American Life

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 326 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 23 out of 326

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  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'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 aAmerican 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. 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 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
    This 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.
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  3. DaniCocaH
    Apr 24, 2003
    9
    she can't please everyone, she never tried so why do people still act like she will this time. the songs on the album are a fresh direction that she and mirwais with music's don't tell me. although i thoroughly enjoyed music i wasn't giddy over that particular track on american life it works, and rather well. the album is a mix of a few upbeat signiture mirwais electro she can't please everyone, she never tried so why do people still act like she will this time. the songs on the album are a fresh direction that she and mirwais with music's don't tell me. although i thoroughly enjoyed music i wasn't giddy over that particular track on american life it works, and rather well. the album is a mix of a few upbeat signiture mirwais electro and slower ballad like tracks were she spreads some of her wisdom, which can at times interfere with the groove but coming from her it doesn't sound as contrived after further listening. lyrics aside what has always kept her alfoat and ahead were the neats. its easy to see why for the first time in her career she has worked with the same principle producer twice. mirwais is by far among the most inventive and unique producers in contemporary music. the music is evidently affected by the recent progression of electroclash but acousticly so, if that makes sense it also strikes me similar to the petshops boys acoustic masterpeice release when she gets more acoustic then electronic. it might be too cool for some, judging by some of the reactions in the media but at the end its a solid record, killer new beats and more madonna. Expand
  4. nonenone
    Sep 20, 2007
    10
    Excellent album.
  5. VictorC.
    Apr 5, 2009
    10
    An excellent Madonna album. Songs such as "Intervention," "Nothing Fails," and "X-Static Process" really pull this album together.
  6. BillC.
    Apr 24, 2003
    10
    Awesome.
  7. KiwiJ
    Jan 21, 2004
    8
    This is a schizophrenic album that revels a rather confused Madonna, both lyrically and musically. Generally, the more acoustic, more romantic songs (Love Profusion, Nothing Fails) are way more successful that the more preachy, techno ones (American Life, I'm So Stupid), which makes one wonder whether the whole album would have been better as a more low key acoustic affair. Its This is a schizophrenic album that revels a rather confused Madonna, both lyrically and musically. Generally, the more acoustic, more romantic songs (Love Profusion, Nothing Fails) are way more successful that the more preachy, techno ones (American Life, I'm So Stupid), which makes one wonder whether the whole album would have been better as a more low key acoustic affair. Its vilification is certain media is wholly unwarranted as it contains some beautiful songs and as an artist she is still streets ahead of her challengers. Perhaps though a break with Mirwais might be a good thing for the next album. Expand
  8. Fabio
    Jun 12, 2004
    10
    Genius!
  9. LeonardoF
    Oct 20, 2005
    9
    One of her best works yet, but I think Die Another Day should have stayed out of this record.
  10. TRhgfegdsghs
    Jan 9, 2005
    10
    Great!
  11. DejanSt.
    Apr 8, 2008
    10
    Her best album. Take a bow! She is master!
  12. Apr 12, 2012
    10
    Very underrated. People, including critics, seem to only be judging the pop tracks and not really listening to the ballads which really showcase Madonna's vocals. Excellent album, terrible critical response
  13. Nov 11, 2013
    10
    Amazing album! Very personal and VERY underrated by the time it was released. Critics in general tend to dismiss Madonna's ability to write very personal songs and this album is full of them. Songs like Love Profusion, Xtatic Process, Easy Ride and Nobody Knows Me shows her unmatchable talent to deliver through her music her own personal experiences in a very vivid life.
  14. 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 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 melodicApparently 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.
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  15. BillC.
    Aug 2, 2010
    10
    Awesome.
  16. AndreD
    Jun 2, 2003
    7
    A fan I am, that i'll admit. But I consider myself to be a non-emotive and objective one. I am disappointed in (the single) 'American Life'. I think it is dreadful and even worse to make it the first single. The rest of the album's lyrics are mostly mediocre and you can't help but want to add your own here and there. Conversely, there are gems in this album. A fan I am, that i'll admit. But I consider myself to be a non-emotive and objective one. I am disappointed in (the single) 'American Life'. I think it is dreadful and even worse to make it the first single. The rest of the album's lyrics are mostly mediocre and you can't help but want to add your own here and there. Conversely, there are gems in this album. Hollywood, Intervention, X-static process. This is not my favourite Madonna album, nor is it my worst. Expand
  17. ChairwomanMadge
    Apr 25, 2003
    10
    This is an ace CD and the best song (my song of the year so far) is "Nothing Fails" - infinitely moving. Mirwais' production is top-notch, there's something different in each, and while "Mother and Father" can be a bit cringeworthy at times ("I had a mother/It was *nice*), the album as a whole is outstanding and not the sonic monstrostity most reviewers would have you believe. BUY IT!
  18. JohnM
    Apr 25, 2003
    8
    the music is great, and her voice is pretty decent. but for the most part, the lyrics are really weak.
  19. Anonymus
    Jun 4, 2003
    10
    People, we have to see the evolution of the human being and the music evolution. We have to open our minds to a new things that we define as changes. We are tired of the same style of music. So, I think that the CD is a good one. Maybe one of the best.
  20. HenryH.
    Apr 22, 2003
    7
    On one hand , it's bloomed with brave and uncanny electro sounds. On the other hand, it's just too typical Mirwais.
  21. martinb
    Apr 27, 2003
    8
    Un album intimiste et sans exubérance auquel madonna ne nous avait jamais préparé...Exit l'innovation de music,mais bonjour à la cohésion en tant qu'album qui faisait défaut à son prédécesseur...un excellent album, à l'exception de l'excès de vocoder sur nobody's know me, et Un album intimiste et sans exubérance auquel madonna ne nous avait jamais préparé...Exit l'innovation de music,mais bonjour à la cohésion en tant qu'album qui faisait défaut à son prédécesseur...un excellent album, à l'exception de l'excès de vocoder sur nobody's know me, et particulièrement la magnifique pièce nothing fails!!! Expand
  22. cure0001
    Apr 29, 2003
    8
    It's a really good album, just wait till you hear "Hollywood" the second single. A great song.
  23. AndrewL
    May 21, 2003
    9
    Give it a few listens before making up your mind. This is truly her best albulm.
  24. PatrickVigil
    May 4, 2003
    9
    A new fan... This collection of songs grow and change with each listen. TO listen to , not just hear. Among her best!! "push the button", "don't push the button" Love it...
  25. JoaoJoao
    Aug 5, 2005
    10
    It's different but worth listening to. It grows on you.
  26. LevanA
    Oct 14, 2006
    10
    Her best. Critics don´t know shit.
  27. seanf
    Mar 26, 2006
    10
    don't believe the negative reviews
  28. MarcosT.
    Jan 2, 2007
    9
    What if it was about Palestinians or Islamic society? wouldn't it have been great?
  29. ClifC
    Jun 23, 2008
    10
    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.
  30. JoshP
    Jan 3, 2009
    9
    An fantastically produced album by Madonna and Mirwais, American Life is a 'tell all' album with some excellent hard hitting tracks-American Life,Hollywood,Love profusion,Nobody knows Me,Nothing Fails,Die Another Day & Easy Ride are all fabulous tracks.
  31. JensO
    Aug 1, 2009
    10
    Her most underrated album by far-- those who doubt that Madonna is a musician should listen to this album.
  32. LouisP.
    Apr 22, 2003
    10
    Critics are afraid of what they don't understand; some will hate this album because it dares to be different. It's an original LP. I really like it a lot! The best songs are Nothing Fails, Hollywood, Mother & Father and Intervention.
  33. DavidK.
    Apr 23, 2003
    7
    Was prepared to loathe it, but it's quite good. It's really producer Mirwais's record -- she's just an appendage of sorts, the production's rubbery AND crisp -- lot's of addictive electro layering, Cher's hijacked and run amok vocoder, and smart synth flourishes -- helping unfocus the banal lyrics -- some of her worst ever, but then she never was Joni Was prepared to loathe it, but it's quite good. It's really producer Mirwais's record -- she's just an appendage of sorts, the production's rubbery AND crisp -- lot's of addictive electro layering, Cher's hijacked and run amok vocoder, and smart synth flourishes -- helping unfocus the banal lyrics -- some of her worst ever, but then she never was Joni Mitchell in that department. Expand
  34. JerrodL
    Apr 26, 2003
    9
    Very good disc. My opinion says it's better than Ray of Light and Music.
  35. MarkC
    Apr 28, 2003
    8
    A nice listen, with some beautiful guitar based tracks, and some wonderful dance tunes. Not my favorite Madonna album, but her voice is much richer than her last work.
  36. WayneA.
    May 1, 2003
    9
    This is a great album. Only "Ray of Light" is a better album by Madonna. Yes, I think it even beats "Like A Prayer." Unfortunately, someone thought the title track should be a single. That someone thought wrong. The title track is one of the weakest tracks on the album, far inferior to the majority of the material. "Love Profusion" is an absolutely rapturous concoction that may become one This is a great album. Only "Ray of Light" is a better album by Madonna. Yes, I think it even beats "Like A Prayer." Unfortunately, someone thought the title track should be a single. That someone thought wrong. The title track is one of the weakest tracks on the album, far inferior to the majority of the material. "Love Profusion" is an absolutely rapturous concoction that may become one of my all-time favorite songs. A few songs may have weak lyrics, but the grooves underneath them more than make up for it. Only "I'm So Stupid" and "Easy Ride" fail to impress on the same level and even they are better than the majority of the horrible songs you hear on the radio nowadays. And I'd like to criticize the critics about their reviews for this album: please review the work and not Madonna. We don't need to know how bitter you are that you will never be her. Expand
  37. pol
    May 25, 2003
    10
    too cool....
  38. NseE
    May 25, 2003
    10
    Rather deep and introspective, but brilliant all the same. 'Mother & father', 'Intervention', 'Easy ride' are awesome!!! 10 out of 10. Almost her best cd yet.
  39. AlexanderH
    May 30, 2003
    10
    It's perfect. Although Ray of Light is better, this album is about her and it haven't got a comercial prospect, like other albums of other artist.
  40. MattM
    Jun 16, 2003
    10
    Despite receiving heavily mixed reviews and a poor reception on the album charts, any music aficionado with a true appreciation of Madonna's work will see that "American Life" is easily her best album to date - Yes, it's even better than "Ray Of Light"! Lyrically, it's the most personal stuff Madge has ever written; and musically, it's even better. It's back to Despite receiving heavily mixed reviews and a poor reception on the album charts, any music aficionado with a true appreciation of Madonna's work will see that "American Life" is easily her best album to date - Yes, it's even better than "Ray Of Light"! Lyrically, it's the most personal stuff Madge has ever written; and musically, it's even better. It's back to basic acoustics on the beautiful "X-Static Process," while "Nothing Fails" is easily one of the best songs Madonna has ever produced. Mirwais's electronic touch is present on the title track and "Nobody Knows Me," while Michel Colombier's sensational string arrangements are featured in "Die Another Day" and "Easy Ride". Madonna's "American Life", to reiterate, is her best album ever as well as the best album of 2003. Expand
  41. GeryC
    Jul 15, 2003
    10
    I'm not really a Madonna fan but I took a chance on this album and LOVED it. I highly recommend it and feel the critics who have given it poor marks should give it a couple more listens -- I think they'd change their mind.
  42. RodB.
    Jul 2, 2003
    10
    One of Madonna's best CDs and probably her most personal one. It's very enjoyable with the exception of a couple of songs. Track ratings: American Life- B- Hollywood- C+ I'm So Stupid- D Love Profusion- A+ Nobody Knows Me- A Nothing Fails- A Intervention- A X-Static Process- A- Mother & Father- A+ Die Another Day- B+ Easy Ride- A+
  43. LukaW
    Aug 12, 2003
    8
    Another excellent record from Madonna. I get so sick of reading stupid reviews by people who have an opinion on something they're not familiar with and have not listened to the record. As usual, most of the criticisms about her work are not really about the record, they're about Madonna -her aging (as if no-one ages!), her unwillingness to continue churning out dated 80s style Another excellent record from Madonna. I get so sick of reading stupid reviews by people who have an opinion on something they're not familiar with and have not listened to the record. As usual, most of the criticisms about her work are not really about the record, they're about Madonna -her aging (as if no-one ages!), her unwillingness to continue churning out dated 80s style pop-craft (as if continuing to do so is better than evolving, apparently what the small-minded would like her to do - "I like her 80s stuff" - of course, then if she did, she would be criticized for not moving on), that she's not relevent (apparently because only young people matter and only they have wise things to say or that style trends of youth make more interesting entertainment than thought-provoking, adventerous music). The only thing I have to say against the record are the 1st 2 singles "Die" and "A. Life." These songs truly suck and now all the haters have some ammunition to make their case. Even this is wrong because everyone as great as Madonna - from Aretha and Elvis to the Stones and Eminem put out weak work from time to time. Somehow no-one will tolerate that from her. When I heard Em's "Cleaning out My Closet" that was about the worst song of last year, but then he does "Sing for the Moment," one of the best uses of sampling ever, and easily one of the best this year. Don't count someone out when one or two of their ideas doesn't work. Maybe three or four in a row, then maybe that's fair. Anyway, a very fine record. I love "Love Profusion," "Mother and Father," "X-Static Process," and much of the rest. About as soul-searching as modern music gets. I would give it 10 if "Die" and "American" were substituted for kick ass (or even mediocre) tracks - they are HORRID!! Overall a good one. Expand
  44. Rodrigo
    Oct 23, 2004
    9
    Although not as good as Ray of Light or Music, it is able to prove that Madonna is still on top.
  45. PhilP
    Apr 22, 2004
    9
    Maybe not the Madonna album to be expected but then again maybe it is in a re-invention matter of speaking. Maybe one of her most personal cd´s overall, and Mr Mirwais as becoming one of her most influential producers. American Life , the song that is, nicely balancing straight forward sounding couplets with a melodic kind of refrain,just like Madonna did with songs like Ray of Maybe not the Madonna album to be expected but then again maybe it is in a re-invention matter of speaking. Maybe one of her most personal cd´s overall, and Mr Mirwais as becoming one of her most influential producers. American Life , the song that is, nicely balancing straight forward sounding couplets with a melodic kind of refrain,just like Madonna did with songs like Ray of Light and Sky fits Heaven. Nothings Fails,a great popsong in the actual meaning of the word, the most revolutionary James Bond song ever, This together with the pounding Hollywood and the static Nobody knows me ,makes this album stand out on the levels; Personal, Unique and Daring in every way. Cherish it Expand
  46. GCQ
    May 22, 2004
    8
    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!
  47. PaulPaul
    May 26, 2005
    10
    This is her best album I just can't believe, that SHE had this produced. Better then "Ray of Light"
  48. MichealT
    Sep 23, 2006
    10
    I love this record...
  49. IxatA.
    Apr 18, 2007
    8
    better than the next one, really! the thumping sounds kept on playing inside my mind!
  50. Miky
    Jul 25, 2007
    9
    One of her best album! Too much underrated!
  51. EinarJ.
    Mar 11, 2008
    9
    Depressing, how 'Music' got 20 points higher than Madonna's ricochet album, 'American Life'. The album is full of acoustic guitars, sounds of nature and blurred vocals. Definitely less commercial, less accessible. Yet, perhaps her best album. 'Hollywood' is the ballad, grieving over our society's up-and-coming superficiality. Depressing, how 'Music' got 20 points higher than Madonna's ricochet album, 'American Life'. The album is full of acoustic guitars, sounds of nature and blurred vocals. Definitely less commercial, less accessible. Yet, perhaps her best album. 'Hollywood' is the ballad, grieving over our society's up-and-coming superficiality. 'Intervention' and 'I'm So Stupid' are clever and eclectic. The album does suffer weaker moments, yet the overall agenda seems to fit quite well. This would definitely make my top 3 Madonna cds. Expand
  52. johnt
    Apr 22, 2003
    9
    it's simple and beautiful....not over done with bleeps and other confusion
  53. [Anonymous]
    Apr 22, 2003
    10
    It's different, yet Madonna...It took me a while to enjoy it, but as the music goes on, I enjoy it more and more
  54. PatrickK
    Apr 25, 2003
    9
    More consistent than Music.
  55. GrantT
    Apr 26, 2003
    10
    Absolutely, postively genius. It's pure sonic brilliance...don't listen to the critics...Madonna is always changing, and if this CD is any indication, she's growing as an artist. Best songs: Hollywood Nothing Fails Intervention X-Static Process One of her best albums yet...
  56. billf
    Apr 27, 2003
    10
    the critics are ridiculous and its obvious they didn't really listen to this album. far better than Music.
  57. RyanAW
    Apr 28, 2003
    8
    Loved the beats, espically the mellow sounds of "nothing fails", "Love Profusion", and espically "Intervention". I found the lyrics to be a little simple at times, but still enjoyable. Overall, I would recommend the album; it is definatly worth a close listen.
  58. GusT
    Jun 11, 2003
    10
    While "Ray of Light" is her best work, this is truly a successful progression from that CD and from "Music." I play the CD everyday and must tell you that the more you listen to it, the more you will like it. It does not immediately grab you, but rather sneaks up on you. Do you really want another "Immaculate Collection?" C'mon! It's 2003 and Madonna is still innovative and While "Ray of Light" is her best work, this is truly a successful progression from that CD and from "Music." I play the CD everyday and must tell you that the more you listen to it, the more you will like it. It does not immediately grab you, but rather sneaks up on you. Do you really want another "Immaculate Collection?" C'mon! It's 2003 and Madonna is still innovative and fresh. What else do you have to ask for? Expand
  59. CraigP
    Aug 12, 2003
    8
    "American Life" and "Die Another Day" are by far the worst 2 singles of her entire career. Even worse, they were released back to back - it is unfathomable she followed up the greatness of Ray of Light and Music with this crap. Who was out to lunch when these were released?? I was totally ready to hate this record, borderline ready to pass on it. Curiosity got the best of me and I am glad "American Life" and "Die Another Day" are by far the worst 2 singles of her entire career. Even worse, they were released back to back - it is unfathomable she followed up the greatness of Ray of Light and Music with this crap. Who was out to lunch when these were released?? I was totally ready to hate this record, borderline ready to pass on it. Curiosity got the best of me and I am glad because, much to my surprise, American Life (the album) is a very, very good record in spite of the first two singles. Had she had a song as potent as "Music" to kick off her new album instead of the terrible "American Life" and had she left "Die" off it could have been her best record. Tracks 4-9 (which is most of the album) are precious, and "Mother and Father" might very well be the highlight of her entire career, even if it is fated to be overlooked. Overall, very, very good work, next time, Madonna, you need to have a killer lead-off single. And release a quality video for it as well. Sort of killed the fate of the record by releasing such rubbish for a lead-off single. Made it worse by not releasing the original video. Madonna's career was so hot coming off of Music that "Die Another Day" still at least made the Top 10, but after 2 in a row she is going to have to make a comeback for the first time in her career. Expand
  60. yorid
    Aug 12, 2003
    10
    beautiful album.why does feeling love and sharing it,make her boring?i prefer when she disturbs the norm but can appreciate this album,the message and mood.the first single was more a political statement than anything else,but once you forgive that.....it soars. "and i know that love will change us forever...." indeed.
  61. BenjaminE
    Jan 14, 2004
    8
    I love Madonna very much, and I think this album is one of her best ones. She 's always changing her look and style and I like that. This album is totally different from the previous ones. I gave her an 8 and not a 10 because there are some songs that i think are not in her style: (I'm so stupid). But hollwood is VEEERY Madonna, it's full of glamour (and ofcourse its music I love Madonna very much, and I think this album is one of her best ones. She 's always changing her look and style and I like that. This album is totally different from the previous ones. I gave her an 8 and not a 10 because there are some songs that i think are not in her style: (I'm so stupid). But hollwood is VEEERY Madonna, it's full of glamour (and ofcourse its music video helps). I was very surprised because of that american life music video thing. I saw pieces of the original one and I thought it was just FANTASTIC, but ... but I love the single though, especially the rap of it. Love profusion is not one of my favourite but i think its a good song and the music video is something i ve never seen before. My favourite single in this album is the last one: easy ride. I love orchestral music and this single has it all! I really appreciate the fact that now, finally, Madonna is changing for the best. Her lyrics talk about morality and she s telling us fans that she s in love in various ways (x-static process, Intervention, Love profusion and Nothing fails). The latter is simply beautiful! the pity is that she goes on repeting the same phrase... and by the way, I think that britney snog was a big mistake. From that point onwards, the hollywood single went down! She was looking for publicity (as she always do) and she got it, a bad one though! anyway, whatever she does or say, for me she's always be THE QUEEN OF POP. Expand
  62. DrewK
    Nov 21, 2005
    8
    Now that "Confessions..." has come out and I have listened to "American Life" numerous times. This album is underestimated. It takes sometime to warm up to though. The lyrical content is better than "Confessions..." Key songs "Love Profusion", "Intervention", "American Life" (minus rapping), "Mother and Father", "X-Static Process". As time goes this album will be considered just as good Now that "Confessions..." has come out and I have listened to "American Life" numerous times. This album is underestimated. It takes sometime to warm up to though. The lyrical content is better than "Confessions..." Key songs "Love Profusion", "Intervention", "American Life" (minus rapping), "Mother and Father", "X-Static Process". As time goes this album will be considered just as good as her other albums. Expand
  63. James
    Nov 10, 2006
    10
    Beautiful music
  64. Nathan
    Oct 21, 2006
    7
    Not the best Madonna album ever, but still love it.
  65. EduardoM.
    Dec 24, 2006
    10
    Stop the criticism the album is great songs like nothing fails,mother and father,x-tactic process stand out....weak songs are American life and i'm so stupid.
  66. RuanH.
    Aug 12, 2007
    7
    Very experimental. Overall not her best work, but tracks such as "Hollywood", "American Life" and "Love Profusion" are outstanding. A noteworthy direction for Madonna's musical career.
  67. GigiM.
    Apr 24, 2008
    9
    A highly underrated album that will end up getting more respect years from now.
  68. EdijsG.
    Feb 23, 2009
    10
    I have to give a credit for this album, because i didn't like it when i heard it first time .. i still remember and that it just stayed there for fue weeks, and than i started to listen again and this is the best album still for me, love all the songs. This is better than MUSIC, Ray of light or Confessions, at least for me. Thy lyrics are good and the feeling that this cd gives is I have to give a credit for this album, because i didn't like it when i heard it first time .. i still remember and that it just stayed there for fue weeks, and than i started to listen again and this is the best album still for me, love all the songs. This is better than MUSIC, Ray of light or Confessions, at least for me. Thy lyrics are good and the feeling that this cd gives is undescribable - magic happens. Expand
  69. Oct 15, 2013
    8
    As others have already mentioned, "American Life" is definitely one of Madonna's most under-rated albums. Often referred to as a commercial failure, that must be taken into some sort of context as I think there are thousands of artists who would kill to have a #1 album that included a Top 10 hit and seven Top 10 dance singles (FIVE of which hit #1). It may not have been up to par withAs others have already mentioned, "American Life" is definitely one of Madonna's most under-rated albums. Often referred to as a commercial failure, that must be taken into some sort of context as I think there are thousands of artists who would kill to have a #1 album that included a Top 10 hit and seven Top 10 dance singles (FIVE of which hit #1). It may not have been up to par with other releases by Madonna, but it was still a huge success in and of itself.

    Besides two weaker songs in "Hollywood" and I'm So Stupid," the rest of the album is an incredible personal peak into the psych of the most important recording artist of all time, just not as commercially accessible as her other works due to the high-electro feel of the album.

    Definitely a love it/hate it album in Madonna's discography, but for most of us with a real appreciation of her work, this is yet another brilliant album from a musical genius and I, for one, think it's one of her strongest albums, period.
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  70. Dec 10, 2016
    8
    Alternative, dark and beautiful electro-pop. Madonna somewhat corrected the over-production issues heard on 'Music', by stripping it back every-so-slightly on American Life. There's nothing overly exciting here, but it's never boring. There's an intrigue to each track and a consistency that we first heard on 'Ray of Light'. A gorgeous and criminally underrated album.
  71. Apr 8, 2011
    10
    Absolutely perfect. The most fantastic album ever made by a singer. The triumph of perfection, sounds and feels.
    From "Hung Up" to "Let it will be", every single song is mixed perfectly!
  72. Nov 21, 2011
    7
    Apesar das faixas repetitivas, American Life é um bom álbum. Musicas como Hollywood e Nobody Knows Me são completamente descartáveis, mas faixas como Love Profusion e Mother And Father fazem a viagem valer a pena.
  73. Jun 2, 2011
    7
    With songs that range from idle club beats to thought-provoking personal poems, this is her most reflective album yet. Though far from perfect, nothing beats a raw, experimental but meaningful move from a once Material Girl pop starlet.
  74. Apr 3, 2012
    10
    The perfect example of a misundertood album concept... American life in spite of what people may think is not about war and politics criticism... It's Madonna being creative in a unusual pop way a synth-acoustic-pop with AMAZING lyrics where she tells about her life in the US, about her relationship, about her kids and life experiences in general. There are songs there that are GENIUS. andThe perfect example of a misundertood album concept... American life in spite of what people may think is not about war and politics criticism... It's Madonna being creative in a unusual pop way a synth-acoustic-pop with AMAZING lyrics where she tells about her life in the US, about her relationship, about her kids and life experiences in general. There are songs there that are GENIUS. and for me a Madonna Top 5 Album! Expand
  75. Jun 10, 2012
    9
    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 muchThis 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
  76. Jul 22, 2012
    8
    This album definitely isn't perfect, but aside from quite weak songs like Nobody Knows Me and Mother and Father, it includes brilliant songs like X-Static Process, Hollywood and American Life. I absolutely adore the slightly minimalistic and honest sound of this album and I think it's highly inspiring.
  77. Oct 24, 2013
    7
    When Madonna released American Life in 2003, she took it as a gamble. The politically-charged video for American Life may have been taken too literally but really the album itself takes a mostly toned down approach from Music. there are still sprinklings of electronic music but some songs like Love Profusion harnesses the acoustics of the guitar. Nothing Fails serves almost as a Like aWhen Madonna released American Life in 2003, she took it as a gamble. The politically-charged video for American Life may have been taken too literally but really the album itself takes a mostly toned down approach from Music. there are still sprinklings of electronic music but some songs like Love Profusion harnesses the acoustics of the guitar. Nothing Fails serves almost as a Like a Prayer Part 2 with its soaringly moving choir. The lead single itself is not as bad as critically penned. It was the subject that mattered and I wish she had stood her ground and release the awesome video instead of puling it off air, replacing it with a dull flag-bearing video. Expand
  78. Dec 15, 2013
    9
    American Life is very similar to Erotica (1992) in that it's misunderstood and is overlooked!

    It's not my favourite album by the Queen of Pop but it's up there. 2003 saw Madonna take another change musically. She wanted to do more acoustic music while still maintaining her dance/electronic sound from previous album Music (2000). There are many great songs on this album such as:
    American Life is very similar to Erotica (1992) in that it's misunderstood and is overlooked!

    It's not my favourite album by the Queen of Pop but it's up there. 2003 saw Madonna take another change musically. She wanted to do more acoustic music while still maintaining her dance/electronic sound from previous album Music (2000).

    There are many great songs on this album such as: Hollywood, Mother and Father, Die another day, Easy ride and Intervention. Because of the message Madonna tried to get across and the way in which she tried she was banned off the US radio and people didn't want to listen. As a result one of her greatest albums have been overlooked both commercially and artistically.
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  79. Nov 11, 2013
    10
    Great album. It's so sad that AL is so underrated. It's full of flawless lyrics and songs.
    She also proves once again, that she is actually a really good singer.
    One of my favourites from The Queen of POP.
  80. Dec 14, 2013
    8
    Uma recepção mista por parte da crítica por conta dos EUA e seu patriotismo ridículo, pode até ser meio reciclagem de seu álbum anterior, mas suas letras são impecáveis e um dos melhores álbuns de Madonna.
  81. Jul 1, 2015
    9
    It's a shame Madonna was commercially and critically punished for American Life because, even if it might not quite be her 'best' album, it is as personal and sincere as Bedtime Stories, as direct and confrontational as Erotica, as radically original as Ray of Light, and in many ways it marks the high point of her development as an artist and a musician. She has been in retreat everIt's a shame Madonna was commercially and critically punished for American Life because, even if it might not quite be her 'best' album, it is as personal and sincere as Bedtime Stories, as direct and confrontational as Erotica, as radically original as Ray of Light, and in many ways it marks the high point of her development as an artist and a musician. She has been in retreat ever since.
    As great as the Music single is, most of the rest of the Music album feels like Madonna and Mirawais are working separately as much as together. On American Life their collaboration is seemless, and the results are truly strange and pretty much perfect.
    The lead in, title song simultaneously condemns and relishes selfish materialism, and the inherent self-contradiction forms one of the album's main themes. This theme is deliciously manifested by having the album's second track, a sarcastic and disillusioned look at Hollywood, mirrored by the album's second-to-last track, Die Another Day, the theme from a film from one of Hollywood's most valuable franchises.
    Generally, the mood mellows and the arrangements move from abrasive synthesizers to acoustic guitars as the album progresses, and Madonna has never made anything more straightforwardly poignant as some of the almost folk-like tunes in the closing half of American Life.
    Her vocals throughout the album are as varied and strong and expressive as she has ever managed. I find the often repeated ridicule of her rapping to be absolutely incomprehensible, as her use of rhythmic spoken word here (call it rap if you want) is, in the song American Life, frightening and funny, and in Mother and Father, boldly strange and evocative.
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  82. May 16, 2015
    8
    Again, another underrated album by Madonna. In Europe this album is a fan favorite. Interesting and brave mix between electronic and folk. Personal and social lyrics. Love it.
  83. Nov 17, 2015
    9
    Ultra reliģiski politisks kantrī-folk ievirzes albums ar autotjūna un repa elementiem. Tiešām šāds savienojums bez iedziļināšanās albumā varētu likties trakiņš. Tāpēc arī šis kļuva par kritiķu noraktāko albumu Madonnas vēsturē; visvarāk kritizēta tika tituldziesma “American Life”. Politiskā satura un amerikāņu dzīvesstila kritizēšanas dēļ dziesma tikai aizliegta ASV radiostacijās un tāsUltra reliģiski politisks kantrī-folk ievirzes albums ar autotjūna un repa elementiem. Tiešām šāds savienojums bez iedziļināšanās albumā varētu likties trakiņš. Tāpēc arī šis kļuva par kritiķu noraktāko albumu Madonnas vēsturē; visvarāk kritizēta tika tituldziesma “American Life”. Politiskā satura un amerikāņu dzīvesstila kritizēšanas dēļ dziesma tikai aizliegta ASV radiostacijās un tās īpaši neētrtais videoklips vēl šodien nav atrodams Youtube portālā. Dziesmā Čikone dzied par mūžamseno atziņu, ka nauda un vara ne vienmēr nozīmē laimi un par viņas ceļu pie šīs atziņas. Tā uzskatāma kā kritika Džordža Buša politikai; pieņemu, ka šāda reakcija nebūtu bijusi, ja albums iznāktu nevis pirms Irākas kara, bet dažus gadus vēlāk, kad, piemēram, atklājās, ka Irākā kara iemesla – masu iznīcināšanas ieroču nav bijis. Vēl šajā albumā sastopams līdz nelabumam saautotjūnētais monotonais Džeimsa Bonda tāda paša nosaukuma filmas saundtraks Die Another Day.

    Citādi aiz kritikas par stila savienojumiem un politiku, slēpjas vispersoniskākais Madonnas albums, kurā ir daudz skaistu un melodisku dziesmu un visnotaļ viņas vokāls ir krietni labāks nekā kritiķu slavētajā albumā Confessions(…). Dziesmas, kuras vērts noklausīties – Nothing Fails; Love Profusion; X-Static Process.
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  84. May 15, 2016
    8
    American Life is a very personal album of Madonna, her most underrated one beacuse she is not pleasing anyone, as usual. She makes music on her own terms and here she is with a new musical direction. She's done with charts, sales, fame, etc. Now she is a caring mom who wants to teach her children "how to fly...way up like a bird in the sky"
    This experimental production album finds Madonna
    American Life is a very personal album of Madonna, her most underrated one beacuse she is not pleasing anyone, as usual. She makes music on her own terms and here she is with a new musical direction. She's done with charts, sales, fame, etc. Now she is a caring mom who wants to teach her children "how to fly...way up like a bird in the sky"
    This experimental production album finds Madonna criticising the "American Dream" and embracing immaterialism.
    "I tried to stay ahead,
    I tried to stay on top
    I tried to play the part,
    But somehow I forgot
    Just what I did it for
    And why I wanted more"...she sings on the title track "American Life". The album contains 2 time Grammy nominated song " Die Another Day", theme song of James Bond film.
    Essential Tracks - American Life, Hollywood, Die Another Day.
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  85. Oct 20, 2016
    10
    American Life is a staggering pop masterpiece which easily contains some of Madonna's best work in her entire career, even eclipsing her work on critic's favourite Ray of Light. Madonna makes a daring continuation from the experimental nature of Music and this shows on some the album's highlights such as American Life, Hollywood and Nobody Knows Me. She also shines in the raw, personalAmerican Life is a staggering pop masterpiece which easily contains some of Madonna's best work in her entire career, even eclipsing her work on critic's favourite Ray of Light. Madonna makes a daring continuation from the experimental nature of Music and this shows on some the album's highlights such as American Life, Hollywood and Nobody Knows Me. She also shines in the raw, personal songs such as X-Static Process and Intervention which are still strikingly relevant to her life in the present day. Expand
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. This album, if it came from a newcomer, could kill a career stone dead.
  2. Vibe
    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. For once, Madonna has stumbled not because she reached too far, but because she didn't reach far enough.