Home / Single Review: Madonna’s “Borderline”

Single Review: Madonna’s “Borderline”

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Madonna coaxes for her boyfriend to be honest with her in the flawless “Borderline.”

Coquettish keyboards start the single setting a tone of unassuming sensuality. Bubbly drums then lead into the verse. She says that his charisma keeps her coming back for more. However, she doesn’t want to be trapped in the relationship with him anymore. He leads her on, promising to be there for her. However, he chooses to ignore her.

“Something in the way you love me won’t let me be
I don’t want to be your prisoner so baby won’t you set me free
Stop playing with my heart
Finish what you start
When you make my love come down
If you want me let me know
Baby let it show
Honey don’t you fool around.”

In the pre-chorus, she tells him that the relationship has drained her. She gave him her affection, love, and friendship while he did nothing to reciporciate her feelings.

“Just try to understand, I’ve given all I can
‘Cause you got the best of me.”

In the chorus, she says his mind games are causing her to doubt herself. She’s losing patience with him.

“Borderline feels like I’m going to lose my mind
You just keep on pushing my love over the borderline
Borderline feels like I’m going to lose my mind
You just keep on pushing my love over the borderline

Keep on pushing me baby
Don’t you know you drive me crazy
You just keep on pushing my love over the borderline.”

The speck of green in his eyes melts her every time she sees him. As he caresses her, she can’t think of anything of him but his body against hers. However, he quickly abandons her. She tells him to be open with her:

“Something in your eyes is makin’ such a fool of me
When you hold me in your arms you love me till I just can’t see
But then you let me down, when I look around, baby you just can’t be found
Stop driving me away, I just wanna stay
There’s something I just got to say.”

The pre-chorus and chorus are sung once. The second chorus has some variations in it. She says the relationship has weakened her and asks him to let her go. He’s done nothing but her. She wonders what lengths she has to go for him to notice her.

“Look what your love has done to me
Come on baby set me free
You just keep on pushing my love over the borderline
You cause me so much pain, I think I’m going insane
What does it take to make you see?
You just keep on pushing my love over the borderline.”

Madonna “la la’s” over the synth beat to close the song.

“Borderline” is an 80s song that hasn’t aged a day since its release. The coy synths coupled with Madonna’s lovesick, youthful vocals mesh well together. It hints with a knowing wink that Madonna isn’t as wholesome as she seems.
Edited By: TT

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About Pam Avoledo

  • I get the feeling these “single” reviews were originally 10th grade English essays.

    Madonna. HA!

    Review a song we haven’t offered to exchange days off our lives to never have to hear the blasted thing again.

    Just kidding. Seriously.

    It’s nice to see reviews of music from back in the day…even if it is crap (the music, not the review).

  • Doug

    Don’t listen to Timmy. If you can’t appreciate the pure pop/dance genius of Borderline you should give up your ears. I’m not a big Madonna fan, but Borderline is one of the great singles of the 80s.

  • adam

    not being a child of the 80’s, and listening to that song even now… it’s easy to see why Madonna is still after all these years (and controversies) still on top!