_Like a Virgin_ : Old School Madonna

Two things made me go back to where it began. The big M has a new album coming out, and the slathery reviews for it all say something like ‘She’s gone back to her dance roots!’

The unimagination of the paid reviewers leads me to think that they didn’t look past the title (Confessions on a Dance Floor) for press grist.

What exactly are Madonna’s roots anyway?

The second thing in this series of events was hearing “Material Girl” on a hip(tm) oldies station. “Wow,” I thought. “That song is even cooler than I remember. I should get that album, there is more there there.”

And Santa brought me “Like a Virgin” for Christmas. And a few others, but I’ll write about that another time.

Let’s just say, if Confessions on a Dance Floor is going back to M’s roots, it’s not going all the way back. This is the stuff. This is the Madonna I will always love.

“Material Girl”, “Like a Virgin”; I am ready to go find some lace fingerless gloves and about a thousand bracelets right now. I want the big lacy bow in my hair. And who said bustiers are only for the bedroom? It’s time to bust out; show the bra straps on any occasion. And use the wide-tip applicator for my black eyeliner.

I am inspired.

Okay, even besides the fabulous fashions of Madonna, the music is so fun! Perhaps because I was so young the first time, but I didn’t realize how New Age her Marvelousness was. She was so popular, I didn’t quite get that she was more than a little cutting edge. The synths and the bouncy bass, and the not-a-machine drums are pretty darn great. Bouncy happy dancey music, but not the uber-processed dance music that we have become accustomed to by the time we hit the 21st century.

That’s not to say this is ‘unplugged’ or anything like that. In fact, what I am liking about this album is its mix of real and processed sound. I mean, the synthesizers are so retro that they almost sound acoustic to my jaded ears.

And I can hear her youth in the tracks. I can hear how much Madonna is ready to take over the world, how much she wants it. This album has a push to it, a ‘nothing is going to stop me’ sound. It’s just a shade different from later albums, where the drive is to stay on top, rather than to get there.

I can’t say I love everything the Material Girl has ever done, but I am a huge fan of her style and power. And this album rocks my world.

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