Review: Madonna’s Hard Candy

One of the two greatest things in life you can ever do to experience pure joy or happiness is to live life with no regrets. The other is to go out with a bang when you feel that life is coming to an end.

Madonna on Hard Candy, her last studio album for Warner Brothers Records, exhibits this principal (to go out with a bang) in full by enlisting the help of Timbaland and the Neptunes, arguably two of music’s most phenomenal producers as of late, and by featuring appearances by artists Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake, and Kanye West to round out what could be Madonna’s most emulous work in the pop diva’s storied career in music.

No stranger to changing her style, Madonna, a chameleon of sorts, went with a full out hip-hop vibe similar to the likes of Gwen Stefani or Nelly Furtado, along with incorporating her signature pop/club foundations that made 2005’s Confessions on a Dance Floor such a huge success. Madonna co-wrote and co-produced all but 5 of the album’s 12 songs, but originality is not forthcoming as far as the music tracks go on the album, with Timbaland and the Neptunes both having a hand in producing most of the notable dance/pop songs heard in heavy radio rotation in the last few years.

Just because you’ve heard similar beats does not mean you still don’t want to get up and dance when heard just the same. This is evidenced by the albums first single, “4 Minutes,” in which the Queen of Pop can be heard going back and forth with Mr. Timberlake over a hard and funky, marching band-sounding, Timbaland-influenced track.

Two of the albums other notable dance tracks, “Give it 2 Me” (probably the album’s next single because of its catchy synthesizer chords) and “Heartbeat,” also evoke the feeling of dancing either through needle tight production or through inspirational lyrics:


You know I feel it in my heartbeat

Don’t you know

Can’t you see

When I dance I feel free!

Another notable track, “Miles Away,” is a poignantly written song about being a great distance away from the person you’re in love with, but not necessarily in a literal sense. Most would say it’s a hint into Madonna’s personal life and what she’s going through, seeing as how she’s made a living crafting her musical art from personal experiences. It’s the only song on Candy that shows that signature venerable side of the usually frank nature of her facade.

In all, Madonna’s Candy lives up to the billing as one of 2008’s most anticipated albums. Fans of her ever changing style will be thoroughly pleased with her latest offering, and eager for the upcoming tour that always accompanies the Diva’s greatest albums. For a woman pushing 50, it’s hard to imagine the voracity she still has for creating such lasting pieces of art, but like I said, “If you’re going to go out, go out with a bang.”

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