CD Review: Madonna, "Confessions on a Dance Floor" (Warner Bros.)
With the '80s revival in full swing, what else should an early-'80s icon do but return to her club-music, beat-heavy roots?
"Confessions on a Dance Floor," Madonna's new album, is the unabashed homecoming to her "Into the Groove" days, if infused with new feelings--Kabbalah, missing New York, reflections on fame--and the layers of production work marking it a piece from the 21st Century. Playing with plenty of her own early sounds, the songs also dither with her Me Decade contemporaries' pop-synth--think Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys--and seriously classic disco, actually sampling ABBA in the opener, "Hung Up."
All the songs, apart from the controversial and purposely murky "Isaac," flow into one another like a DJ-ready mix, sometimes working to strong results, like the intense "Sorry" into the pulsations of "Future Lovers." But the effect, along with the "I can make it alone," independent-woman theme throughout the lyrics, can also blur the tunes together. It's really in just a few spots, like the addictive "Jump" and earnest love song "Push," that we hear Madonna not just reveling in past glories--of others and her own--but showing real signs of what could come next.