Madonna – Like a Prayer [Reviews]
Posted by ThatsMyJamRadio on September 8, 2010
Out of all of Madonna‘s albums, Like a Prayer is generally viewed as good, but rarely recognized for the solid compilation that it is. Released in 1989, Madonna channeled the emotions from her recent divorce from Sean Penn, introduced the persona that would define her image for decades afterward, and began a nearly two-year dominance that peaked with The Blond Ambition Tour, banned videos and a slew of top 10 and No. 1 hits.
Things kick off with “Like a Prayer,” a song that transitions between angelic, hymn-like verses and rhythmic-driven choruses. Seemingly backed by a gospel choir, Madge sings about transcending to or connecting to a higher state or power.
More vocally powerful and rhythmically strong is “Express Yourself,” which tributes ’70s funk like few other pop song since. With the blaring horns and a deep-digging, soulful boost of confidence, Madonna encourages listeners with the classic “Don’t go for second best, baby/ Put your love to the test” and advisory “What you need is a big strong hand/ To lift you to your higher ground.”
Somewhat disappointing is Madonna’s collaboration with Prince, “Love Song.” The pop powerhouses deliver an OK back-and-forth that really does neither of them justice. Thank goodness for “Promise to Try,” one of the Material Girl’s most personal and emotion-evoking ballads that should have been included on her “I can really sing” disc, Something to Remember.
“Spanish Eyes” is a darker foray into the Latin music than True Blue‘s “La Isla Bonita,” but that does nothing to stop Madonna from raspily devoting prayer to victims of violence. “Keep It Together” delivers an upbeat message of family togetherness that more than compensates for the more musically depressing, yet lyrically intriguing “Oh Father.”
While concurrently exploring sexuality and investigating Catholicism, Madonna crafted one of her most personal discs — something that didn’t truly happen again until 1998′s Ray of Light. Though Like a Prayer doesn’t feature as many party anthems as Madonna or Like a Virgin, it offers an open window into the depth of her songwriting and symbolism.
That’s My Jam’s Rating:
5. Get It Now
4. Get It On Sale
3. Get It As a Gift
2. Get It To a CD Exchange Store
1. Don’t Get It At All
1. “Like a Prayer”
2. “Express Yourself”
3. “Love Song” feat. Prince
4. “Till Death Do Us Part”
5. “Promise to Try”
7. “Dear Jessie”
8. “Oh Father”
9. “Keep It Together”
10. “Spanish Eyes”
11. “Act of Contrition”