Review: Madonna – Hard Candy
Hard Candy is Madonna’s eleventh studio album and was released on April 25, 2008 by Warner Bros. Records. It features production from The Neptunes, Danja, Timbaland, and a few other high-profile producers.
Madonna has become recognizable for so many things other than her music that I’m surprised she is still releasing albums at the age of forty-nine. I’m even more surprised that they are dance albums featuring quality productions from the super teams of producers who helped make the likes of Nelly Furtado and Britney Spears relevant once more.
Tracks like “Miles Away” make me wonder why I am just now getting into her music, but then I remind myself that this is the first time she has worked with Timbaland. The drums hit hard, the melody is nice, though repetitive, and the lyrics are relevant to a general audience; a younger general audience.
This album seems to be nothing more than a shameless, though successful, grab at the MTV crowd. The disc’s lead single, “4 Minutes“, which peaked at the #3 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart showcased, yet, another bass-thumping, club-friendly, beat from Timbaland, which Madonna and Justin Timberlake energetically hummed over. This track has such heavy instrumentalization that I’m curious as to whether or not the instrumental version of the song would have charted just as well. However, most of the production on this album is calmer, though not quieter by any means.
If there was ever an in-your-face pop album, Hard Candy is it. Even, as one of the chiller tracks on the album, “Devil Wouldn’t Recognize You” refuses to fade into the background as its bass-heavy, crystal-clean, production grabs your ears and refuses to let go. Naturally, this track is also produced by Timbaland, with some throwaway vocals from his sidekick, Justin Timberlake.
I want to say Madonna sold out, but considering her history; working with today’s A-list Hip-Hop and R&B producers seems to be more of a natural progression for her. After all, when it comes to music, she is just a pop singer.
KEEPERS: “Candy Shop”, “4 Minutes”, “Heartbeat”, “Miles Away”, “Incredible”, “Beat Goes On”, “Devil Wouldn’t Recognize You”, “Voices”