Album: Confessions On A Dancefloor
Madonna refuses to accept any half-hearted apologizes from her boyfriend in the stellar "Sorry."
Hushed strings opens the single, setting an illusory tone. She begins the single by saying "I'm sorry" in French and Spanish. In Dutch, she says that "I am sad." Then in Italian, she says "I am sorry" and "Forgive me" in Spanish.
"Je suis desole/Lo siento/Ik ben droevig/Sono spiacente/Perdaname."
The bass and synths build up as her vocals go from a whisper to normal speaking voice. She says that he's given her every excuse imaginable.
"I've heard it all before/I've heard it all before/I've heard it all before/I've heard it all before/I've heard it all before/I've heard it all before/I've heard it all before/I've heard it all before//I've heard it all before/I've heard it all before/I've heard it all before/I've heard it all before."
In the chorus, she says she's not interested in what he has to say. She's memorized his speech from beginning to end. She tells him she will be able to handle herself. His speeches become more elaborate each time he says them. She's had enough.
"I don't wanna hear/I don't wanna know/Please don't say you're sorry/I heard it all before/And I can take care of myself/I don't wanna hear/I don't wanna know/
Please don't say "forgive me"/I've seen it all before/And I can't take it anymore."
In the first verse, she tells him that he's a weak guy. He can't take responsibility for anything. However, after she had told him that it was important for her to meet his friends and again, he cancels the date. She says his imagination isn't that vivid. His lies and stories sound the same after a while. She says he hasn't grown up at all.
"You're not half the man you think you are/Save your words because you've gone too far/I listened to your lies and all your stories [I listened to your stories]/You're not half the man you'd like to be."
The chorus is sung again.
In the second verse, she says he's all talk. He won't change. She would rather finish paying off her bills than be around him. She said the only reason he's with her is because she's reliable. She says there's no need to go into another long story. He's doesn't even realize she's not buying it anymore.
"Don't explain yourself 'cause talk is cheap/There's more important things than hearing you speak/You stayed because I made it so convenient [I made it so convenient]/Don't explain yourself, you'll never see."
In the bridge, Madonna says "I am sorry" in Japanese, "Please forgive me" in Hindi, "I"m sorry" in Polish and "forgiveness" in Hebrew. She then says "forgive me." The word "sorry" is heard, although it's muffled for the first lines. By the end of the section, it's a normal tone.
"Gomen nasai/Mujhe map kardo/Przepraszam/Slicha/Forgive me."
The word is "sorry" is then combined with "I heard it all before" which is said 15 times.
The chorus is sung again.
Madonna says part of the second verse again. In the background, the chorus is sung. At the end of the section, synths have faded and the strings have returned.
"(I don't wanna hear, I don't wanna know)/Don't explain yourself, 'cause talk is cheap (Please don't say you're sorry/I heard it all before)/There's more important things than hearing you speak (And I can take care of myself.)"
The strings continue as Madonna finishes the rest of the chorus.
"I don't wanna hear/I don't wanna know/Please don't say "forgive me."
Madonna then says "I heard it all before" three times. Her vocals purposely made to sound like a broken MP3 file.
In the single, Madonna calls her boyfriend out on his lies and cuts him loose. The guy thought she would just be a doormat. However, she shocks him by cutting him short of another excuse. She's had guys like him before in her life. She took it then, but not now.
Stuart Price creates a complex arrangement. The overlap is organic and meaty. For a four minute song, the repetition is kept to a minimum. It's hidden by the lyrics fading in and out. The tranquil strings provide a stark contrast to Madonna's chilled vocals. She rattles off the "I'm sorry's" with detachment. For her, they've become a phrase that means nothing, regardless of the language.
Her mechanical vocals fit into the song. She brushes him off without even a second thought. If his apologizes can be cold, so she can she.
"Sorry" is a future classic dance song. It's wonderful to hear excellent dance music done by an American. It's about damn time.
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