Supastarr (Tactic Remix)
DJ Blaqstarr

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hard Candy - Madonna


   I’ve been trying to get into writing intelligible reviews, but I get half way through and give up, or listen to the album so many times that I am physically unable to write a review. Nonetheless, I’m determined to finished this one because there is so much to talk about… plus it’s fucking cool to blog about Madonna these days (kidding.)

   When I was first informed about Madonna’s upcoming hip-hop album I wasn’t skeptical in the least. If at the age of 50 you can pull off something like Confessions, you can accomplish anything. Confessions On a Dancefloor was the perfect cover up for any Madonna’s remaining human flaws. No quirkiness, no humor, just pure seamless dance music at it’s best. Doing a hip hop album after just made sense, and collaborating with Timbaland, Pharell, Justin Timberlake and Danja was pretty much a given. But can these four heavyweights pull off a Madonna album?

   To me, Hard Candy seems like a compilation of best-ofs more than a full album. It’s almost like each producer pulled months of all-nighters working on their best beats, Madonna picked her favorites and voila, recorded some vocals. The results are a bunch of over-produced pop tracks that seem forced. Lucky for Madonna, this works for her. What would have been garbage for Gwen Stefani or Britney Spears turns experimental and utterly genius for M.

   The opening track Candy Shop starts off with some uninspired lyrics and genuinely annoying chanting but then suddenly Pharell’s synths come in, and suddenly everything works. ”My sugar is raw” and “Sticky and sweet” becomes pure lyrical genius while slowly the song builds up through a series of stuttery vocals until Pharell finished it off with his signature gibberish. Second up is the Timbaland produced, Justin Timberlake written, club-banger 4 Minutes. I’m not gonna lie, I hated this song so much when it first surfaced, but it’s infectious brassy-riff and Justin’s irresistible hooks got the better of me. This song was meant to happen ever since Madonna made out with the rest of the Micky Mouse Club during the 2003 MVAs.

   The rest of Pharell’s tracks like Incredible, Beat Goes On, Heartbeat and She’s Not Me stand out as the most original tracks on the album. They stand strong amongst the Timbaland with their countless breakdowns where Madonna chants “get your hands up and your body moving” and ”see my booty get down” on top of super techno-inspired synths. These songs are so pop, they aren’t pop anymore… it’s like a satire of pop music.

   So I’m going to leave it at that. Madonna praises pop music as a genre by going up and over it’s limits. Combining everything good on the radio over the past few years into one album truly sounds like Madonna to me.

Incredible / DOWNLOAD
Heartbeat / DOWNLOAD
She's Not Me / DOWNLOAD


Anonymous said...

You are so right!

Anonymous said...

You are so right!

Anonymous said...

great review.. I agree totally with your review!!