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Like a Prayer

4.7 out of 5 stars 257 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

MADONNA LIKE A PRAYER

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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
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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 (257 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,832 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 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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Format: Audio CD
First of all I'm not a Madonna fan. When this album came out in 89, me and my buds were all hardcore headbanging maniacs. If anyone even knew I had this album, my life might have been over. Why did I buy it? 1989 was a crazy year for me, (left home on bad terms, bitter/sweet first love relationship, experimentation). Anywho when I first heard the song Cherish, I said to myself 'Wow wouldn't it be great to have someone feel that way about me? Then I heard Oh Father, and I had to break down and buy the record. It's not my kind of music, but it really struck me, and I still listen to it now and then (Hey I still headbang too! ) It's very listenable, I espescially like 'Act of Contrition'. The only dive nose tune is the godawful duet she does with Prince. It's so terrible my finger is on the FF button before it even starts. If not for that one tune, I would have given it five stars.
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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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Format: Vinyl
Madonna's vinyl reissue series continues with "Like a prayer", probably the best release so far. With the exception of the patchouli-sented detail of first pressings of the CD/LP/MC, the rest of the gorgeous packaging replicates the full original LP artwork and its accompanying material (including the insert with safe sex guidelines and a warning about the dangers of AIDS). The audio quality is dramatically improved (more lush, punchier and louder than the original master). Definitely among the top records in M's discography, the album showcases a more personal side of the pop chameleon, completely different to what she had presented up until then (1989). Mixing pop, dance, R'n'B and gospel, she sounds more organic and honest, with a reflective feel that permeats the album throughout. The both sacred and sacrilegious title track, one of her most iconic singles, the anthemic "Express yourself" (with the Fritz Lang's "Metropolis"-inspired, super stylish clip), the romantic "Cherish", the masked sadness of the poppy "Till death do us part", the arresting "Promise to try", the dark and haunting "Oh Father" (with the most autobiographical and powerful video of her career), the family-asserting "Keep it together", the latin-flavoured lament "Spanish eyes", they are all highlights from this album that made M an artist, and cemented her place in superstardom. So strong a set, that it could not be overshadowed by the controversy caused at the time of its release, this timeless pop gem enjoyed commercial success (over 15 million sales) and critical acclaim. This new reissue is totally worth the investment, so, get down on your knees ...and pray!
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