Wipe Off The Dust: Expressing Itself 20 Years Later

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Interrupting your Saturday morning with yet another Queen Maddie post...It literally fascinates my face that that Madonna's fourth studio album, Like A Prayer, turns 20 today. For those of you who remember picking up the jewel case disc on this day 20 years ago, congratulations, you are officially old. Just joking! No, you are awesome, because you witnessed history in the making. Back in 1989, Madonna finally made an album that was quite refined and a collective force in music. Packed with honest human emotion, Like A Prayer was structured to be Madonna's own personal confessional as each song exposed and gradually ripped off that Band-Aid of truth inch-by-inch. It's truly her most personal album, as songs such as the beautiful "Promise To Try" and haunting orchestral, "Oh Father", give us a glimpse into Madonna's childhood, and how it came back to haunt her at this particular time. Even when Madonna is being serious, she still manages to have fun and tell a message as "Express Yourself" and the funky, "Keep It Together" are about independence and the support of family ties, respectively. Like A Prayer was a step in the right direction for Madonna to finally be taken seriously as an artist, as prior to this, she was written off as just a flash in the pop skillet.

*Read more about 'Like A Prayer' and view some videos after the jump*

Once the title track made the rounds, with its controversial video in tow, Madonna had handed the memo to her doubters that she was sticking around, and she was going to make music that would stick long after their so-called proposed expiration date. There is a lot to uncover from this record, more so than Madonna's other efforts, as this album just keeps getting better with each listen.

When I first purchased this album (some ten years ago), I was a little naive to it's small pop brilliance and it remained untouched by me for years. During a rough patch in my high school years, this album oddly resurfaced in my listening shuffle, and it grew to be, probably, my favorite Madonna creation. Maybe it was the more mature production, or the fact that "'Til Death Do Us Part" is one of Madonna's best kept songs, or that this album is a straight shot with no skips (okay, maybe that Prince collaboration is kinda crap)...but this album just doesn't get stale to me. Like A Prayer is where substance and style meet, and ages quite gracefully.
Since the release of this album, nothing has really changed about Madonna, as she still shocks us from time to time with every move she makes. But somewhere caught up in the image is the music, which is something that shouldn't be forgotten.




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