Hey! HEY!! Where are the soundbytes???
Possibly my vote for best album of 1999, "Madonna" has less to do with Ms. Ciccone than with the mythic lure of the divine, as manifested by these four energetic dervishes in washes of dense guitar noise and whirling drums. The production here is more immediate than their debut (although never as 'warm' as their privately issued demo cassette which will rearrange your furniture if you're not careful!) and has a more textured feel.
"Mistakes and Regrets" wraps despair in a screeching yet almost angelic guitar veneer, culminating in crashing, galloping drums. "Totally Natural" is less inspired, and devolves into a blatantly Sonic Yoop spin in mid-stride. But "Claire De Lune', ruminating over lost love and hopes, takes on an infectuous 3/4 time spin, as much a lament as a lullaby.
"Madonna" lacks some of the muscle found on their debut, but acts as one frictionless piece, flowing imperceptibly from one title to the next. In the end, "A Perfect Teenhood" wraps things up as it usually does onstage, when giant amplified-rubber-band guitars make repeated glacial headbutts into oblivion (or, in a live context, a pile of rubble).
Sure, these guys listened to "Daydream Nation" a few times too many, but at least someone is carrying the flag again.