American Life is the ninth studio album by Madonna.
Released on April 22, 2003 by Maverick Records and distributed by Warner Bros. Records. Produced by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzaï featured references to many parts of American culture. The album is considered a concept album, with recurring themes of the American Dream and materialism. These themes reject the reputation Madonna held in the 1980s with her worldwide hit “Material Girl”. American Life is a folk album in its purest definition, instead of a general pop record. The album also contains rock and electronica music, as well as influences of acoustic music on many tracks.
The album peaked at number one in fourteen countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. It was nominated for two Grammys at the 2004 Grammy Awards. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and British Phonographic Industry (BPI) both certified it platinum in recognition of one million shipments in the US, and three hundred thousand shipments in the UK, respectively. It is the second Madonna Album to have a Parental Advisory sticker, after Erotica. Generally critic opinion was mixed with responses noting the “warmer sounds” as well as several critics noting the “innovation” at a time of R&B dominance.