No artist in history deserves a second collection of greatest hits like Madonna does. Madonna GHV2: Greatest Hits Volume 2 picks up where 1990’s The Immaculate Collection left off, and is by far the best collection of her many songs from the last decade.

The collection begins with “Deeper and Deeper” from 1992’s Erotica—one of her best to date. The song, a throwback to disco, is about (believe it or not) a young gay boy coming to terms with his homosexuality. The next single is the title track from the album, a song so slutty even the Pope would get randy listening to it.

Next up: “Human Nature,” the ultimate bitch anthem. Trust me: when you’re really pissed, singing this song at the top of your lungs is even more therapeutic than a good fist fight or bitch match.

The slinky and jazzy “Secret” is next, and while the secret could be just about anything, supposedly it’s that a guy’s girlfriend was born a boy (which would explain the big ol’ drag queen in the video). The fact that “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” was omitted from the album is somewhat upsetting. While Madonna’s brilliant Golden-Globe winning performace in Evita did make it one of her defining songs, it’s still not her own. The next song, “Bedtime Story,” was co-written by Bjork, which explains why I don’t know what to say about it other than that the video is fucking awesome. This track runs straight into the sad love song “The Power of Good-bye,” and the Grammy-Award winning single “Beautiful Stranger,” best known from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. The hauntingly beautiful “Frozen,” about trying to love someone who is emotionally frigid, could make diamonds shatter, let alone hearts. The next ballad, “Take a Bow,” is just as sad. The huge 1994 hit from Bedtime Stories is about a bittersweet end to a relationship with a movie star. Years from now, when future generations look back at music from the past, “Ray of Light” will be considered the best electronica single ever. Trip-hop track “Drowned World/Substitute for Love” is also one of her most reflective songs—a lamentation on how she has lived her life and how they’ve both changed over the years.

Madonna began the New Millennium with her cutting-edge Music—one of her most experimental and tightest albums.

Three songs from there are on this collection: “Don’t Tell Me,” which signalled her creation of “folktronica,” the sweetly feminist single “What it Feels Like for a Girl” (with the not-so sweet banned video in which Madonna goes on a crime spree) and “Music,” which Vanity Fair described best by calling it “Madonna’s self-portrait done Andy Warhol style.” One could also say that by calling the song and the album Music (and by ending GHV2 with it) Madonna is pointing out that she isn’t just the Queen of Pop, but music itself.

After all, what would the world (especially music) be without Her?

Rating:VVVVV

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