American Life - Madonna
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 200 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 15 out of 200

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  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. Jul 21, 2012
    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.
  3. Nov 11, 2013
    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.
  4. Apr 12, 2012
    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
  5. Apr 8, 2011
    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!
  6. Apr 3, 2012
    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. and for me a Madonna Top 5 Album! Expand
  7. 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
  8. Dec 15, 2013
    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. Expand
  9. Nov 11, 2013
    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.

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. 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.