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Die Another Day

Madonna

Die Another Day Soundtrack (2002)

It’s easy to forget this now that we are in Madonna’s post-”American Life” career, where in the last 7 years she has managed a whopping TWO top ten singles total, but before that 2003 commercial disaster, Madonna was still tearing up the charts. I am still astounded that “Die Another Day” was a smash hit. Listen to this song. Freaky auto-tuning. Barely a hint of a melody. Chopped-up dramatic orchestral strings. This is not the recipe for a hit. But she put the whole thing together (with the considerable talent of producer Mirwais), dumped the tired old Bond theme template, and dragged us all into the 21st century. This is also probably Madonna’s most bizarre set of lyrics: “I’m gonna wake up yes and no / I’m gonna kiss some part of / I’m gonna keep this secret / I’m gonna close my body now.” A good chunk of the song makes no sense, but the parts that do are all about defiance and self-control. If there is anyone who could actually force death away, it’s Madonna. And when I listen to this song, I kind of feel like I could too.

Also check out: “Easy Ride” from “American Life” — the logical extension of this song, featuring the line “I want to live forever”

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