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> In Defence of: True Blue
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liamk97
post Apr 27 2018, 10:22 PM
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QUOTE
In Defence of: Madonna's True Blue
JAMES CROOT | Last updated 07:00, April 27 2018


A toe-tapping 1950s-inspired ditty, True Blue's title track is simply pop-song confection perfection.

It was the album even my father attempted to disavow all knowledge of.

When one of my more flamboyant friends called to ask if he could borrow Madge's 1986 album from where I had left it at work, my Dad told him, jokingly, that in no uncertain terms did his son own "that album". He was right it was actually my older brother's.

True Blue was my first, real encounter with the constantly evolving artist born Madonna Louise Ciccone, a musical love-affair that would last for the best part of two decades. Like a Virgin had somewhat passed me by and her deliberately provocative headline-making and relationship with acting enfant terrible Sean Penn didn't exactly endear her to me. But that was before I heard True Blue, a nine-track masterpiece that became a soundtrack to my early teenage years and near daily runs around the hills of Dunedin.

Hardly anyone shares my enthusiasm for True Blue as Madonna's Magnum Opus. Most prefer Virgin, Like a Prayer, Ray of Light and Music. At the time of its release, my mates were extolling the virtues of Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet, The Beastie Boys' Licence to Ill or Queen's A Kind of Magic (or Paul Simon's Graceland and The Smiths' The Queen is Dead, if they had more hip, esoteric leanings), so I confined my tastes purely to my Walkman headphones and on the stereo at home.

Looking back in 2003, Slant magazine's Sal Cinquemani described at as "the most-dated of Madonna's albums", one home to "some of her biggest clunkers". And I'll concede That Jimmy, Jimmy and Where's the Party? aren't exactly shining examples of Madonna's finest four minutes.


Madonna's True Blue was first released in 1986.

However, the rest is a perfect showcase of the diverse musical styles and memorable lyrics that the young Italian-American artist was able to muster. And yes it helped immensely that most of them also boasted music videos with intriguing narratives, eclectic hairstyles and generally eye-catching visuals that matched what Madonna was signing about.

Three decades on, Papa Don't Preach still feels anthemic and a cultural touchstone (even if I now wait in dread for the day my Tween daughter quotes the lyrics back at me), with its opening staccato string-arrangement, plaintive lyrics and the Danny Aiello-starring video, which also had our heroine sporting a stunning gamine blonde crop.

Likewise, Open Your Heart is a heart-skipping, joyous song, full of life and with a slightly naughty video to match (at least it was when I was 12) plus Madonna rocks a cool hat.


It helped immensely that most of True Blue's songs also boasted music videos with intriguing narratives, eclectic hairstyles and generally eye-catching visuals that matched what Madonna was signing about.

La Isla Bonita, while not quite the Despacito of its day, certainly had the same allure of exotic lyrics and sultry sounds, while Live to Tell is a heart-rending and haunting ballad that Madonna tried to recapture a few times later in her career (This Used to Be My Playground, Take a Bow) without exactly the same kind of impact.

For me though, the crowning glory of True Blue is the title track. A toe-tapping 1950s-inspired ditty, it is simply pop-song confection perfection.

Boasting an upbeat tempo, filled with hooks and eminently sing-a-longable, it can still brighten the mood of even the most trying day.

(Source: stuff)
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liamk97
post Apr 28 2018, 01:26 PM
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I think most here would disagree that this album is in anyway overlooked or underappreciated, but I like how the review celebrates what huge pop moments this album holds. The singles all bring something unique, with interesting concepts portrayed in a way that is accessible. 'Papa Don't Preach' in particular is one of Madonna's most well-crafted songs, raising a topical issue in a way that's true and authentic; vulnerable and empowering; reflective and euphoric. Contradictory in its description yet the end product works seamlessly.
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Theo.
post Apr 28 2018, 06:05 PM
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I listened to this based on yours, Bal's and Josh's recommendations late last year and I adored it. I was familiar with the majority of its singles ("La Isla Bonita" is a favourite of mine and I really like "Papa Don't Preach" too) but I didn't know the song "True Blue" too well so hearing it in the context of the album really sold it to me.

It's nice to read this though, I think it's probably how I felt with my friendship group in 2010/11 when all I listened to was Cheryl and Katy Perry laugh.gif
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Spiceboy
post Apr 29 2018, 09:03 PM
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Omg I adore True Blue it was the album that got me into Madonna. I was obsessed with Stop by the Spice Girls and my mum said i would like True Blue the song as it had a similar Motown feel to it. She copied the album from a friend so I could hear it and I fell in love with the whole album! It still remains in my top 5 Madonna albums I adore it and think its far better than Virgin.
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vibe
post May 1 2018, 04:04 PM
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True Blue
Music
And Ray Of Light

Are my fav M albums .
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HausofTove
post May 2 2018, 08:03 PM
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The album doesn't need a defence ohmy.gif It's flawless 80s pop. Gigantic singles, solid album tracks and an overall cohesive album. One of her best FOR SURE WE STAN
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pippa
post May 4 2018, 06:35 PM
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QUOTE(HausofTroye @ May 2 2018, 09:03 PM) *
The album doesn't need a defence ohmy.gif It's flawless 80s pop. Gigantic singles, solid album tracks and an overall cohesive album. One of her best FOR SURE WE STAN



I agree.
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liamk97
post May 6 2018, 11:43 AM
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QUOTE(Theo. @ Apr 28 2018, 07:05 PM) *
I listened to this based on yours, Bal's and Josh's recommendations late last year and I adored it. I was familiar with the majority of its singles ("La Isla Bonita" is a favourite of mine and I really like "Papa Don't Preach" too) but I didn't know the song "True Blue" too well so hearing it in the context of the album really sold it to me.

It's nice to read this though, I think it's probably how I felt with my friendship group in 2010/11 when all I listened to was Cheryl and Katy Perry laugh.gif

Yay! Glad you enjoyed - it is essentially an 80s version of the mega pop albums of more recent times, like The Fame, Loud, Teenage Dream etc. There's plenty of catchy hooks and melodies on this album and I think it would appeal to any pop fan.
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