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MADONNA'S 'MUSIC' IS FUNKY AND EDGY

"Music makes the people come together," according to Madonna in her current single, "Music," and that is just what she has been doing for almost two decades.

She is a true entertainer, producing 12 records, numerous movies, many accents, musical experimentation ranging from bubble-gum pop to electronica, not to mention the way she shatters boundaries with everything she does, pushing her sexuality and feminism to the max.

All of this is done with a style that is simply unmatchable. Madonna is popular music. Hard to believe she is the same age as my mother and is still the temptress that we all know and love. Lucky album No. 13, appropriately titled "Music," just hit store shelves. It is a funkier departure from 1998's lush quadruple-platinum, "Ray of Light."

Like her last album, "Music" is predominantly electronica, but with an edgier and seemingly more personal sound. Every square inch of this album is crafty and intricate. It feels like a roller-coaster ride through a computer with its random beeps and quirky digital riffs. Madonna reminisces back to her club days with thrashing Euro dance beats but everything ironically remains serene and almost meditative. Most of the record is produced by the French electronica/disco sorcerer Mirwais, making for an even more innovative sound.

The catchy first single and title track, "Music," is only the tip of the iceberg. Its infectious dance beat will not let you sit still and its "ghetto fabulous" music video adds to the blissful mayhem. However, the gem of the album is track two, "Impressive Instant." It is an exuberant whirl through electronica rapture, tumbling carelessly with an upbeat bounce while Madonna's voice pours out like a cat purring to the rhythm in front of a backdrop of electronic squiggles. She playfully ad libs, "I like to singy, singy, singy, Like a bird on a wingy, wingy, wingy." But the best is when she seductively whispers, "I don't want nobody else, all the others look the same." This is sure to be a club hit.

Madonna also explores a more delicate side expressed with a folk/electronica alloy. It makes you think that Madonna isn't as calculating as she seems when she lets her guard down on songs like the tender "I Deserve It" where the chorus says, "Many miles, many roads I have traveled, Fallen down on the way --" which can describe her early life of risks and mistakes. The same is found in the dreamy "Nobody's Perfect" and the spirited "Don't Tell Me" which sounds more like a mixture between some of her earlier, more pop-sounding work and a happy-go-lucky church song where she pleads, "Don't tell me love isn't true, it's just something that we do."

In true Madonna fashion, she has made the feminists proud with track eight, "What It Feels Like for a Girl." This whimsical track explains exactly what it is like to be a woman, "Strong inside, but you'd never know it, good little girls, they never show it." Yet another statement from the material girl with the opening of the song, "Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short -- It's OK to look like a boy, But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, Because you think that being a girl is degrading."

This vivacious collection of songs is filled to the brim with a talent unparalleled by anyone except maybe the very few others hailed as the greatest recording artists of all time. Madonna's "Music" will be sure to "drive you crazy" with pleasure and sheer adoration.

Lindsey Daigler is a sophomore at Kenmore East High School.

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