of 17
  1. Overall, American Life is better for what it promises than what it delivers, and it's better in theory than practice.
  2. Mojo
    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]
  3. Blender
    60
    That's both the best and the worst thing about this album: The music is much more eloquent than the lyrics. [May 2003, p.112]
  4. Making records, it seems, may not be her strong suit anymore.
  5. Q Magazine
    60
    It's a record about being Madonna. [Jun 2003, p.90]
  6. This album, if it came from a newcomer, could kill a career stone dead.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 333 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 71 out of 78
  2. Negative: 2 out of 78
  1. Mar 26, 2012
    10
    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'sAmerican 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. Full Review »
  2. Jul 21, 2012
    10
    This album is a masterpiece. Really! I simply think that people really did not understand it. She criticizes a lot of aspect of the modernThis album is a masterpiece. Really! I simply think that people really did not understand it. She criticizes a lot of aspect of the modern american society.---
    The album opens with American Life, a song that reflects how people are satisfied with their lives with very insignificant thing (listen to the rap (my favorite part of it): I'm diggin' on the isotopes/This metaphysics **** is dope/And if all this can give me hope/You know I'm satisfied). ---
    Hollywood is a song expressing how everyone wants to be a star because of what they see in movies, in interviews, etc. And she says how everyone's opinion of Hollywood is wrong. And how shallow Hollywood is too.---
    I'm So Stupid declares how everyone who's comparing themselves to others, always trying to be someone else are stupid because there is nothing for you when you are not yourself.---
    Love Profusion, I think, is a very heavy song, but what I understood from it is that love is so important in people's mind (because we hear of it in every movies, songs, etc.), that they don't take the time to understand the whys and hows of the world. And when you get rid of the illusion that love is the most important thing, you start to make your own happiness and find the real answers (There are too many questions/There is not one solution /There is no resurrection /There is so much confusion [...] I have lost my illusions /What I want is an explanation )---
    Nobody Knows Me is probably the best song! The key word that makes it the most mindblowing song for me is "No one's telling you how to live your life/But it's a setup until you're fed up". She really explores how people think they are free and made their choices in life, but really, they have been pushed by the elites who controlled the TV channels, the radios, the journals, magazines; in the end you have been SOOO influenced that she says that even if nobody tells you how to life your life, you are not really free of doing what you want, and I would even say that people probably don't even know what they would have wanted if they have not been influenced all their lives by the media.---
    Nothing Fails, the way I see it, show how flawless religion is. Myself, I have been a believer all my life until recently and believe it or not, this song persuaded me to walk away from my religion. It shows that when you feel like you are losing Faith, you immediately makes you want to pray. When a dear one dies, instead of questionning God's existence, the first thing we do is pray. And it is true for every event that should make you question God (war, death,catastrophes, mass shootings, rapes, etc.)---
    The rest of the album is beauty. She leaves the strong messages to turn to very beautiful songs (Intervention, X-Static Process, Easy Ride) or more dancey (Mother And Father, Die Another Day) without loosing quality.Madonna is a complete artist. She is a very deep pop artist and very talented.
    Full Review »
  3. Mar 12, 2015
    10
    Apparently I'm alone in this, but American Life is my favorite Madonna album (with Ray of Light being a close second), and it's also one ofApparently I'm alone in this, but American Life is my favorite Madonna album (with Ray of Light being a close second), and it's also one of the few albums where I love every song. The unique blend of folk and electronica is especially appealing to me, and I really like how cohesive the album is. There's a fairly pervasive melancholy mood throughout, but the songs are catchy and melodic enough so that it maintains momentum at the same time.

    Another thing I love about this album is that Madonna clearly wasn't trying to please anyone with it. It doesn't have the massive appeal that some of her other stuff has, but it's certainly intriguing and inspired, something I can't really say about her albums since. It's too bad critics received it so poorly though, because it really is an underrated gem in her long career.
    Full Review »