There is an elemental aura to the music of Madonna's transcendent 1998 Warner Bros. release, Ray of Light, an alchemy of sounds and images, an interplay of dreams and visions. Her first collection of new songs since 1994's Bedtime Stories, Ray Of Light, featuring the stunning single "Frozen," marked a musical departure astonishing even for this quintessentially chimerical artist. Working closely with an elite cadre of inspired collaborators, most notably globally-acclaimed producer and remix magician William Orbit, Madonna created a sound that blends and borrows from the best of the ambient and electronic music revolution and fused it with her own unerring pop sensibility.
Alternately elusive and explicit, playful and profound, risky and welcoming, Ray Of Light is the most audacious, atmospheric and sheerly awesome song cycle in the artist's epochal recorded output. From the unflinching honesty of "Drowned World/Substitute For Love" to the fabulous frivolity of "Candy Perfume Girl"; from the sultry whisper of "Skin" to the nurturing bliss of "Little Star"; and from the exotic ecstasy of "Shanti/Ashtangi" to the harrowing beauty of "Mer Girl," Ray Of Light reveals a woman in the throes of a life-changing transformation, both artistically and personally.
Ray of Light won four Grammy Awards from a total of six nominations including Best Pop Album and Best Dance Recording. Surprisingly, it marked the first time Madonna was honored in a musical category as she had previously only won in the video category.