Top 40 single reviews
Published on January 6, 2014 By Dusk411 In Music


Material Girl

Album: Like A Virgin

Year: 1984


          Financially instablity is a dealbreaker for Madonna in the bright “Material Girl.”


            Glittery synths open the single, setting a chic tone. He rattled off some his investments. He preened near his car. Over several dates, she found out he was in debt.  She promptly broke it off. He  called her several times, assuring her he was just getting back on his feet again. It doesn’t how much he has. If he’s living outside his means, he’s going to lose it eventually. Someone who hangs onto their money is far more attractive to her. (“Some boys kiss me, some boys hug me/I think they're O.K./If they don't give me proper credit, I just walk away/They can beg and they can plead/But they can't see the light, that's right/’Cause the boy with the cold hard cash/ Is always Mister Right, 'cause we are.”)


             In the chorus, people want and they want for the newest, latest things. She is no different. She would like to live comfortably herself. (“Living in a material world/And I am a material girl/You know that we are living in a material world/And I am a material girl.”)


           The last guy she dated promised to treat like her a princess. He rented a limousine and they drove along the coast. At the restraurant, he reserved the private area from and ordered the most expensive bottle of wine. Nonetheless, he had zero buisness acumen, despite saying he was an executive at a well-known corporation. She stopped him, poking holes into tales and ended it. (“Some boys romance, some boys slow dance/That's all right with me/If they can't raise my interest then I/Have to let them be/Some boys try and some boys lie but/I don't let them play/Only boys who save their pennies/Make my rainy day, 'cause they are.”)


               The  chorus is sung again.


               In the bridge, male background singers drone the lyrics of the chorus in a mechanical fashion. She chimes in with a “material.”


              Marriage isn’t her goal. She’s trying to find someone whose company she can enjoy. So far, she hasn’t met anyone special yet and it doesn’t bother her. Her years of watching the stock market and working her way up through to management at her job have made her independently wealthy. Men see her and think they have found their meal ticket. (“Boys may come and boys may go/And that's all right you see/Experience has made me rich/And now they're after me, 'cause everybody's.”)


             The chorus is sung again.


           The bridge is repeated again to end the single.


              Madonna’s plain-spoken vocals do not second guess any decision. She’s on her own and has to look out herself. The men may dismiss her as flaky and simply interested in obtainng fancy things. However, she reads the Wall Street Journal and Forbes thoroughly. It is notable that it’s the men who are the automatons,  obsessed with possessions and how they are perceived.



             The clever “Material Girl” won’t be consumed by greed of its generation, choosing to embrace practicality instead.

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