Dear, er, um, Madge,
I wish your new album sounded more like Kelley Polar's Love Songs of the Hanging Gardens.
I listened to Confessions on a Dance Floor once. Twice. Three times. Four. I can't get into it. I think it's a nice album, I really do (although I'm tired of "Hung Up" already and I'm ready for "Sorry" or "Let It Will Be" or whatever your next single is). But I'm convinced only your fanboys and Rolling Stone really like this album, because the only people that agree with me are The New York Times, Pitchfork, Philly.com, half the readers at Gay.com and some other people that are not professional reviewers or on messageboards. Or at least that's what I concurred through Google searches and Metacritic.
I told people that your new album pales in comparison to Love Songs of the Hanging Gardens. Most of your fanboys (I feel) have ignored me so far because they don't know who Kelley Polar is and they're content with your ABBA sampling in "Hung Up"--they think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread.
I mean, it's not fair to compare you to Kelley Polar, since he was kicked out of Julliard while...well, I don't know your history so much, but I don't think you went to Julliard when you actually lived in New York. But somehow he knows how to combine 70s and 80s dance influences better than you and Stuart Price (together, at least). I don't think he sat by a stereo and listened to disco day in and day out to try to create the Next Big Disco Record unlike you and Stuart Price. But whatever Polar did, it works. It sounds more original than Confessions on a Dance Floor.
I can't really decscribe Kelley Polar's style accurately; I'd like to refer you to this review on Stylus Magazine. It sounds like the child of early 80s disco with its synths and 70s disco with its string arrangements and brassy arrangements, and both elements blend well. And when Kelley has lyrics in his songs, they're not inane like your lyrics for "I Love New York;" they're haunting, beautiful, like lyric poetry, not a Dr. Seuss primer. His voice, although not strong, also makes the lyrics even more hypnotic. The same cannot be said for your album.
The bottom line is this, Madge: I listened to Confessions on a Dance Floor four times, and I gave up trying to like it unlike everybody that watches TRL. I've listened to Love Songs of the Hanging Gardens six or so times, and it is the best disco-like album I've heard ever and one of my favorite albums of the year along with The Emancipation of Mimi, Late Registration and Multiply by Jamie Lidell.
I wish you the best of success, Madge. I hope "Hung Up" goes to number one and battles it out with "Don't Forget About Us" and not in the "Annoying Song Bin" with "My Humps." But whenever a DJ plays something from Confessions on a Dance Floor, I'll wait until your songs are over and resume dancing when the next song is from Love Songs from the Hanging Gardens.
P.S. Tom Cruise is a nutjob. How in the hell can you defend him?
(Photos: Madonna Shots, Amazon.com)
(Originally posted November 16, 2005 in The House of La Rue. This letter has been slightly revised.)