12 Songs, 56 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Approaching 50 years old with this release, Madonna can no longer pretend to be the young seductress. So 50 is the new 40? The new 30? Madonna doesn’t aim for a precise number. Instead, she works to make time itself irrelevant. 2008’s Hard Candy, a few technological tones aside, could just as easily have come out in the mid-80s, the mid-90s, or anytime during her long, enduring career. It’s Madonna on the dancefloor, letting the rhythms and producers do the heavy lifting while her voice skates over the grooves with a sultry reassurance that at this point is the sound of an old familiar comrade letting you know she’s still fighting the good fight. Timbaland, the Neptunes, and Nate “Danja” Hills add their production touches, but it’s Madonna’s reflective touch that delivers the somber twists of “Devil Wouldn’t Recognize You,” the nostalgic glaze of “Incredible” where she admits, “I wanna go back to then,” and the “Everybody” tint of “Heartbeat” where she states, “It may be old to you but it feels new to me.” At this point she’s riding the wave, hanging on for dear life and making it every bit the adventure we’ve come to expect from her career.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Approaching 50 years old with this release, Madonna can no longer pretend to be the young seductress. So 50 is the new 40? The new 30? Madonna doesn’t aim for a precise number. Instead, she works to make time itself irrelevant. 2008’s Hard Candy, a few technological tones aside, could just as easily have come out in the mid-80s, the mid-90s, or anytime during her long, enduring career. It’s Madonna on the dancefloor, letting the rhythms and producers do the heavy lifting while her voice skates over the grooves with a sultry reassurance that at this point is the sound of an old familiar comrade letting you know she’s still fighting the good fight. Timbaland, the Neptunes, and Nate “Danja” Hills add their production touches, but it’s Madonna’s reflective touch that delivers the somber twists of “Devil Wouldn’t Recognize You,” the nostalgic glaze of “Incredible” where she admits, “I wanna go back to then,” and the “Everybody” tint of “Heartbeat” where she states, “It may be old to you but it feels new to me.” At this point she’s riding the wave, hanging on for dear life and making it every bit the adventure we’ve come to expect from her career.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.0 out of 5
383 Ratings

383 Ratings

Music_4ever ,

Raw, Sticky & Sweet


Madonna’s latest release, "Hard Candy", is a very enjoyable return to form for the Queen of Pop. Hot off the heels of her mega-successful 2005 album, “Confessions On A Dancefloor”, Madonna ditches techno mastery for upbeat R&B influence dance pop. Here Madonna reverts back to her earlier years when her music was more about having a good time, rather than speaking a social message. First single, “4 Minutes” blasts from the speakers with its uproarious trumpets and erratic musical melody. With help from Timbaland and Justin Timberlake, this song opens a new genre that I’d thought never possible, Hip-Pop-Hop.

To my surprise and fulfillment though, the rest of the album isn’t as Hip-Hop centered. The opening gem, “Candy Shop” starts the album off strong with help from beat-master Pharrell, and has Madonna in her most delicious form yet. Second single, “Give It 2 Me”, (also produced by Pharrell) is a bumpin’ club banger sure to keep hearts racing. "Beat Goes On" is the closest song resembling Madonna's previous “Confessions On a Dancefloor” sound with its retro disco vibe and 'beep beep' chants.

While there are no ballads found on “Hard Candy”, the pace slows down on “Heartbeat” which sounds like a seductive catchy pop dream. What is so interesting about “Hard Candy” is the fact that, unlike all her previous albums, the majority of control is not given to Madonna, but to her producers who believably guide the diva through unknown territory. Justin Timberlake takes Madonna for a ride on his synthesized produced track, "Dance 2Night". The song is a fun, club ready, care free jolt that has Madonna proclaiming, "You don't have to be beautiful to be understood. You don't have to be rich and famous to be good."

Though the album is mostly songs about letting loose and enjoying your life in the moment, “Hard Candy” isn’t without deep substance. “Miles Away” is a breezy song of longing love. Madonna sings about heartache, declaring that her relationships may be easier to handle when distance is involved. The two final songs in particular are among Madonna’s best music. The haunting and emotionally raw “Voices” ends the album on a morose tone, and keeps you guessing, in true Madonna fashion, what this timeless talent has in store for us next.

Always a chameleon, Madonna proved once again that she’s able to adapt to any genre of music and any generation of trends. “Hard Candy” is exceptionally produced and a refreshing twist on the current surge of Hip-Hop/R&B that seems to be dominating today’s music culture. It’s a sharp, witty album stamped with Madonna’s signature style. Longtime fans and curious newcomers alike will most likely be pleased with “Hard Candy”.

WhoIAm2U ,

This is a million $$ production?!?!

I have always been a fan of all types of music and can appreciate Madonna. This album is a HUGE disappointment.. The Timberland/Timberlake sound is 3 years ago, not very current, and also boring/common as to everything else.. I think Madonna sold out on this one and the production is horrific. I am a music producer/composer and distortion without an effect is just poor mixing.. The songs sound thoughtless with very preschool type rhymes. This woman is BRILLIANT, but working with producers out of her realm seems to be disastrous. I'll still keep Ray of Light and the Bedtime Stroies album in my playlist.. She still looks f$%&in' HOT!

Stikks ,

This album is Hot

Here are all the songs that I think could become singles.

4 Minutes- 10/10 duh it already held the number one spot for a couple weeks so it's good
Give it 2 Me- 10/10 declared the 2nd single, good beat
Beat Goes On- 10/10 on the album in stores it says that this will be a single (love Kanye)
Candy Shop- 10/10 another great possible single (but it could easily be dropped)
Heartbeat- 9.5/10 hmmm... probably my least favorite of all the potential singles (easily dropped)
Miles Away- 10/10 great ballad
Devil Wouldn't Recognize You- 10/10 another great ballad

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