Leader of the Pack
First things first. If Madonna released her “American Life” single and video today, instead of two years ago, it would have been huge.
She was so forward-thinking with her anti-war sentiments and her complaints against excess that the American mainstream is only catching up to her now. Of course, now that most of the country is on the same page that she was, Madonna has jumped to a whole new book entirely.
“Hung Up,” the first single from her forthcoming “Confessions on a Dance Floor” album, is pure escapism, a throwback to the late ’70s, a time when Americans turned to disco and debauchery to forget about inflation caused by high gas prices and failed foreign policy.
It’s catchy, riding a sample from ABBA’s “Gimme Gimme Gimme” for nearly the entire song, and it floats by effortlessly, with barely a thought in its airhead, as the chugga-chugga beat pounds on.
The song’s success is essentially a sure thing, but the real question will be how many similar-sounding dance acts will Madonna – and her collaborator, , known for his work as nu-disco king Jacques Le Cont – take with her up the charts.
Juliet is a good bet, since Price produced her debut “Random Order” (Virgin). “Random Order” is packed with intricate, dance tracks like “Avalon” and “Ride the Pain,” which are more memorable for their beats than her vocals. Cut Copy is another good possibility, since the Aussie trio isn’t ashamed to show off its love for the dance stylings of Le Cont and his pals Daft Punk on its debut “Bright Like Neon Love” (Ada).
And maybe with Madonna‘s help, nu-disco pioneers Daft Punk and Basement Jaxx will finally get the American audience they deserve.
Review by Glenn Gamboa