JUSTIFY MY LOVE
Madonna (Sire Maxi-single 21820)
As if the furor over the video clip wasn't enough, Madonna has added another layer to her latest controversy with a five-track maxi-single release of "Justify My Love." As is usually the case with dance-oriented singles, Our Lady of Perpetual Scandal has augmented the sultry vamp of the original with several remixes, which range from a fairly conventional "12-inch mix" by Torch Song's William Orbit, to a creepy, Bible-quoting "The Beast Within Mix." But it's Andre Betts' "hip-hop mix" that will raise the most eyebrows, in part because of the vigorous new beat he gives the song, but mostly because of Madonna's unprintable, two-word invitation at its close. Hot stuff, indeed.
Pop metal is one musical hybrid that depends absolutely on the proper chemistry. With the right blend of melody and muscle, the results can be irresistibly accessible; but when the mix is out of balance, what we're left with is a sodden mess like the Scorpions' "Crazy World." All the elements are there, all right -- screaming guitar, sensitive balladry, heroic vocals and boisterous sing-along choruses -- but it's put together with a "one from column A, one from column B" haphazardness. Which is why there's no passion in "Lust or Love," no come-on to "Tease Me, Please Me," no power in "Hit Between the Eyes."