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Revision | ‘True Blue’, the album that made Madonna the superstar as we know her

Originally published June 3, 2019.

In her third studio album, Madonna decides to dig deeper into themes she had already explored in previous forays and ultimately results in one of her best works, titled “True Blue”. Dedicated, at the time, to her husband Sean Penn, the musical staff brings an optimistic and heartwarming premise that spans nine beautiful pieces, seeking, in each of them, to find a different background and bringing together different styles in one. same place. Of course, considering that the narrative multiplicity could result in a saturated album, the artist has also met with enormous success both for the fluidity of her voice and for the dancing and engaging hits.

The singer’s new adventure opens with “Papa Don’t Preach”, a contradictory song that begins with classical cellos and violins and, in an unexpected climax, ends up amidst synthesizers and a deliciously electronic bass. well structured. The use of electro-pop elements, however, does not stand out with originality, especially since Madonna has already used them in previous productions; what strikes us is that we move away from his rebellious maid (see ‘Like a virgin’) and that we seek an appreciable stabilization which leaves room for a less affected and more cohesive mezzosoprano. I’m not saying that in the distant past the artist’s voice didn’t work; I say that, in the premises he presents to us, such choices would be too fragmented.

The music in question works in an extracosmic framework, dialoguing, by precedence and origin, with “La Isla Bonita”. While “Papa” chronicles a young girl’s anguish of getting pregnant out of wedlock, the track in question ironically and shockingly analyzes the reasons for such “irresponsibility”, so to speak. “Last night, I dreamed of Saint Peter” is the ambiguous and dubious phrase which, a priori, reveals the lyrical ego’s passion for the South American peasant atmosphere, reaffirmed by the Latin instrumentals which develop in harmonics, maracas and notes of an acoustic guitar which increase its complexity more than one could imagine. The verse which unites the two capitulations, however distinct they may be, boils down to “where a girl loves a boy and a boy loves a girl”.

The Latin beat returns with the explicit declaration of love “Love Makes the World Go Round”, in which Madonna walks away from the aforementioned dreamlike atmosphere and immerses herself in a dancing and memorable song that works in incredible totality to close the CD. Here, the sounds specific to the Latin American culture merge with the synthesizers and the electronic keyboard, starting in a somewhat conventional way until exploding in an optimistic refrain that says “it’s easy to forget if you don’t. ‘not hear the sound’, ending in a repetition of the title verse.

It is remarkable to analyze how the new performance of one of the greatest voices in the history of music reaches a rather considerable level which surpasses his previous works – and which, anachronistically, would again be outdated a few more years ago. late. However, one cannot fail to mention its few flaws, which, in this case, are confined to two tracks in question: the first, “Where’s the Party”, is gaining appreciation for its nostalgic construction and for the skillful lyrics that sound good. use of deliberate repetition; however, “Jimmy Jimmy”, the track before the end, gives us a recycling feel, mainly because it begins with the same high-pitched, demarcated beats of the electronic keyboard. Even so, it’s a fact to say that none of the songs lack much dialogue with each other, staying at a level good enough to engage us.

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Fortunately, the abundant tops of the record manage to speak much louder: we have for example “White Heat”, which brings us back to the end of the 40s with the prelude taken from “Bloody Fury” narrated by James Cagney. The echoing dialogue itself already foreshadows the entry of an expressive guitar that combines with the well-known elements of electro-pop; “Live to Tell”, in turn, works as a melodic, ethereal ballad that brings with it a surprisingly visual soundtrack. Despite maintaining a somewhat awkward linearity, it’s the multiple instruments combined in one place that get our full attention – along with the verse that divides the chorus, gaining momentum before the third act.

The title song, however, is the one that feels most familiar to us – and perhaps the one that most reveals the influences Madonna adopted to become the artist we adore. In addition to the heartwarming lyrics, the singer’s voice abandons the affections of yesteryear for good, making declamations reminiscent of dance-pop from the ’60s, specifically from the group known as Motown Girls; in fact, she does not hesitate to launch us on a journey carried by well-defined beats and precise and subtle vocals.

‘True Blue’ is a memorable album and an incredible addition to Madonna’s still nascent career. Winning many revisits in the years to come and even serving as an inspiration to fellow countryman Michael Jackson, this romantic epic is extremely original and successful in the midst of possible ruin. After all, few artists manage to judiciously and cohesively unite countless genres in one place – and Madonna has done so with great caution.

Rating per track:

Papa Don’t Preach – 4.5 / 5 Open Your Heart – 4.5 / 5 White Heat – 5/5 Live to Tell – 4.5 / 5 Where’s the Party – 4/5 True Blue – 5/5 La Isla Beautiful – 5/5 Jimmy Jimmy – 3.5 / 5 Love makes the world go round – 4.5 / 5

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