Q (7/01, p.131) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...A sterling attempt to expand the brand to include bobbysoxing, Latin, ballads as well as the usual high jinx....these are the foundations of her empire..."
Includes rare 12" dance remixes previously unavailable on CD.
Personnel: Madonna, Richard Marx (vocals); David Williams (vocals, guitar); Johnathan Moffett (vocals, drums, percussion); Dann Huff, Paul Jackson, Jr., Bruce Gaitsch, John Putnam (guitar); Dave Boroff (saxophone); Stephen Bray (keyboards, drums, programming); Pat Leonard (keyboards, programming); Fred Zarr (keyboards); Paulinho Da Costa (percussion); Kiethan Carter, Jackie Jackson, Siedah Garrett, Edie Lehmann (background vocals).
Producers: Pat Leonard, Madonna, Steve Bray.
Digitally remastered by Ted Jensen (Sterling Sound, New York, New York).
Not to take away from the two fine party albums that preceded it, but TRUE BLUE is arguably the first great Madonna album, the one on which she discovered that great soul music isn't just a beat; it usually requires delving into one's own soul. As originally released on LP, the album's first side, featuring a dizzying single about teen pregnancy ("Papa Don't Preach"), a perfect Tin Pan Alley pop song ("Open Your Heart") and the amazing "Live To Tell," a ballad on which she discovers, for the first time, the low end of her vocal range, is almost undoubtedly the finest album side she ever cut.
TRUE BLUE also includes "Where's The Party," a catchy throwback to the forget-your-cares dance pop of her debut album, and "La Isla Bonita," which represented the beginning of Madonna's fruitful obsession with Latin beats and culture. Five songs from the album, including the girl-groupy title cut, made the top five of the pop chart; three of them hit #1.
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