Thursday, February 19, 2009

When Madonna Was Hot - "Like a Prayer"

Continuing on the theme of selected Madonna hits between 1986 and 1998, Madonna really threw us a loop in 1989.

Or should I say Madonna like, you know, threw us on a loop, like, you know?

Her movie image at the time was similar to her earlier music persona, most exemplified in the song "Like a Virgin" - a cutesy song with cutesy music.

But Madonna's music was growing in scope. So much that even Wilson & Alroy's Record Reviews, who are notoriously picky, praised the song and gave the album (also called "Like a Prayer") four stars:

For better or worse, this is Madonna at her most serious, avoiding trivial catchphrases...and making personal and social statements along the way. A lot of people prefer her when she's trivial, but for me this is her finest work: the title track is about as close to real R&B as Madonna's ever gotten, courtesy of its big gospelly chorus....

Rolling Stone also praised the song in its April 6, 1989 review:

This is serious stuff, and nowhere is that more apparent than on the title tune. Opening with a sudden blast of stun-gun guitar, "Like a Prayer" seems at first like a struggle between the sacred and the profane as Madonna's voice is alternately driven by a jangling, bass-heavy funk riff and framed by an angelic aura of backing voices. Madonna stokes the spiritual fires with a potent, high-gloss groove that eventually surrenders to gospel abandon.

The tracks that Madonna coproduced with Patrick Leonard – which include "Like a Prayer" – are stunning in their breadth and achievement.

Now ordinarily I haven't been talking about the videos associated with the songs, but I'm going to make an exception here. So here, courtesy MTV, is the video for "Like a Prayer."

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