Like a Virgin
Reissued, Import, Remastered
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Like A Virgin (Reissue)
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CD > POPULAR MUSIC > ROCK
Madonna's second album was her breakthrough, thanks principally to two gimmicky hits: the sinuous "Like a Virgin," with its taboo-busting metaphor for that fresh, clean new-love feeling, and the cutesy, Betty-Boopsy "Material Girl." Most of the rest of the album, although similarly frothy, is superior to those warhorses, notably the irresistible LP tracks "Over and Over," and "Pretender"--which adds a bit of gossamer delicacy to the mandatory bounciness. "Dress You Up" is a Madonna classic, an insubstantial dance-pop delight bedecked in synthesized bells and replete to the beat with kinky suggestions. And there's a sign of greater depth to come in her cover of Rose Royce's elegiac ballad "Love Don't Live Here Anymore," a heartfelt vocal supported by a subtle, gorgeous arrangement helmed by producer Nile Rodgers and his two key Chic instrumental compatriots, Bernard Edwards and Tony Thompson. --Ken Barnes
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Yes, her "boy toy" image and slinky, lingerie-clad cover shot may not have aged well, but there is no denying the genuine pop thrill of that kick-drum explosive opening to "Material Girl". That song's terrific video will still probably play in your head, but this remains one of the great singles of that era. And as much as you would NOT like to admit it, it was one of those pop songs that kids and their parents could both like.
The album continues with "Angel", a song that seems so much better now than it did back then...beautiful strings, an irresistible beat and vibrant vocals by Madonna. Most impressive.
Not much more can or should be said about the song, "Like A Virgin", but listening to it after all these years with fresh ears...it's a monster song with only one goal: to top the charts and dominate radio/MTV. Which it did. Handily.
"Over and Over" is the overlooked gem of the collection. An awesome uptempo track that'll have you dancing in your seat as you head down the highway. The melody sticks with you like a virus. Check out that sweet guitar threaded throughout the tune.
"Love Don't Live Here Anymore" is her first, and almost successful, stab at an epic ballad. She'd nail it later in her career with other songs.
"Dress You Up", for me, is a junior version of "Over and Over", but it is yet another nearly perfect pop song on an album nearly made up of nothing but.
What's worth mentioning here is that Madonna still has a limited range, but she's consciously expanding it, and never pushes it needlessly. She knows her vocal limits, and finds settings to best show it off.
"Shoo-Bee-Doo" shows her interest in "retro"-style tunes, something she'd master with "True Blue" and in another sense, the entire "I'm Breathless" album.
"Pretender" and "Stay" still sound like filler to this day, but pretty tasty filler nonetheless.
This excellent remaster adds two dance mixes of the biggest hits, but they're just an additional bonus. The real treat here is getting a chance to listen to one of the decade's highlights in exquisite fashion.
A necessary addition to any serious pop fan's collection.
I wasn't as crazy about the last three songs--"Shoo-Bee-Doo", "Pretender" & "Stay" but I'll listen to them anyway. I recently bought the CD version so I could rip the songs and put them on my MP3 player. Of course, like twenty years ago (Holy cow, has it really been that long? It seems like yesterday to me!) I still enjoy the songs.