Single Review: Madonna “Look of Love”

Look of Love
Album: Who’s That Girl? Soundtrack
Year: 1987

Halfway through the movie “Who’s That Girl?,” Nikki Finn (Madonna) is dressed in a tight, shimmering white dress. Louden Trott sees her and for the first time, his feelings for her begin to surface. As he gazes at her, Madonna’s ballad “Look of Love” plays.

By now, they have retreived a rare tiger named Murray, been chased by thugs wanting to kill Nikki, involved in a gun shoot out with the owner of the artillery store, and managed to get the Rolls Royce back in some pieces. After all the wacky hijinx, they finally have time to properly flirt without having to worry about getting killed in the process. Oh, by the way, he’s supposed to get married in a couple days.

“Look of Love” is from Nikki’s point of view of the romantic situation. After a few low sirens open the single, Madonna starts the single. She regrets letting him in, knowing Louden is likely not to care. She shouldn’t have snubbed Louden instead of befriending him. She should have let him drop him off at the bus station and not involved him in her life. She should’ve known she was going to fall for him. However, it’s too late and she’s ashamed of herself for loving a soon-to-be-married man. (“Should have left you standing right where you stood/Should have let you go, should have had the sense to know/Like a train you’d come, and I’d lose my place/Now I’m on this trip, I took a fall from grace”).

In the chorus, she remembers the gaze when he saw her and it gives her hope. She can no longer deny her feelings for him, either. (“Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide/From the look of love, from the eyes of pride/Nowhere to go, no place to run/From the look of love, now I’ve come undone”).

Her life was already planned out for her: get out jail, find a job, scrape by for the rest of her life. However, those plans have changed and no longer exist. She didn’t learn how to enjoy her life or to part with the people who mean the most to her. (“I’ve had a map laid out from the day I was born/But the roads are blocked, and the paper is worn/And all the books I’ve read, and the things I know/Never taught me to laugh, never taught to let go”).

She says she hasn’t done anything wrong. However, she doesn’t believe herself and is not prepared to let go of Louden yet. He has taught her a lot about life and she wants to learn more from him. (“My conscience is clear I know right from wrong/That’s a lie I know nothing except that you’re gone/But there’s more to learn from the look in your eyes/That trip round this world, the stars in the sky”). She adds the she didn’t learn how to live in the pre-chorus. (“…Never taught me to live, never taught me to let go”).

After the chorus is sung, co-writer Stephen Bray sings “nowhere to hide/No place to run/nowhere to hide/nowhere to run”

The solid “Look of Love” is a stand-out ballad, equalling the music on the “True Blue” album.


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