American Life

In Madonna’s photos for her new album, she looks like a cross between freedom fighter Che Guevara and fugitive Patty Hearst as “Tania.” Perhaps it has something to do with the title track’s shelved antiwar video. But the music is pure Madonna electronica, circa 2000’s Music. The title track is an electronic ballad-rap hybrid aimed at consumer-obsessed society. Can you say dance-club monster hit? “Hollywood” is about our collective illusion of Tinseltown; it contains the memorable line, “How can it hurt you when it looks so good?” “Nobody Knows Me” is a fine, hypnotic dance cut; “Mother and Father” is a “lost my mommy, and daddy’s a jerk, so let it go” song. Also included is the James Bond track “Die Another Day.” Madonna’s not breaking new ground here; she’s been electronic since 1998’s Ray of Light.