- Audio CD (Oct. 21 1992)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: AUS-Import
- Label: Maverick
- ASIN: B000002MFN
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | LP Record
- Average Customer Review: 198 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,670 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|Price:||CDN$ 11.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 35. Details|
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|12. In This Life|
|13. Secret Garden|
Certified double platinum by the RIAA. (1/93)
Un peu étouffé par la polémique née autour du très controversé Sex, livre porno soft assez dispensable, l'album Erotica, enregistré en 1992, est injustement sous-estimé. Madonna, loin de s'oublier dans un mol embourgeoisement provoqué par les succès de ses quatre albums précédents, dessine en quatorze titres un panorama de ses influences musicales. De l'utilisation d'un sample de Kool And The Gang à la reprise de Peggy Lee "Fever", elle succombe encore une fois aux charmes de la musique électronique en compagnie du producteur Shep Pettibone. "Erotica", titre sensuellement murmuré sur des rythmes dansants, annonce sa future collaboration avec William Orbit sur l'idéal Ray Of Light. Les ballades dérapent sur des tentatives de deep house "Deeper And Deeper", des rythmes latins débordent de sonorités disco, et le rap se conjugue avec boîtes à rythmes. Erotica montre la Madone plus authentiquement sentimentale que vaguement salace. --Sabrina Silamo
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That's not to say "Erotica" is a slice of perfection from start-to-finish as there are a few missteps right from the beginning. The opening number/first single with it's over-the-top explicit references to S&M is the audio equivalent of the whole "Sex Book" fiasco and the fact it's a non-melodic rip-off of the similarly unimpressive "Justify My Love" makes it one of the weakest entries. Also less impressive but still good are "Bye Bye Baby" (the contrast of 1930s victrola-sounding vocals over hip-hop beats is interesting). The looped bassline makes "Waiting" a little monotonous and its spoken passages are too similar to "Justify My Love/Erotica"--but it's more melodic. "Words" sounds like they took the instrumental from the rap section of "Vogue" and built a song around it. Madonna may have been trying for shock value in "Where Life Begins" which was probably inspired by the silly "Sex" book poem "My P*ssy". The irony is that despite it's crude subject matter, the arrangement of "Where Life Begins" is perhaps the most sophisticated-sounding of the entire album with lovely, understated piano and saxophone. There's a vintage 1970s "Brother Louie" influence on this that would serve her well on her next studio album and it's lead-off single/album highlight "Secret". The closing number "Secret Garden" is like a continuation of "Where Life Begins", a mix of hip-hop beats and cocktail lounge music.
Some of Madonna's best dance-floor numbers appear on this album, even though most probably haven't been played in clubs in years. Despite the fact she's the millionth person to cover "Fever", she and Pettibone bring a fresh '90s flavor to it and the song's simplicity makes it a far more natural choice for a remake than attempting to redo "American Pie". Her sexy, airy vocals are front and center--sadly the same can't be said for the current Madonna album where they are often buried underneath layers of techno noise. An intoxicating ode to surrender, "Deeper and Deeper" borrows "Vogue"s rhythm and expands on it with a fuller sound and mid-song salsa interlude (and an unsung gay anthem if there ever was one when she shouts "My love is alive and I'm never gonna hide it again"). "Thief of Hearts" is Madonna at her most confrontational--a blueprint for later scathing attacks such as "She's Not Me" or "Gang Bang". Except here the only weapon she needs is her own physicality ("Which leg do you want me to break?")--not a firearm. When she looks her competition up and down and huffs "I can break you" we BELIEVE her. This is the Madonna I miss--fierce, determined and expressive.
The real highlight of this album is the trio of "Rain", "Why's It So Hard", and "In This Life". Pettibone builds the layers of "Rain" so subtly and gradually until Madonna's performing a monologue with herself over a Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis backbeat. "Rain" features Madonna at her most plaintive, while the urban hip-hop cry for social unity (and gay acceptance?) in "Why's It So Hard" is as 'street' as she ever sounded without resorting to dropping F-bombs and letting unnecessary guest rappers steal her thunder. The haunting "In This Life" is the best ballad she ever recorded IMO as Madonna memorializes some of the close friends she's lost to AIDS (the simple but ominous piano chords that open this one tell us immediately there is no happy ending coming here and you'll get goosebumps when she delivers the line "Have you ever watched your best friend die?"). On songs like these Madonna just sounds so ... relaxed, compared to new material like "Masterpiece", where she sounds like an uptight English schoolmarm with a stick up her...*ahem*.
Bye Bye Baby 3/5
Deeper and Deeper 5/5
Where Life Begins 4/5
Bad Girl 4/5
Thief of Hearts 5/5
Why's It So Hard 5/5
In This Life 5/5
Secret Garden 3/5
"Erotica" is my second favorite Madonna album, sandwiched between "Music" (#1) and "Like a Virgin" (#3). Each of these are time capsules that perfectly capture different stages of her lengthy career and different side of her personality. "Erotica" boasts some of her most raw, expressive vocal performances before they began to be overpowered by the Electronica/William Orbit/Mirwais production yet show more range than she displayed in the '80s. More importantly, she sounds like she's having fun, not trying to sell a product. There's a playfulness here that's missing on "Ray of Light" and seemingly almost everything after.
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!
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Must have for any fan.
Despite all the negativity this album has recieved, Erotica is truly another...Read more
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