By Owen Scott
Madonna. It’s a name that conjures up a different image for everyone and when you’ve been in the music industry for as long, and become as synonymous with reinvention, as Madonna has, that’s bound to happen. For me, the first time I remember seeing Madonna was in the 2005 ‘Hung Up’ video, in the pink leotard and with Farrah Fawcett hair. On Finally Enough Love, Madonna celebrates her history of numbers ones on the dance charts, with this abridged 16-track version and a version with all 50 of her #1 dance hits to come. With the album following her extensive career, we’re taken through these career highs, each given a new life in remixes.
The album is organised in chronological order, taking you through Madonna’s musical evolution. We begin in the 1980s. The first two of these songs are taken directly from her first dance collection You Can Dance, itself released in 1987, so they each retain a distinct 80s feel. ‘Like a Prayer (7″ remix edit)’ trades in its iconic guitar intro by Prince to more immediately get into the dance parts of the song, but small elements like this are missed, though ‘Express Yourself (Remix Edit)’ is as anthemic as when it was first released, evoking the energy of her iconic Blonde Ambition tour.
Next we’re taken through the 1990s, one of Madonna’s most creative decades, as it was the decade of Erotica, Bedtime Stories and Ray of Light. ‘Deeper and Deeper (David’s Radio Edit)’, from the underrated and controversial 1992 Erotica album, is revived, with the remix enhancing its 90s-house groove, and making it something you could hear in clubs today. This is the same case for the 1990 iconic hit ‘Vogue (Single Version)’, and its strong house groove. The song invites the listener to “Get up on the dancefloor”, which is something of a mission statement for the album. After ‘Secret (Junior Luscious Single Mix)’ sweeps by, ‘Frozen (Extended Club Mix Edit)’ becomes one of the biggest surprises on the album. ‘Frozen’ is a dark, atmospheric song, famous for its slow humming and harmonies, so, for it to work as well as it does here, in a dance context, is surprising.
After this, we’re taken into Madonna’s 2000s era. The psychedelic funk of ‘Music’ is embellished with heavy synths, in ‘Music (Deep Dish Dot Com Radio Edit)’ and gone is the breeziness of the original ‘Hollywood’ as, in the ‘Hollywood (Calderone & Quayle Edit)’, the guitar is replaced with dance beats. ‘Hung Up (SDP Extended Vocal Edit)’ is perfectly crafted for clubs, with the remix opening with an answering machine, hence the song’s name, before rushing into the song’s iconic hook and intricate production. It’s a true standout on the album. ‘Give it 2 Me (Eddie Amador Club 5 Edit)’ is maybe the most gym ready song, with Pharrell Williams-infused beats and uplifting lyrics.
Going into the 2010s, we have ‘Girl Gone Wild (Avicii’s UMF Mix)’ which is as EDM heavy as before and ‘Living for Love (Offer Nissim Promo Mix)’ which retains its 2010s house sound. The best of the 2010s tracks though are the two Madame X tracks ‘Medellin (Offer Nissim Madame X in the Sphix Mix’) and ‘I Don’t Search I Find (Honey Dijon Radio Mix’, with the former having a flowing guitar sound inspired by the city after which it’s named and the latter having sliding strings that evoke the idea of a fashion show or an intro to a concert.
Overall, Finally Enough Love is a testament to Madonna as the Queen of Pop. Madonna’s greatest artistic strength is her versatility and skill at reinvention, but her mastery of pop and dance pop is obvious on Finally Enough Love. It’s an album perfectly crafted for the dancefloor, or for the gym. Where I’d probably listen to some songs in their original forms, if, for example, I wanted the introspectiveness of ‘Frozen’, their dance versions shine bright here too. With ‘Finally Enough Love’, Madonna proves once again that she’s not just the Queen of Pop, she’s the Queen of the Dancefloor too.
Check out Madonna’s website here and listen to Finally Enough Love here:
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