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Ray of Light

4.4 out of 5 stars 718 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 3 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Music
  • ASIN: B000002NJS
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 718 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,639 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Drowned World/Substitute For Love
2. Swim
3. Ray Of Light
4. Candy Perfume Girl
5. Skin
6. Nothing Really Matters
7. Sky Fits Heaven
8. Shanti/Ashtangi
9. Frozen
10. The Power Of Good-Bye
11. To Have And Not To Hold
12. Little Star
13. Mer Girl

Product Description


Never underestimate Madonna's power of persuasion: by nearly all critical accounts, Ray of Light, Madonna's first album of new material since 1994's Bedtime Stories, and her first since motherhood, is her richest, most accomplished record yet. While Ray of Light is being tagged as Madonna's big leap into electronica, it's important to note two things: first, her music has always had close ties to dance culture, and, second, her collaborator William Orbit is no Chemical Brother. Though it has all the latest blips, bleeps, and crackles electronica has to offer, Ray of Light is still largely an adult album, completely within Madonna's realm. Still, Orbit's tasteful sonic constructions provide Madonna with her most adventurous, hippest musical backdrop ever. What's more, the arrangements and production are understated enough to highlight an even bigger development: fresh from singing lessons on the Evita set, Madonna's vocal range, depth, and clarity have never been stronger. But larger pipes don't necessarily make for deeper, truer music. Never a master lyricist, Madonna's words have worked best when they've practically been slogans ("Vogue," "Express Yourself"). This time she goes for more emotional depth, and even tries her hand at ethno-techno-mysticism ("Shanti/Ashtangi"). She largely stumbles, however. The tone conveyed on songs like "Nothing Really Matters" is a self-centred pat on the back that belies her claim to a newly found altruism. It's enough to make you wonder, now that Madonna's given up being our material girl, if maybe she's set her sights on becoming the centre of our spiritual world too. --Roni Sarig

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
When I first heard this album I found it a bit weird in that it was very, very edgy. Almost like catwalk fashion thats soo fashionable its beyond regular people. Now I absolutely love it. Every song tells a story and tracks like Nothing really matters, Sky Fits Heaven, Frozen, To have and not to hold, Power of goodbye, Little Star, Swim and Skin all create a catchy masterpiece of an album. The first track I still don't like but give the rest of the album a chance because it is absolutely amazing. Nothing like it before, nothing like it since! The album that subtly toke Madonna to that next level... Superstar.
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Format: Audio CD
In writing this review, I am able to understand how some fans feel frustrated and say that no matter what, Madonna can't win. On the one hand, "Ray of Light" is perhaps her greatest artistic achievement and the point in which she was finally able to solidify herself as a genuine "real player" in the music biz--but while I admire this album for its' artistic merits and innovative use of electronica, I can't say it's one of my favorites by her because it's simply not FUN like alot of the rest of her catalog. I think it's best to say you need to be in a certain frame of mind to truly appreciate "Ray of Light". This is Madonna as Earth Mother--no dominatrix gear, Marilyn-bleached locks or feather boas. This is the point where she officially entered the second phase of her career (fans and critics definitely split her legacy into pre-ROL and post-ROL categories); the lyrics have her reflecting on past mistakes and regrets and future hopes--all this introspective insight no doubt brought on in the wake of Lourdes' birth.

I'm still not a fan of the recent MDNA album save for two tracks, and it's ironic upon revisiting "Ray" that it sounds more age-appropriate for her NOW even though it's fourteen years old already. The fact that most of this material would not seem out on place on contemporary radio is either a testament to the fact that Madonna was way ahead of the curve with this one, or that pop culture has really not evolved much in the last fifteen years.

On paper, it sounds like a hodgepodge but the album is surprisingly cohesive from the dreamlike, otherwordly "Drowned World (Substitute for Love") and "Frozen" to futuristic dance numbers "Ray of Light" and "Nothing Really Matters" to World-Beat flavoured "Skin" and "Shanti/Ashtangi".
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By A Customer on Oct. 20 2005
Format: Audio CD
am not a big fan, i somehow have found her previously to be offensive, arrogant, self-absorbed, crude, generally annoying & an attention-seeker who thrived on adoration, (much like robbie williams) & feel that all this overrides her talent.
aside from early feelgood anthems, "holiday", "into the groove", "deeper & deeper", & one or two others, i find her music weak and shallow,
when this album was created, i imagine it was greatly influenced by producers such as william orbit, & i felt it was a desperate effort to gain further credibility & to appear to have more depth & spiritually, & i felt this to be fake.
however, i do actually like some of the tracks, i actually have a remix album, which makes it sound better, tracks i enjoy are "swim", "frozen", "sky fits heaven" & "nothing really matters". it is perhaps the best work she's done, but i wouldn't give too much credit, as i feel it has more to do with production, than her artistry.
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Format: Audio CD
god! this is 1 of tha best madonna albums yet¡! herz a basic outline of tha album.
1. Drowned World/Substitute 4 Love: this is a great semi-spiritual ballad. im actually not a big fan of ballads, but this is a great song! It wasnt released as a single in the u.s. but in the u.k. yes. Grade: A
2. Swim: Not as great but it would get a Grade of:B+

3. Ray of Lite: one word: AWESOME!¡!¡ 2nd wonderful single frum wonderful album! Grade A+
4.Candy Perfume Girl: Very Intresting beat w/ interesting lyrics. Very good. Grade: A-
5. Skin: Good Dance beat but very long and dull lyrics. yu maii liek it tho. Grade:C-
6. Nothing Really Matters: 3rd single.IDK Why it was so low on the charts great beat lyrics and music Grade: A
7.Sky Fits Heaven: Skin Part 2 Grade; C
8. Shanti/ Ashangti: Intersting Yoga language also nice lyric pattern Grade: A-
9. Frozen: THe 1st single and ok nice beat and lyric pattern Grade: A-
10. The Power Of Good-bye: 4th and final u.s. single. Great semi-ballad Grade: B+
11. 2 have and not 2 hold: Ok Grade B
12. Little Star: Great semi baallad but better than power
Grade: A
13. Mer Girl: Great Grade: A-
Overall Album Grade: A Ballads wer a lil flat but overall great
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Format: Audio CD
"Ray of Light" blew me away when I first got it in early 1998 and it has remained my favorite Madonna album ever since then and sadly it was to be her last good album because "Music" was a let down and "American Life" isn't even worth buying from a cut-out bin.
The music on here is a lot trancier and much darker than anything she had ever done before then and showcased a much deeper and more emotional side that we had never heard before.
"Substitute For Love" is just a beautiful song.
"Swim" is another entrancing dance track.
The title track is rave-like fun and a great dance club hit.
"Candy Perfume Girl" is a really strange trance like song.
"Skin" is an intoxicatingly haunting and even scary classic.
"Nothing Really Matters" is another great dance track.
"Sky Fits Heaven" is a beautiful fast-paced song.
"Shanti/Ashangti" is a strongly Asian influenced track that is worth a listen.
"Frozen" is a very cold bitter classic.
"The Power of Goodbye" doesn't do much for me. Sorry
"To Have and Not To Hold" is kind of boring in my opinion.
"Little Star" is a hauntingly beautiful rave-like song with a strange sound to it.
"Mer Girl" is very spooky and ends the album on a strange note.
And so you have it. Sadly, this is Madonna's last great album because almost everything that she has released has dissapointed me in every way. Get this album. It's really great!
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