Ray of Light
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[ 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
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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".Read more ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
CD in great shape, fast delivery.
Got it only for 2 songs, was curious to listen to the other songs and didn't like.
With the titles 'Ray of Light' and 'Frozen' I don't think anyone would hesitate to own this CD. From calm and relaxing music to joyful songs; perfect to entertain guests. Read morePublished on Sept. 23 2008 by Leonardo Custodio
one of the most wonderful albums Madge has ever recorded. full of spiritual grace. With each listen it just grew over me more and more. Read morePublished on May 20 2006 by V. Zvyagintsev
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... Read morePublished on Oct. 20 2005
The electronic sounds the east indian sounds mixed in with her mature voice and meaningful lyrics. I think this is one of her best albums to date.Published on July 12 2004 by Susanne Murray