Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Late Review: Madonna "Jump" MCD

(The following review was intended for a site that continues to have maintenance issues well over a year after this was written)

Madonna - Jump MCD

Jump (Single Edit)
Jump (Jacques Lu Cont Mix)
Jump (Axwell Remix)
Jump (Junior Sanchez’s Misshapes Mix)
Jump (Extended Album Version)

One year after “Hung Up” stormed charts worldwide Madonna has finally released the obvious pick for the immediate follow up single from “Confessions On A Dancefloor” as the album’s fourth track to receive the honor. Lyrically focused on the importance of family and the need to grow by being in new situations “Jump” is an instantly familiar up tempo track that borrows a bass rhythm, synth strings and a few chords from Pet Shop Boys “West End Girls”. Is this just a rip off? No. There is an undeniable similarity that had been acknowledged by co-writer and producer Stuart Price even before the PSB gave the song their blessing but there is much more to “Jump” than a simple recycling of “WEG“. It has it’s own unique melodic ideas and structure that are perfectly capable of standing on their own making the familiar arrangement a tribute rather than a blueprint for Madonna’s song.

Stuart Price’s “Jump” mix, credited under his Jacques Lu Cont alias, marks the sixth song he has remixed from “Confessions” and the fatigue is showing. While effective at times with a sense of tension and menace the mix lacks the impact and vision that Price often brings to the table creating something of a mess instead of dance floor perfection. At first it appears that Axwell‘s mix is a by-the-numbers club reworking, but closer listening reveals just how remarkably assembled the mix is with subtle touches that evolve from the original. The surprise success of the single comes from dance veteran Junior Sanchez who finds a unique approach with multi-pitched vocals edits in the style of 80’s extended mixes while creating a build that only the finest club tracks achieve.

“History” is the first b-side of Madonna‘s “Confessions”-era and it is a disco friendly track that could have fit comfortably on the album. As another Stuart Price production his fingerprints are all over the track but the lyrics are the real star of the song. Apparently Madonna is “so sick and tired of fighting” that she has decided to use the platform of this b-side to present the solution to ending global conflict. If this sounds a tad grandiose and silly to you then this might be a sticking point in enjoying the song but you have to admire Madonna’s willingness to put herself out there and really give her fans something to think about.

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