Madonna is one of those artists that can do everything and do it well: sing, dance, and act – though that remains rather questionable. Howevever, every artist must grow up eventually and prove to both audience and peers that they are great. Madonna does this in her own unique way with her 1989 release, Like A Prayer.

Like A Prayer unveils a new persona of Madonna: the grownup. With the release of this album, not only does her own voice seem to mature – but also the overall production and lyrical content. On the title song. Madge explores religious elements in both lyric and production. She uses a backup choir and the lyrics are both a double entendre for prayers to God and sex.

In fact, this song wasn’t without controversy. The video for Like A Prayer stirred up quite a bit of controversy among Christiansdue to its exploitation of burning crosses and Madonna having sex with a saint in a church. Pepsi used the song for a commercial

Cover of "Like a Prayer"

The cover of the album is a direct homage to "Sticky Fingers" by the Rolling Stones

starring Madonna and ended up pulling the commercial altogether after only a few airings.

One of the best things about this album is the production quality. For this album, Madonna chose the production team of Stephen Bray and Patrick Leonard. Leonard previously had worked with Madge on some of her best known hits such as La Isla BonitaWhere’s The Party, and Who’s That Girl. Bray was previously a member of her old band, Emmy and the Emmys. The instrumentation on such songs as Till Death Do Us Part, Cherish, and Keep It Together are all amazing.

Lyrically, Madge also grows up. Promise To Try feels like a letter to a 5-year-old Madonna from the adult Madonna. It is quite possibly about the death of her own mother, who died of cancer at the age of 30. Madge herself has said that this fact – her mother dying at such a young age, was on her mind along with her divorce from actor Sean Penn. These 2 factors influenced the recording of this album.

Overall, this is Madonna at the height of her career. It’s one of her best and definetly worth a listen.

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Comments
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