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Thread: American Life

  1. #46
    See that sweet Jesus! silver's Avatar
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    I think the simplistic lyrics work, for some reason. It's very much part of the album's identity, which questions the basics of what she views as the "American life" (imo).


  2. #47
    Gone Andromeda grapefruit_is_winning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silver View Post
    I think the simplistic lyrics work, for some reason. It's very much part of the album's identity, which questions the basics of what she views as the "American life" (imo).
    I think you're right on.

  3. #48
    Gone Andromeda grapefruit_is_winning's Avatar
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    Sorry if I've said this before, but I really think this album would have made more sense and fared better if she had called it Hollywood and given it different album art.

    Then people would have understood the tongue in chic aspect of the song "American Life" and not gotten turned off by the idea that the album was making some sort of political statement, which in my mind, its not...

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by grapefruit_is_winning View Post
    Sorry if I've said this before, but I really think this album would have made more sense and fared better if she had called it Hollywood and given it different album art.

    Then people would have understood the tongue in chic aspect of the song "American Life" and not gotten turned off by the idea that the album was making some sort of political statement, which in my mind, its not...
    I couldn't agree more. While I do kind of like the album art, I think its stark nature ended up not really complimenting OR contrasting the simplistic lyrical style, and these songs packaged a little differently could have really changed the album's feel.

  5. #50
    Vilest of the vile Homogenik's Avatar
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    I don't think Hollywood represents the album very well though. I've said it before but I think it should have been titled Nothing Fails, with that song as a first single, and dressing up the promotion with the singer-songwriter image in mind. It would have been the positive, hopeful touch America needed in 2003.

  6. #51
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    I think X-Static Process would have made an interesting title, even if that song (gorgeous as it is) didn't end up being a single.

  7. #52
    Gone Andromeda grapefruit_is_winning's Avatar
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    I kinda love this conversation. Trying to come up with the perfect album title (on a day where I'm disinclined to focus on more fruitful activity!) I have just read and analyzed all the lyrics to the album. In doing so I've stumbled on something kind of surprising and rather lovely. American Life has quite a linear narrative:

    -----------
    American Life -> Hollywood -> I'm So Stupid are all about disillusionment: with the American Dream, with the process of "making it" in the bright lights of Hollywood, with one's own misguided priorities and tendencies toward vanity and greed.

    Beginning with Love Profusion the narrator starts to discover that through love, there is a light in the dark. In Nobody Knows Me, the lesson extends itself further to reveal that she has been harmed in the past by judging herself through the eyes of her critics, strangers, television, and magazines (sources of lies and misinformation spread by people who don't even know her), rather than embracing herself through the eyes of love and compassion by those closest to her. In Nothing Fails. she realizes that there are no accidents, no mistakes. Everything that came before, brought her to the present, to love. Everything is in order. Through love, disillusionment recedes. With Intervention the cycle is complete: through love, healing is assured.

    However, one can be too focused on the object of their affection and in this way also lose sight of themselves, another form of disillusionment. In X-Static Process, this is precisely what has happened. She has essentially over-corrected and now finds she needs to get back to valuing herself as an individual. How did it come to be? Look no further than family of origin, the ultimate source of destructive patterns in many people's lives. This is described in Mother and Father where she decides at last to "give it up" and "let it go". Die Another Day is a meditation and conclusion - on another day her troubles might have brought her down, but today she's going to make it and she's not going to wince or hold back from asserting her right to be free from tragic outcomes.

    With Easy Ride, the album's denouement, she acknowledges that the "good life" is not without painful effort, and she's made peace with that. She has come "full circle" but this time, carries forward in her journey with all the tools and wisdom she has earned.
    ------------

    Kinda cool, right? I mean it is all RIGHT there in the lyrics. Couldn't be an accident. So going back to the question at hand - what should the album title be? I still don't believe American Life is fitting, despite the fact that the album's narrative does very much resonant with my own life, and I am an American. No - I believe the same narrative applies to people all over the world, its themes not at all bound by political boundaries but by humanity as a whole. Thematically, Homogenik is absolutely right: "Nothing Fails" really carries the ultimate message here. The problem I have with NF though is that it just doesn't sound like a proper album title.

    So in conclusion, perhaps she should have simply called it "Life". A fitting and succinct successor to the simply titled "Music" that came before it.

  8. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Homogenik View Post
    I don't think Hollywood represents the album very well though. I've said it before but I think it should have been titled Nothing Fails, with that song as a first single, and dressing up the promotion with the singer-songwriter image in mind. It would have been the positive, hopeful touch America needed in 2003.
    I love Nothing Fails, so much. I wish she had gotten more promotion of the album track out there instead of the Rauhaufer mixes.

  9. #54
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    I wish the strange effect on her voice ('I'm not religious, but I feel so moved, Mmmmm') right before the choir comes in, wasn't there. It ruins the song for me. Also the 'live' version of Nobody Knows Me is much better than the album version, IMHO.

  10. #55
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    It's weird, because I truly think that American Life has some of her best ballads on one single album, and 50% of that album is those ballads.
    It's the other 50% crap with its overproduced overthought and overforced supposed 'edge' I have issues with.
    post28!

  11. #56
    Easy ride is breathtaking
    the draught was the very worst

  12. #57
    HUH! HUP! HYAAAAT! Joey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wout View Post
    It's weird, because I truly think that American Life has some of her best ballads on one single album, and 50% of that album is those ballads.
    It's the other 50% crap with its overproduced overthought and overforced supposed 'edge' I have issues with.
    My feelings exactly in regards to this album.

  13. #58
    yeah no.This albums has great upbeat songs and they have an edge to them that works perfectly.The production is immense in Nobody Knows Me,Die Another Day and American Life.A perfection in every aspect.
    Last edited by lovecraft; 10-28-2015 at 06:03 PM.
    the draught was the very worst

  14. #59
    "Nobody Knows Me" is such dire slop. Airless, flat and obnoxious. The Reinvention mix is fine, but the album version is garbage.

  15. #60
    burning up the bible BettahDevil's Avatar
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    I love Nobody Knows Me, all versions - but I do love everything on AL. I can even get with I'm So Stupid. It's defintiely my least fave, but AL is one of my favorite M albums.

    I still can't believe Love Profusion has never been performed. That song is so underrated.

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