Madonna: ‘Bedtime Stories’ – Album Review


Released: October 25, 1994

After a large streak of controversy about her Sex book and her sex image, Madonna started to cool things off with her sleek and groovy R&B album Bedtime Stories. The album, her sixth studio, was well known for expanding outside of the pop genre and decided to wholley conceive itself with glossy R&B and hip-hop grooves, thanks to the album’s co-producers Babyface, Nellee Hoopper, Dallas Austin, and Dave Hall. Album opener “Survival” represents the album in perfect light, holding together a catchy hook, mid-tempo groove, and steamy vocals. But the album’s lead single, “Secret”, opened with yet a sleek acoustic rhythm, whilst Madonna gives one of her best vocal and most versatile vocal performances to date. The album is supported with rather versatile entries, including the unapologetic bondage theme “Human Nature”, the Bjork-esque acid house “Bedtime Story”, and the lavish oriental pop hit “Take a Bow”.

Whilst the other tracks aren’t as well known, tracks like “I’d Rather Be Your Lover”, “Inside of Me”, “Don’t Stop”, and “Forbidden Love” captures elements of groovy elements of the 70s blues, 80s disco riffs, and re-invents the R&B genre in a pop structure. The album’s only bumming tracks are the gracious yet filler track “Love Tried to Welcome Me”, and the half electronic half dated R&B sounds “Sanctuary”. They aren’t bad tracks in general, but don’t have enough juice to deliver a well-rounded sound. But overall, Bedtime Stories is a vital project of Madonna’s that, while underappreciated, has a perfectly adapted sound and vocal performance.

Track list (Bold means best tracks)

  1. Survival
  2. Secret
  3. I’d Rather Be Your Lover
  4. Don’t Stop ~Liam’s favorite~
  5. Inside of Me
  6. Human Nature
  7. Forbidden Love
  8. Love Tried to Welcome Me
  9. Sanctuary
  10. Bedtime Story
  11. Take a Bow



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