97 Words: “Ray of Light” by Madonna

Vincent Anthony
2 Min Read

This song is part of our “THE SUMMER 97 (1998 x 2023)” playlist. Check out the full list.

Traditionally, imagery is the use of words to evoke the senses; but certain sounds can have the same effect. On “Ray of Light,” Madonna provides the soundtrack to one of the most iconic visual images: the sun. A euphoric journey through liberation, the electronic, dance-inspired pop anthem marked a moment of personal and professional rebirth for Madonna. Best known as the boundary-pushing “Material Girl,” the legendary diva came down to earth bit, if only for a short time, during her spiritually awakened “Ray of Light” era. The album’s title track perfectly encapsulates the moment —  a comeback anthem.

Watch the “Ray of Light” video, stream it, or grab the album on vinyl.

In celebration of summer, the staff at THE 97 has compiled a playlist containing some of our favorite summer songs, from then and now. Each day we will reveal one song, rotating daily between past and present with pairings from 1998 and 2023, for a total of 97 days/songs. Since we love nostalgia, we’re celebrating summer songs from 1998 as they turn 25, alongside new songs that we feel deserve some shine. Pairings could be thematic, sonic, or based connections between the artists.

Check out our full “THE SUMMER 97 (1998 x 2023)” playlist here

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Vincent is the founder of the magazine and has had a strong passion for popular music since, well, 1997! If it's not obvious, his favorite artists include Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, P!nk, and many more. Vincent lives in New York, where he is a high school English teacher, and currently he is pursuing a Master's in Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.