Madonna - Finally Enough Love Music Album Reviews

Madonna - Finally Enough Love Music Album Reviews
The dance-pop icon selects her favorites remixes from a back catalog stuffed with club reworks, but her picks offer a curiously distorted look back at her history on the dancefloor.

Few pop superstars have borrowed as much from club music as Madonna. Her decades at the top of the charts have been bolstered by a canny ability to co-opt contemporary dance sounds without scaring off the mainstream. Finally Enough Love is supposed to represent the singer’s own favorites from her extensive remix catalog. It’s an intriguing premise, promising a candid look at what this musical magpie makes of her excursions into club culture. Sadly, the compilation’s selling point also turns out to be its Achilles’ heel, with Madonna making what can only be seen as some pretty weird selections from her remix archive. (This first edition of the album has been whittled down to 16 tracks; a bounteous 50-track companion, Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones, titled in reference to the singer’s 50 Billboard chart-toppers, follows in August.)

Toward the start of her career, Madonna worked with a small number of remixers from her inner circle, like John “Jellybean” Benitez, who was the resident DJ at the Fun House club in New York where Madonna used to dance. As demand for remixers grew, she called on an increasing number of producers from further afield, and many of them, frankly, were not particularly worthy of the honor. These lesser names are over-represented on the second half of the album, which trails off dramatically.

It’s heartening, in a way, that Madonna has thrown in a load of her Y2K-era remixes simply because she likes them. But Eddie Amador’s leaden and infuriatingly sexless “Club 5 Edit” of Hard Candy’s “Give It 2 Me” probably isn’t even Eddie Amador’s favorite late-period Madonna remix, while the jubilant and cheeky “Music” deserves so much better than Washington, D.C. duo Deep Dish’s dull-as-Deep-Dishwater “Dot Com Radio Edit.” The fact that workaday Israeli DJ and producer Offer Nissim appears twice across the album’s 16 tracks, while the Pet Shop Boys’ fantastically chiseled take on “Sorry” only turns up on 50 Number Ones, is a cultural facelift akin to Cecilia Gimenez’ scandalous attempts to clear up the Ecce Homo fresco.

At their worst, there is something rote and functional about the mid-to-late-period remixes that dominate the second half of Finally Enough Love, as if Madonna needed something to get played in the fashionable New York clubs from which she emerged, and didn’t care all that much about how she did it. The fact that Madonna ostensibly cherishes these songs enough to pick them out of the business-house bin of history isn’t enough to rescue them from ignominy.

The other baffling call on Finally Enough Love is the decision to include remix edits rather than the full remixes themselves, when often the whole point of the remakes was to create extended jams that would work for dancefloors and DJs alike. The version of “Into the Groove” included on Finally Enough Love, for example, is the “You Can Dance Remix Edit,” a truncated take on the magnificent eight-minute-plus remodel that Benitez and True Blue producer Patrick Leonard created for You Can Dance, Madonna’s 1987 remix album; the decision is akin to buying a dog that loves to swim, then locking it in the laundry room.

The “You Can Dance Remix Edit” of “Into the Groove” (which this compilation makes available digitally for the first time) is glorious even in its truncation, with instrumental effects, stuttering vocals, and occasional rhythmic flourishes offering a sparkling alternative flavor to one of Madonna’s most iconic hits. But it invites damning comparison with Madonna’s previous work. You Can Dance was an essential Madonna release for the way it showed how a huge pop act could live in parallel to the club underground; Finally Enough Love feels more like a collection of footnotes. (In the case of 50 Number Ones, a very long and tangled set of footnotes.)

Questionable curatorial choices aside, there is plenty of incredible music on Finally Enough Love. “Everybody,” “Into the Groove,” “Like a Prayer,” and “Express Yourself” may appear as rather stingy remix edits, but they are still “Everybody,” “Into the Groove,” “Like a Prayer,” and “Express Yourself”—four of the best singles of the 1980s, and near-perfect examples of how club culture can be directed toward the mainstream without sacrificing its sass or vigor. Shep Pettibone’s canny, percussion-heavy remix of “Express Yourself,” meanwhile, goes a long way to explaining why he was the remixer of choice for ’80s pop megastars, capable of teasing out a club groove with a few well-placed tweaks while maintaining the integrity of the original song.

Shuffling forward in time, David Morales’ “David’s Radio Edit” of “Deeper and Deeper” and Junior Vasquez’s “Junior’s Luscious Single Mix” of “Secret” are scintillating examples of the early-1990s New York house sound: all tough, swung beats, perky keyboard lines, and perfectly coiled tension. And Stuart Price’s raucous “SDP Extended Vocal Edit” of “Hung Up” (a song he produced in the first place) is a wonderful example of how 2000s Madonna connected with the European dance underground on her fantastic 2005 album Confessions on a Dance Floor.

Sadly, it’s not quite enough. Finally Enough Love is good when it should be spectacular; frustrating when it could be fantastic, a mixed bag where we deserved solid gold. You could accept the odd strange song selection, maybe, but Finally Enough Love makes the erstwhile Queen of Pop feel inexcusably boring at times—which is the one thing Madonna at her prime would never countenance.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Madonna - Finally Enough Love Music Album Reviews Madonna - Finally Enough Love Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Tuesday, July 05, 2022 Rating: 5

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