After American Life failed to garner sales, critical acclaim, and a hit single, Madonna threw out this remix album to fulfill her contract with Maverick Records and generate more sales for the aforementioned album. It didn’t work, and the entire thing feels like a complete toss-off.
The choices feel slightly inexplicable here. Featuring remixes of the singles from American Life, including the title track and “Love Profusion,” makes sense, but was it necessary to throw in the infamous MTV VMA performance? Without the kiss between Madonna and Britney Spears, does anyone honestly care about the disparate vocal styles clashing in disharmony? Seriously, I get that this was supposed to be a passing of the torch moment, but Spears’ sexy baby vocals sound strained, while Christina Aguilera’s shouting eats the mix, and Madonna’s pitch is a bit all over the place.
Although the full-length version of the “Into the Groove”/“Hollywood” mashup for the GAP, complete with Missy Elliott cameo and audio obscuring to the big brand chain store, is a fun bit of kitsch. Elliott’s rap and the slightly altered beat to “Into the Groove” would make appearances during her Re-Invention Tour the following year. Despite being two great songs shoved together, it’s not a great song but it’s a ton of fun for its goofiness.
The lone ‘new’ song is actually an unreleased one from the Bedtime Stories sessions, “Your Honesty.” She couldn’t find an American Life discard to throw in its place? No matter, “Your Honesty” is a solid song. I guess this song occupies the ‘revisited’ portion of the title. Perhaps she adores Bedtime Stories more than its glaring absence in her live shows since its release would let on. Aside from “Secret” alternating in the Drowned World Tour, “Bedtime Story” acting as an interlude for Re-Invention Tour, and “Take a Bow” getting spotty treatment during the Rebel Heart Tour, she’s largely refused to perform much of that album’s stellar material.
I’m not even sure if Remixed & Revisited is for completists given the slightness of the material. The four remixes are fun, especially the two hard-rocking Headcleanr remixes, but it’s just not enough to buy the album. The whole thing is a bit of a lark, fun to listen to for free on YouTube, but don’t bother with much else.
DOWNLOAD: “American Life (Headcleanr Rock Mix)”