Well, apparently in 1992 Madonna had a lot of controversy regarding this album and it's accompanied SEX book. Bare in mind, I was 2-years-old so I can't remember the up roar over it whatsoever but I have read up on it and it seems like Madonna was totally slaughtered by the critics with this album. The SEX book, Erotica album and the Body of Evidence movie took Madonna's to a all-time career low. Either her true fans stayed with her and supported her or they walked out on her.
Upon first listen of the 'Erotica' album I didn't like it that much. I thought it was kinda boring, not very interesting and that the only stand out tracks were Erotica, Deeper & Deeper, Bad Girl and Rain. The first night I had the album I thought, 'wow, what a waste of $6 bucks'. It would be a few months before I decided to give 'Erotica' a second chance.
Like I said in another review I did not become a Madonna fan until 2000 and I was 10-years-old. I purchased the 'Erotica' album two and a half years ago, in the Summer of 2008. I think it was the night before I read up on all the 'Erotica' scandal and reading all these nasty reviews about the album got me curious. That same night I went to Youtube and found the video for the song 'Erotica'. I must admit, I was a little shocked. The video was quite suggestive to say the least but I couldn't help but find the song edgy and nastily groovy.
Was the 'Erotica' album really all that bad or was it just a bunch of people getting their panties in a twist?
Yep, panties in a twist alright! When I read about the controversy with this album all I heard was this was all about sex, how dirty it was and how Madonna had hit an all time low. Well, whoever wrote those reviews were stupid because this album does have a few sexually driven songs, but at the same time a lot of them are angry songs, and a couple are emotional. The only sexual songs on here are 'Erotica', 'Where Life Begins' and 'Secret Garden'.
Madonna actually experiments with jazz a bit on this album as well, for example, 'Secret Garden' is like poetry set to a jazz track and 'Waiting' has a deep club jazzy sound to it.
'Fever' is a cover of the classic Peggy Lee song, and it's a wonderful cover fused with a classic early 90's dance, 'Deeper & Deeper' is a typical classic Madonna pop song.
'Bad Girl', 'Rain', 'In This Life' are all emotional and somewhat heart wrenching and heart breaking songs. Then in 'Bye Bye Baby', 'Thief of Hearts', 'Words' and 'Why It's So Hard' lean more toward anger and frustration. In those songs you can tell Madonna is pissed right off.
That said, being almost 20 years old and have explored Madonna's 'Erotica' album I have come to the conclusion that why Madonna was slaughtered for this album is stupid. The album is no where near as sexually explicit as the media made it out to be, and considering sexually driven songs and sex books had been created before Madonna even got hit with her scandal, I have to question why the critics got on her so bad. Sure she pushed boundaries at the time, but I bet had any male musician done what Madonna did back in '92 no one would have said a word about it!
That said, Madonna's 'Erotica' album is a great album, there are only 2 songs on here that don't grab me and that's 'Why It's So Hard' and 'Secret Garden'. The rest of the album is great.
Be warned though, this is most def. an album you have to spend sometime with before it gets under your skin. Don't pass it off as a 'throw away' after only one listen, give it a few spins and sooner or later the subtle hooks will grasp your clutches.
Side note: There is a version of this album with a 'Parental Advisory' sticker, it features the track 'Did You Do It?'...basically a horrible rap mix of 'Waiting'. Ick!