“Angel” by Madonna (1984)

Madge has so many jams, I bet if you polled 10 different people and asked what the most underrated single of hers is, you’d get 10 different answers.

I’m not saying “Angel” is her most underrated single, but it’s definitely up there (and because I don’t do spoilers, you’ll just have to keep checking to see when I get to the song I think is her most underrated.) I’m not totally sure why folks don’t mention “Angel” when cataloguing her best singles. I’d imagine the vastly superior B-side (!) is at least part of the reason! But more on that when we get to the “I”s.

OK, that’s a spoiler. But come on. No one can front on “Into The Groove”.

“Angel” is Madonna at her lightest. The song almost threatens to fly away, and that’s not just because (I believe) Madonna’s vocal was sped up in post-production (I think MJ did the same thing in the early ‘80s). Miss Ciccone’s music gained a heaviness over the years as she kept beating us over the head with STATEMENT STATEMENT STATEMENT, to the point that the only other time I can remember a song of hers being this delightfully frivolous was “Cherish”, which is damn near thirty years old.

Folks occasionally forget that Like A Virgin is essentially a Chic album with Madonna on vocals. The intro to “Angel” gives it away for me–only Nile could pluck guitar strings that way.

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