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Ray of Light

4.5 out of 5 stars 908 customer reviews

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Ray Of Light
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Audio CD, March 3, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

MADONNA RAY OF LIGHT

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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-centered pat on the back that belies her claim to a newfound 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 center of our spiritual world too. --Roni Sarig
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 3, 1998)
  • Original Release Date: March 3, 1998
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B000002NJS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (908 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,469 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John Jones on January 20, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Family matters have always been a good forum for Madonna. After all, 1989's "Like a Prayer," dealing with the breakup of her marriage, her mother's death, and her complicated relationship with her father, shattered the notion that Madonna was an artist best relied on for singles; the deep and expressive set made for a mature album that could be enjoyed from start to finish. Unfortunately, subsequent recordings weren't as sharp: "Erotica" and "Bedtime Stories" definitely had their moments but just as surely had their share of filler. Luckily for us, "Ray of Light" picks up on the flip side of "Like a Prayer": this time around, Madonna's the parent, and the topic of family provides a springboard for musings on love versus fame and what a grown adult considers truly important. Adding to the mix is her collaboration with electronica producer William Orbit, making "Ray of Light" one of the most mature and satisfying albums of dance music you're likely to ever hear.
And while the opening track gets things off to an unexpected start with a hypnotic slice of slow rock, the lyrics of "Drowned World/Substitute for Love" set the pace of the record: "I traded fame for love/without a second thought...I found myself in crowded rooms/feeling so alone." Halfway through the song the music backs off and Madonna distances herself from side-effects of fame: "no famous faces, far off places/trinkets I can buy/no handsome stranger, heady danger/drug that I can try." As the list continues the decibel level grows until both Madonna and her music are at an in-your-face level, clearly declaring that fame may be nice but enough is enough.
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Format: Audio CD
HI. THIS ESPECIAL EDITION OF THE ALBUM 'RAY OF LIGHT' CONTAINS A EXTRA CD WHIT A INTERVIEW (CALLED "WORDS & MUSIC"), SO THIS IS NOT THE 3D COOL PACKAGING LIMITED EDITION. LIMITED EDITION IS SOLD-OUT SINCE RELEASE, BECAUSE WAS ONLY 100.000 COPIES FOR ALL THE WORLD!.
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Format: Audio CD
Madonna has managed to manipulate the media with her outspoken nature and undeniable wit. She has also kept people in suspense by constantly changing her look. People have wanted her career to end, but she is still around and will be around for a long time. Also, some Madonna fans aren't sure that they like her new sound. Do not underestimate Madonna, for she has always managed to surprise us.
Ray of Light is the most artistic and creative album Madonna has ever recorded. Instead of trying a new look (although she did), she decided to try a new sound. Ray of Light is filled with electronic music and edgy dance songs. The result is brilliant. Her voice is stronger than ever and her sound is a lot more refined -- very different from the pop ditties she recorded in the past. Yes, she is not as outspoken as she used to be, but then again she has evolved as a person and as an artist. I love "The Power of Goodbye"; the lyrics are very touching. I also like "Ray of Light," "Frozen," "Nothing Really Matters," and "Skin." The songs have a common theme: spirituality and self-discovery.
I urge you to purchase this incredible CD. And for all of you reluctant Madonna fans out there: Madonna is better than ever. Give this CD a whirl.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a superb album. It is well produced and the music is beautiful. The lyrics are simple yet deep and somewhat thought provoking. The artist herself shows an evolution in her vocal ability as well as her songwriting style. Some clever moments are seen in tracks like "Nothing really matters," "To have and not to hold," and 'The Power of goodbye." The latter is a sad yet uplifting ballad which truly stands out as one of Madonna's best tracks in the 90's. Other songs like "Ray of Light" and "Frozen" are good dance anthems that stand out as very good pop material (although this album is touted as "electronica" I wouldn't really place it in that category---except for the fact that William Orbit's genius is behind it). In general I believe this album to be a great recording and I'd like to take a moment to tell all of those people who "review" this album (or any other for that matter) and say a bunch of horrible things only to anger other fans or to insult the artist, you people need to grow up, stop being stupid and offensive. If you don't like a book, CD, movie or any other product please be objective and explain in your review what the flaws may have been. Don't just say that this or that stinks or "I want my money back"type of cliches. Those readers and listeners who actually respect others expect more from Amazon than to read your ridiculous little brain type of comments, OK?
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Format: Audio CD
This is Madonna's work of art. And this CD is the very best collection of any music she has ever produced since "Erotica." Madonna's lyrics are beautiful and strong because even after 9 years it still stands the test of time. It's completely impossible for this CD to be dated; with the electronica feel to it and fast moving dance numbers, such as the title-track this CD was way ahead of its time. Even in the double-00's "Ray of Light" is still very important as both a dance record and a record of reflection and interpersonal renewal.

Besides the song, "Ray of Light," I also adore "Frozen." This was the perfect song to be the lead-single because it mixed both the old and new Madonna into one. "Frozen" also helped resonate a steady flow of continuity.

I also love the song "Shanti/Ashtangi." In this song Madonna sings a very pretty melody in Sanskrit that is both unique and uplifting. I don't know what she's saying but I do know that I want to keep listening. I wish she would have done an entire CD like this (although she did release a similar song, "Music's" B-side, "Cyberraga" in 2000.)

Some of the other truly magical tracks on this CD are: "Swim" "Skin" and "Sky Fits Heaven." These songs are like pieces to an intricate quilt that come perfectly together. "Ray of Light" is almost like one big tune because all the songs on this CD live as one in perfect harmony.

Why is this CD so perfect? Because it mixes the old with the new. It includes a very young sound that still sounds familiar and welcoming. "Ray of Light" totally reminds me of Madonna's two other greatest masterpieces, "Erotica" and "Like A Prayer."

This is the Madonna that I truly love because this CD was so unique and artistic.
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