Now I know I don’t often take a second look at recent albums, purely because they’re usually still very much in our consciousness and haven’t been buried under a pile of dust. Or in my case – Madonna’s Confessions on a Dance Floor, have two copies of the thing.
Don’t ask me why.
Anyway, we all probably remember the album for Madonna at 50 something cavorting around in a pink leotard – and frankly looking smoking hot (another thing you’ll probably never hear me say that often). It burst quite literally onto the music scene in 2005. It’s also renowned for the first song allowed to sample any ABBA song, let alone Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man after Midnight). It was a breath of fresh air especially after her lack lustre effort of American Life. You could fail to notice that this album was about to slap you around the face with a wet kipper. I still maintain that this is one of the best disco/ dance albums you will ever listen to – it’s never far from my playlist of choice.
Ok, before I go on – I have a small confession (no pun intended), I don’t actually own this on vinyl YET. I’m hanging around trying to find the limited edition pink vinyl. I will get there.
Awesome is a word I seem to be using more and more lately, I blame the Lego Movie but that’s by-the-by. However, awesome is the best word I can find to describe Madonna’s futuristic techno-dance effort. It’s one of those albums that I live for discovering. Confessions on a Dance Floor is its own little musical universe, where the music just flows and each song connects so seamlessly to the other that I forget that I’m listening to songs at all. With tempestuous melodies, sounds and beats, this high-charged, all-enveloping musical experience is in my opinion one of Madonna’s most recognisable and breathtaking works; an unforgettable sonic journey.
The music is fantastic. It’s electrical and riveting, full of energy and zest, and I don’t just mean in the catchy department. This is thoughtful and moving music in its own right; it’s music you actually would like to hear pop up on a dance playlist, something you look forward to hearing. The album’s hits need no introduction. Check out Stuart Price’s version of Cornershop’s “Sleep on the Left Side” to see what he’s capable of doing with already existing material. “Hung Up” will make even more sense then, and the extended version on the album is far better than the truncated radio edit. “Get Together” is the first real taste of the album’s sound.”Sorry” is dynamite (I just wish the video hadn’t been so corny – generally, great as this album is, it was cursed with bad videos). “Future Lovers” is, wow, fabulous; co-produced by Madonna’s trusty associate Mirwais Ahmadzai, the stark and overpowering sound draw out the meat of this goosebump-inducing track.
Madonna and Stuart Price made something truly magical come to life here. Listening to this album for the first time challenged my notion to what an album is supposed to be. Confessions on a Dance Floor is as close as I have dared hope for an album to become something truly spectacular as a whole. Just try to separate the song order, or to insert a silence – you can’t do it. The whole album would fall apart. It’s all produced as a whole, and this gives the album added character. The sleeve is the perfect hint at the beauty and passion of the music it adorns. The art direction was great. This album actually is nothing but winners. There is not a dud track on the entire list. The exquisite “Forbidden Love” strolls so effortlessly into “Jump” that you’ll be surprised to find that a new track has started, without you even realising it. “Isaac” is another sensual number, beautiful music. Need I go on? Confessions on a Dance Floor is an extraordinary piece of music.
While I love many works by many artists, I can still say that this is one of my favourite albums of all time. The reason? This album works so strongly, it sounds like perfection and reminds you that dance music can be fabulous and engaging. Confessions has my utmost recommendations. I confess that I think it’s stupendous.
The Knitty Gritty: So this album is available on: LP, CD, Digital Download and Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer… Further Listening: I Remember Yesterday – Donna Summer Nightclubbing – Grace Jones Play – Moby