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Bedtime Stories

Two years after the infamous Sex book, Madonna was back in 1994 with Bedtime Stories. Keeping with the same reinvented dance anthems of Erotica, Maddie diversifies her sound with the help of producers Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Dallas Austin, Nellee Hooper, and Dave "Jam" Hall. Bedtime's megahits "Secret" and "Take a Bow" sent frenzied fans to retailers worldwide. But the remaining tracks prove they're just as essential.

"Inside of Me" blends a sampling of Aaliyah's "Back and Forth" and Madonna's soft-spoken vocals to create a single serving of silky smooth perfection. Despite the deceiving title--this one's about her mother (I keep a picture of you/Next to my bed at night/And when I wake up scared/I know I'll find you there/Watching over me). "Don't Stop" revisits the vibe of early eighties pop tracks ("Holiday" meets "Into the Groove"), while keeping with the overall R&B feel of the album. "Human Nature" throws out all the pop in exchange for some hip-hop, complete with a sample of Main Source's "What You Need." Madonna harmonizes the beats with rather unapologetic half-spoken rhymes aimed at the media (Did I say something wrong?/Oops, I didn't know I couldn't talk about sex--I musta been crazy).

Iceland's pretentious pop princess Bjork steps in to co-write "Bedtime Story," the most progressive work of the album. The track encompasses more spiritual themes (And inside we're all still wet /Longing and yearning /How can I explain how I feel), which resurface later on the highly-acclaimed Ray of Light.

Excluding any greatest hit compilations, this is definitely the most eclectic blend of the entire Madonna experience to date. Bedtime Stories even has the power to coax insufferable insomniacs into soothing unconsciousness.
Crystal at 11/18/2004 01:53:00 PM

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