The ninth full-length studio album by legendary American Pop singer.
The album, produced by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzaï, features references to many parts of American culture. It is a concept album, with themes of the American Dream and materialism. These themes reject the reputation Madonna held in the 1980s, earned by songs such as her worldwide hit "Material Girl" (1985).
The album contains Folk and Folktronica music, as well as influences of acoustic music.
"American Life" initially received mixed reviews; critics found the record confusing and "about Madonna". Retrospective reviews have been much warmer, with critics noting the album's consistency as well as acknowledging Madonna taking a risk musically.
After its release, "American Life" debuted at number one on the United States Billboard 200 chart with 241,000 copies sold in its first week. The sales were less than Madonna's previous studio album, "Music", which debuted with 420,000 copies in 2000, but was the only one that week to sell over 200,000 copies. It was Madonna's second consecutive number one debut, and her fifth number one album overall in the US.
In Canada, the album debuted at the top of the Canadian Albums Chart with sales of 18,000 copies on May 10, 2003. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the sum was considerably less than her previous studio efforts, "Ray Of Light" (1998) and "Music" (2000), which debuted with 59,000 and 50,000 copies respectively.
In the United Kingdom, "American Life" debuted atop the UK Albums Chart, with sales of 65,013 copies, much less than the opening sum of 2000's "Music", which debuted with sales of 151,891 copies. It was present for a total of 19 weeks on the chart, ranking at number 52 on the UK year-end tally.
The album peaked at number one in fourteen countries. In European countries, the album topped the charts in Austria, Belgium (Flanders), Belgium (Wallonia), Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and British Phonographic Industry (BPI) both certified it Platinum in recognition of 1,000,000 shipments in the United States, and 300,000 shipments in the United Kingdom, respectively. It gained a Platinum certification one month later from the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), for shipment of 100,000 copies of the album. In Japan, the album peaked at number four on the Oricon Weekly Albums chart remaining there for 13 weeks, and went on to gain a Gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) that same year, for shipping 100,000 copies of the release. In Australia the album peaked at number three, before descending rapidly down the ARIA Albums Chart. Nevertheless, it gained a Platinum certification from the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipping 70,000 copies. The album also gained Platinum certifications in countries such as France, Russia, and Switzerland, and Gold certifications in Brazil, Greece, and the Netherlands.
Overall, "American Life" became the 32nd best-selling album of 2003, with 5,000,000 copies sold worldwide. "American Life" garnered two nominations at the 46th Grammy Awards in 2004. However, it became the third lowest selling studio album by Madonna behind her 2012 release "MDNA" and her 2015 release "Rebel Heart", with sales of 680,000 copies as of October 2012, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
This double LP issued in a matte gatefold sleeve with generic die-cut inner sleeves with rounded corners. Although correctly spelled on the label, "Nothing Fails" is misspelled as "Nothing Falls" on the sleeve.
Maverick Recording Company/Warner Bros. Records Inc., 2003 (9362-48439-1). Made in Germany. First press.
Disc One / Side 1
1. American Life 4:58
2. Hollywood 4:24
3. I'm So Stupid 4:08
Disc One / Side 2
1. Love Profusion 3:38
2. Nobody Knows Me 4:39
3. Nothing Fails 4:49
Disc Two / Side 1
1. Intervention 4:54
2. X-Static Process 3:49
3. Mother And Father 4:33
Disc Two / Side 2
1. Die Another Day (From The MGM Motion Picture Die Another Day) 4:38
2. Easy Ride 5:05
Total playing time: 49:37 min.