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Album Talk – Madonna’s Ray of Light



Over the weeks, musipedia and Bandra cowboy Narendra Kusnur and I have been discussing classic albums from across genres. It stuck us that we still haven’t covered an artist who happens to be a common favourite, Madonna.

‘Ray Of Light,’ is Madonna’s is the seventh studio album and her first electronica and dance offering. The album was a universal mega hit with most singles hitting the top spot on the charts. It won Madonna four Grammy Awards.

To discuss the album, we invited the Indian pop diva and South Mumbai cowgirl Shweta Shetty for our Album Talk this week.

Note – Language may be changed to meet the publication’s requirements.

Me: Madonna, the Queen of Pop! Is there any female pop star close to her?

Shweta: I wouldn’t say there is no one close to her but she has a special place in our heart. She was the one who started the trend. The way she dressed, what she did, the men she had in her life. Basically she didn’t give a damn. Same with her music. Everyone thought how can you lyrics ‘Like A Virgin’ but she knew the pulse of the crowd. She just wanted to make people dance and that’s what she did. She wasn’t exactly a terrific singer like Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey but she knew what she was doing, how to do and most important thing is her PR machine was terrific. That is what makes her what she is today and nobody can take that away from her.

Kusnur: She was a complete package in terms of songs, image and the way she moved on with times. She always kept changing her sound. Madonna cut across age barriers. The same people who were listening to her when they were 20 years old, were also listening to her when they turned 40.

Shweta: don’t forget the most important thing, Madonna was an original.

Me: Ya.

Kusnur: ya totally. Like Shweta said Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey were technically better singers but Madonna pushed boundaries.

Shweta: She took calculated risks which worked to her favour.

Madonna – The Risk Taker

Me: One of her calculated risk was this album ‘Ray Of Light’. A complete different sound from what she was known for.

Shweta: if you ask which album will be in Top 100 best albums forever it would be this one.

Me: It just doesn’t sound like Madonna.

Shweta: When you have producers like Babyface and Patrick Leonard on board, vocally she was bound to sound better. If you listen to the album, I don’t think Madonna has ever hit these notes in her life.

Kusnur: The album was released in 1998. She has used a lot of the then popular genres like ambient, trip hop and others, which basically was electronic dance music.

Me: My personal pick from the album is ‘Nothing Really Matters’. It great lyrically.

Frozen and Ray of Light – Setting Trends

Shweta: ‘Frozen’ oh my god what a song. Normally if you have a good song the video doesn’t really matter. But its video just lifted the song to another level.

Me: It was an out of the cut video for the time.

Shweta: Even now when you listen to ‘Frozen’ the video comes to your mind. Normally that never happens.

Kusnur: When the album came out I was more into the title song and ‘Frozen’. I keep listening to the album every few months. Now the songs I really like are ‘Swim’ and ‘Skin’. She has incorporated a lot of the new age style in her vocals.

Me: That’s her versatility.

Shweta: There are so many beautiful songs in the album.

Me: I didn’t really like “Drowned World/Substitute for Love.”

Shweta: ‘Ray Of Light’ was another fabulous song. Even its remixes were really well done.

Me: The song hit no.1 on charts worldwide.

It was at this moment I realised my recorder has stopped working!
So you guys will never know who the Madonna of journalism is!!!

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