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Like a Prayer

239 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Considered by many to be the Material Girl's most mature effort of the '80s, Like a Prayer upped the ante of controversy with its gospel-infused title track and the singer's emotional confessions throughout. It also unveiled the hit "Express Yourself," which ushered in the era of Madonna as a "stainless steel sexual icon." Musically, Prayer showcased her burgeoning songwriting prowess, with the beautiful "Oh Father" and the perky pop of "Cherish." Besides a throw-away collaboration with Prince ("This Is Not a Love Song"), the CD stands as one of her strongest works, eschewing the strong dance beat influences from her past--she saved that for the remixes--and concentrating instead on melody and structure. Like a Prayer also gave a hint of things to come with the delightful "Dear Jessie" displaying a maternal side worthy of her name. --Steve Gdula


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sire / London/Rhino
  • ASIN: B000002LGQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (239 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,555 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 27, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Like a Prayer could very well be Madonna's most important album; marked by maturity, honest emotional content, superior musical form and style, and overall quality, it is a remarkable achievement by an artist whose earliest work was dismissed by some as throwaway pop. Perhaps no other album I own starts off as strongly as this one. Like a Prayer and Express Yourself make one heck of a one-two punch. This is the Madonna I like the most--brave, strong, unafraid of controversy, and willing and able to rock your world. Personally, I found the controversy over Like a Prayer and its video to be quite overblown, but it certainly did nothing to hurt album sales. The gospel background vocals gives the song a powerful, full sound that only reinforces the driving beat and mass appeal of the song. Express Yourself is a Madonna statement song--Madonna knows all about expressing herself, and the song does inspire you to be yourself and let others know what you are thinking.
Love Song is a song I can take or leave. At the time, Prince and Madonna were pretty much the king and queen of pop music, and it was really something to hear them team up on a duet. Unfortunately, the song has little substance, and Prince overplays his peculiar, distinctive voice and style. Till Death Do Us Part is, in my opinion, the best song on the album. It has meaningful, important lyrics, yet its tempo makes you tap or sway along with the music; it almost moves too quickly, achieving a perfectly vibrant, energetic pace, and the chorus is just wonderful. Promise to Try is a slower song with beautiful lyrics and a graceful sound, offering yet more proof that Madonna is a real singer with great vocal skills.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I honestly believe this is music at its finest. It seems rare that a "pop star" would have the sensibility to write songs of this caliber, but it is truly phenomenal. Even if you hate Madonna, this album could have you doubting those feelings.
The title track is a tumultuous event that stuns and soars with its charging guitars and soulful gospel roots. "Express Yourself" is definitely the anthem for anyone lacking in the self-respect department. "Love Song," the Prince collaberation, has been ravaged by many reviewers but it does have a certain languid appeal that grows over time.
Much of the album is dark and serious, almost mournful. The Catholic vibe is strong here as feelings of possible guilt and regret permeate the frenetic "Till Death Do Us Part" and the Latin lament, "Spanish Eyes."
But as always with Madonna there is a bright side..."Cherish" and "Dear Jessie" are straight from the musical candy store. The former is the epitome of a warm summer love song and the latter is a lullabye about the magic and power of childhood imagination. "Dear Jessie" was the song that struck a target in my heart. If you have children, you will understand.
Despite the grief and yearning of "Oh Father," the song is actually quite uplifting, especially in the chorus. It spins the moral of escaping the cycle of blaming oneself for the emotional (and possible physical) violence inflicted in relationships.
Madonna also doesn't forget her famous sense of ironic humor. In "Act of Contrition," which has some serious kick-ass guitar playing, she recites the ancient Catholic mantra to a backwards play of the "Like A Prayer" track. The song ends abruptly and almost violently bringing an unexpected end to a heavenly experience.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Det. Abilene on August 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Most of Madonna's very best work is right here. Madonna and Pat Leonard reached the peak of their songwriting partnership with this album, and their work here results in some of Madonna's most stunning material. The gospel-influenced title track (#1 Pop, #3 Adult Contemporary, #1 Dance) puts Madonna on a new level as an artist. She has never been more successful at balancing symbolic social/moral issues with danceable pop as she is here. In fact, the entire album finds Madonna perfecting and expanding upon her trademark sound. There's lots of variety here - the delightful smash "Cherish" (#2 Pop, #1 Adult Contemporary) is one the most perfect pop ditties ever, the bubbly "Dear Jessie" paints a surreal and imaginative portrait of the innocent and universal love of children, and the skittering, spousal abuse-themed "Till Death Do Us Part" is almost uncomfortably chilling - and Madonna handles it all with vigor and aplomb.

Perhaps the most affective and surprising moments on LIKE A PRAYER come from the unflinchingly autobiographical elements that form the core of several songs. This is also the album in which Madonna first really showcased her talent as a top-notch lyricist. Particularly effective is "Promise To Try," in which Madonna sings about the effect that losing her mother had on her. This could have easily sounded trite, but Madonna gives the song a unique twist by writing the lyrics to the child she once was, and from a third person perspective. The lovely, passionately-performed "Spanish Eyes" also avoids cliché with a delicate simplicity that is as beautiful as it is haunting. However, the most beautifully shattering track on LIKE A PRAYER is hands down the breathtaking "Oh Father" (#20 Pop).
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