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Ray of Light

4.4 out of 5 stars 719 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 8.00 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 3 1998)
  • Original Release Date: 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 719 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,270 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

Review

[ Ray of Light ] delivers 67 minutes of complex, challenging and ultimately entrancing music without so much as breathing heavily.... [Madonna] sings here in a voice grown deeper and fuller about the emptiness of fame and pleasure ... and the rewards of mystic pursuits.... [S]he peppers her songs with apocalyptic visions of death and rebirth, sin, salvation and transcendence.... -- People

Amazon.ca

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: LP Record Verified Purchase
This is one of the best albums of the 90's. It has remarkably good depth. The only thing I could nitpick about is the upper end detail being a little too far back in the presentation making me want to turn the treble up a bit to bring it a little more forward, along with Madonna's voice. The tone is ever so slightly on the dark side. A very interesting listen good and dynamic. The vinyl itself however is quite noisy with clicks and some pops throughout the record, for that reason alone I give the edge to my CD.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is my second favorite Madonna album (after Confessions on a Dance Floor)
It has song great songs on it. My favorites are Ray Of Light, Frozen, Drowned World\Substitute for Love, Swim & Nothing Really Matters.
I love listening to this before going to bed, it's so relaxing, and it helps me sleep.
THANK YOU MADONNA FOR THIS MASTERPIECE.
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Format: LP Record Verified Purchase
The vinyl wasn't sealed (the side of the plastic packaging was cut, allowing the records to be taken out), so I was a little disgruntled about this, but it plays fine and the creases in the packaging aren't too bad. Thank you.
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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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Format: Audio CD
This is my favourite Madonna album. She once said that everything before confessions on a dance floor was crap.. I think she got it backwards. Nothing fails is my absolute favourite song on this album but there are so many to choose from!
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Format: Audio CD
This is the first thing by Madonna that I've ever owned. Because of that, I'm not in a position to say whether or not this is her best CD, to comment about how these songs reflect her personal life (I don't pay much attention to that), or to make any comparisons to other music she's recorded. I spent 20 years or so largely ignoring Madonna. My impression was that she was literally the "material girl" she proclaimed herself to be. A shallow tart who used her sex appeal to sell music and other media products.
That changed when I heard the song "Ray Of Light". Not that it necessarily changed my attitude toward Madonna as a person, but I liked the song very much and it propted me to get the CD. Surprise! The CD is very good. The songs here are complex yet appealing. There is the less-than-subtle torch song ("Candy Perfume Girl" comes to mind), but many of the lyrics have an introspective quality and the music has an ethereal sound that is very nice to listen to. I was also impressed with the quality of the singing on this CD. I had no reason to suppose that Madonna could actually sing, but her vocals here are very well done. She is expressive and demonstrates both power and range.
All in all, RAY OF LIGHT is a very good CD and a very pleasant surprise for me. I will be listening to more of Madonna's work in the future. It is clear that underneath the hype, there is a genuine artist at work here. Though I am generally more of a fan of classic rock than of pop, I recommend this CD.
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