Madonna

Confessions on a Dance Floor (Warner Bros.)

Like another pop pioneer, David Bowie, Madonna has always been a musical chameleon, hopping artfully from trend to trend, leaving bits and pieces of radio-friendly gold in her wake. (Unlike the Thin White Duke, however, the Material Girl was born and raised in Bay City, Michigan, making her recently affected Brit accent a pompous joke.) With Confessions on a Dance Floor, she and co-producer Stuart Price (of Les Rhythmes Digitales fame) venture into the world of nu-disco, abandoning the sociopolitical pretensions of 2003's American Life for an all-night house party. It is Madonna's purest, most ambitious techno foray to date, and if you can look past the cringe-inducing lyrics ("I don't like cities, but I like New York/Other places make me feel like a dork"), there are hypnotic melodies driving the pulsing beats of "How High" and the ambient trance of "Future Lovers." It's an uneven mix, though; there's just too much disposable filler, making for a set of Confessions that's more a diversion than a revelation.

 
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