Like A Virgin


Warner Bros., 1984

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


This is the big one, the one that established Madonna as a superstar and put her on par with Michael Jackson, Springsteen and Prince as gods of 80s radio. It's also the release that defined Madge for many years.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

It's definitely a product of its time and place; treble-heavy production and Madonna's young, thin voice derail some of the weaker album tracks and the dance beats aren't as strong as what would come later. Bear in mind that the lady was still finding her voice and sound as an artist, though, and you can begin to appreciate Like A Virgin.

The title song and "Material Girl" establish both sides of the singer's personality; the former is all girly squeals and flirting, the latter a no-nonsense approach to life; both are tongue-in-cheek and pop classics. 

Equally as good are the other songs on the first side; "Over and Over" is truly energetic and less calculated than the hits, "Angel" is a fine slice of pop and "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" is a true left-field ballad unlike any in Madge's catalog before or since. The only flaw is that the woeful lyrics are at odds with the empowerment of the rest of the album.

The second half is devoid of such pleasures, energetic in spots but hardly lacking the excitement and gravity of the first half. Only "The Pretender" attempts to stand out, more for its lyrical distaste of a male player than for the music. 

Like a hollow chocolate egg, Like A Virgin has a lot of surface pleasure but not a lot of filling to keep you satisfied, though the affair is a definite improvement over the debut. This is where the Madonna story truly gets started, and it laid the foundation for the continued evolution and consistent image changes the artist would make over the next 14 years.

Rating: B

User Rating: C



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