Maverick - 2001 - 68 minutes
Celebrating Madonna's creative output from 1991 to 2001, GHV2 opens with 1992's unremarkable 'Deeper and Deeper' and the self-indulgent 'Erotica'. While the former harks back to the pop diva's 'You Can Dance' days and sounds comfortingly like the Madonna we grew up listening to, the latter only serves to remind that sometimes even pop queens get too big for their crowns.
Funky but laid back, 'Human Nature' is followed by the mellow harmonies and gutsy beat of 'Secret'. This life-affirming Madonna moment is quickly followed by the album's first bum-note: 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina' (watch that crown Madge...) – and its second: the Bjork-penned 'Bedtime Story'.
Motherhood clearly got the creative juices flowing again as Madonna bounced back to the top of the pop palace in 1998 with the 'Ray of Light' album. From this, 'The Power of Goodbye', 'Frozen', 'Ray of Light' and 'Drowned World/Substitute for Love' are standout tracks on GHV2.
Best remembered for the video featuring Madonna's backside in Mike Myer's face in a convertible, 'Beautiful Stranger' is a tune guaranteed to get your feet tapping, but here it is uncomfortably sandwiched between the respectively chilled-out and spaced-out sounds of 'The Power of Goodbye' and 'Frozen'.
Sentimental ballad, 'Take a Bow' was a big hit in the States but missed out on this side of the water. Not quite a bum note but, along with 'What it Feels Like for a Girl', one this album could have done without.
In 2000 Madonna proved she could re-invent herself all over again with the laid-back cyber-cowgirl sound of 'Don't Tell Me' and the addictive beat and space-age vocals of 'Music' bringing GHV2 to its triumphant conclusion.
The inlay card features over 600 "career retrospective" photos of Madonna in her different guises – and as her fans know, she has a different sound for each one. This lady is still the queen of pop and GHV2 is essential listening. One for the multiple personality in you this Christmas.
Tracklisting: Deeper and Deeper - Erotica - Human Nature - Secret - Don’t Cry For Me Argentina - Bedtime Story - The Power of Goodbye - Beautiful Stranger - Frozen - Take A Bow - Ray of Light - Don’t Tell Me - What It Feels Like For A Girl - Drowned World (Substitute for Love) - Music