Music (2000)

Okay, in case you couldn’t guess it already, this is list is gonna be Madonna-heavy. She had a good decade, okay? Anyway, while many regard her 1998 “Ray of Light” album as the highwater mark of the newly electronic-leaning incarnation of Madonna, my preference has always been for the 2000 follow-up. When I first heard the song “Music,” it was genuinely unlike anything I had heard on the radio. The closest point of reference seemed to be Daft Punk, while others noticed similarities to early ’80s underground electro pop. Madonna gets a lot of flak for supposedly “stealing” the work of her producers and riding their talent, but I think that completely disregards the pop sensibility and songwriting prowess that she possesses. Not to mention the fact that bringing those cutting edge sounds into the mainstream, even if that ”edge” gets dulled a bit in the process, still encourages innovation in pop across the board. And this song — that single-note bassline drone, wildly vocoded hooks, and lyrics that swing from “do you like to boogie-woogie” to referencing the “bourgeoisie” — it deserved to become the giant hit it was. “Music” became her first #1 single in 5 years (and likely the last of her career), proving it really did “make the people come together.”

Also check out: Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.” – another Daft Punk inspired sing-along.

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