Picks and Pans Review: True Blue

updated 08/04/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/04/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT


Madonna is of course no longer so much a singer as a way of life. That's clear from this album, which is a lot more about attitude than it is about music. The track Papa Don't Preach, which Madonna wrote with Brian Elliot, is about a pregnant, single teenager whose father wants her to give up the baby. White Heat, named after a James Cagney movie and dedicated to him (though it has nothing to do with gangsters), is about a different kind of defiance, that of a woman standing up to an over demanding lover. Arranged as they are into a bland sort of disco blather, neither of these songs would carry even as much weight as they do if it weren't for Madonna's association with rebelliousness. While there are a couple of passable Latin tunes, La Isla Bonita and Love Makes the World Go Round, the LP's only musical bright spot is True Blue, titled after the favorite saying of Madonna's husband, actor Sean Penn (described by her in the liner notes as "the coolest guy in the universe"). It's bubbly and danceable, and if it sounds a little like a '60s girl group hit, well, be thankful for small favors. Those who have been waiting for Madonna to demonstrate how good a singer she really is will have to wait a little longer. (Warner Bros.)

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