15 Songs, 1 Hour 10 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This is Madonna on the dancefloor, letting the rhythms and producers do the heavy lifting while her voice skates over the grooves with a sultry reassurance. 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,” and the “Everybody” tint of “Heartbeat.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

This is Madonna on the dancefloor, letting the rhythms and producers do the heavy lifting while her voice skates over the grooves with a sultry reassurance. 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,” and the “Everybody” tint of “Heartbeat.”

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Ratings and Reviews

3.8 out of 5
3.1K Ratings

3.1K 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”.

Sean Jones ,

Ear Candy

Great Album

Candy Shop: Definitely a Neptunes-Produced Track. Madonna welcoming everyone to enjoy what she has to offer ... "i'll be your one stop/candshop/everything that i got" Pretty good. 4/5

4 Minutes: We've all heard this one. 1st Single. Trumpets glaring here to a pulsating beat, Justin adds a nice touch with a catchy chrous "We've only got 4 minutes to save the world!" 4.5/5

Give It 2 Me: The declared 2nd single. Very fast paced in your face song. Madonna is encouraging you to dance... "Don't stop me now, don't need to catch my breath, I can go on and on and on." LOVE the energy in the chrus. 5/5

Heartbeat: Will probably be a future single. About feeling the music through dance. Puts you in a trance. 5/5

Miles Away: Wouldn't be surprised if this became a single as well. Still trancey but the beat pulsates more than Heartbeat. About realizing sometimes relationships just don't work. "You always have the biggest when we're 6,000 miles apart" 5/5

She's Not Me: More of an 80s vibe going here. About confronting a guy that he may have chose another girl instead of her, but no matter how much she does, she'll never be her. "She's not me, she doesn't have my name, she'll never have what I have.. it won't be the same" I like how theres a change of tempo midway in the song. Very Sassy song. 4/5

Incredible: About a love that was once incredible... now, not so much. The verses are okay with a spacey pulsating beat. The chorus is moreso the highlight here. Decent track. 3.5/5

Beat Goes On: Will probably be a fan-favorite song. "Don't sit there like some silly girl, if you wait too long, it might be too late... time for you to celebrate." Basically a pro-dance song and enjoy the beat that goes on. You'll be singing "on and on the beat goes" too. Kanye is nice unexpected addition toward the end. One of my favorites. 5/5

Dance 2night: The song title is pretty self-explanatory here. Another pro-dance song with a poppy-type beat. Justin adds vocals here once again. I dunno... I couldn't get into this one. Alright. 3/5

Spanish Lesson: Spanish-influenced hard bassline. You could tell its a Pharrell-produced track once again. Ok track, a little better than Dance 2night but .. eh, not by much in my opinon. "If you do your homework, baby I will give you more." Some spanish on this one. Still a 3/5

Devil Wouldn't Recognize You: A darker song very reminiscent of Justin's Cry Me A River in its sound, mood, and meaning. "Even the devil wouldn't recognize you.. but i do" A relief after the previous two songs. 4.5/5 Not my favorite but I could see it being a future, maybe last single.

Voices: "Who is the master, who is the slave" Your classic Madonna track making you think, portraying a hidden message. Continues the moody vibe from the previous track. Not bad at all. Nice closer. 4/5

Overall, besides one or two songs that are skippable, this is an overall terrific album and over time, the two or so songs I didn't really care for could become growers.

Top songs for me:
Give It 2 Me
Beat Goes On
4 Minutes
Heart Beat
Miles Away
Candy Shop
Devil Wouldn't Recognize You

mb-jy ,

Madonna, go back to your older style of music

I'm a huge Madonna fan, but i wish she'd concentrate on making songs that you can sing along too again. All the rhythmic production just sounds like following trends that leave you feeling kinda empty. I think "heartbeat" is a nicer song. There's no reason for Madonna to sing like "justin" style. Music needs real songs again. Real songs, and real music is dying at the vine, and it's a shame to see. All i can hope is that Madonna works with musical people again, and sings and writes real music once again.

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