Confession number 1 - I actually quite liked the American Life album. Sure it wasn't the old Madonna sound, but I thought it was very good indeed AND I maintain the opinion that if someone other than Madonna had done it, then people would have looked at it very differenly indeed. At least on that album she sounded as if she had something relevant to say, even if I personally wouldn't have agreed with her.
Confession number 2 - Despite me liking the last one, I too was all excited by the apparent news that Confessions On A Dance Floor was to herald a "return to form" for good old Madge. Even if by "return to form" most people meant "a return to what she used to sound like" that was not neccessarily a bad thing.
Confession number 3 - Whilst the lead single "Hung Up" is undoubtedly a fantastic piece of work, there is always the fear that it was going to be the main highlight of the album by a mile. And I have to say that it probably is. But that's not to say that there isn't a lot to enjoy. Future single "Jump" is more mellow than Hung Up, but its still a fantastic slice of pop music. Other tracks such as "Sorry" and "How High" comfortably sit up with her best work as well.
Confession number 4 - The fact that despite this being Madonna's "new" sound, it all sounds so damn familar should actually turn me against the album. There are certain nods to Madonna's past (at one point a strings sections apes the Papa Don't Preach opening) but the main thing that springs to mind when I listen to this is that some of it doesn't half sound like the Pet Shop Boys. The start of Jump echoes West End Girls (and deliberatly so according to producer Stuart Price) and Sorry brings It's A Sin to my mind. So really, what is in all probability a 3 1/2 star album gets knocked up half a notch to a 4 star album, purely because of the feeling I get that this is almost a PSB album in disguse.
Confession number 5 - However, the "continuous mix" of the album is a rubbish idea and really is a pretty poor gimmick which doesn't work at all. So I'm knocking that half a star off.
Icon's View - 3 1/2 out of 5.