Monday, August 8, 2011

Boderline by Madonna

At the end of the day it's all about the music.

We wouldn't be following Lady Gaga's wacky fashions if it wasn't for her incredible melodies, and no one would have hounded Michael Jackson if it wasn't for his revolutionary genre-melding music. So, what does all of this "controversy" really mean at the end of the day? It's something to talk about and at the time but when the dust clears what we are left with is the music. This is why after more than 25 years what many remember the most fondly about Madonna is "Borderline."

"Like A Virgin", Madonna's sexual-charged song of devotion came out as a single after "Borderline." While "Like A Virgin" stands out as an important statement of female sexuality shattering the idea of a female pop artist, it lacked the heart and genuine expression that "Borderline" showcased. When Madonna sings that she feels "like a virgin," she is blatantly stating that she is not one standing up to societies image of the way that woman talk about their own sexual experiences. While this bravery of expression is something that I can respect, it's not something many aspire to, but the pleas in "Borderline" present a woman that has a deeper and more powerful strength.

The lyrics of "Borderline" come from the perspective of a woman who feels she is pushed to the borderline because her love is not being straight with her and is playing with her emotions. She carefully describes the way that she views the relationship in the first verse. In the chorus she explains that she is trying and that he is getting the best of her, but she is not complacent. Madonna isn't avoiding a conflict but steering straight into it, not through anger or bitterness but by love. She is challenging her love to be a better man, she is being explicitly clears with what she wants and seems ready to move on if this doesn't pan out.

Think about this compared to other recent pop songs by woman. Remember that song “Don’t Cha’” by the Pussycat Dolls? That song’s level of overt over-sexuality wasn’t so much an expression of strength but servitude and self-objectification.

That is why it is so important that songs like “Boderline” keep getting produced by woman in our popular culture. Yes, woman using their sensuality is way to express themselves when done well can result in beautiful art, but when done cheaply, it’s well, just . . . sad. Thankfully many modern woman artists continue defining woman through their music embracing their femininity and strength in their lives like Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga among many others.

“Boderline” feels like a song from a simpler time, but it’s a song for our time. Through the song's catchy melody and danceable beat Madonna speaks truths about relationships, and the challenges of love. While the lyrics describe a conflict, there is a glow about this song reminding us how great love feels.

Even if we are at the borderline in a relationship, it’s a place can lead to a feeling as beautiful as this song.

No comments:

Post a Comment