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Madonna – Hard Candy

Hard Candy, Hard Sell? As If…

Hard Candy - small

Simon Savidge takes a look at the latest re-invention of the Queen of Pop and wonders why everyone is so worried?

People on forums, in gay bars and in the music biz seem concerned with the latest reinvention of the material girl. Some feel she is ‘jumping on the Timbaland band wagon’ some feel she should have released another Confessions on a Dancefloor. That’s not her style and that’s why we love her and why some love to hate her. Either way you know she’s a woman who knows what she’s doing. Come on, it’s Madonna!

‘Hard Candy’ will be the 11th and final studio album for Warner Brothers and rather than just bang out another dance album it seems Madonna has opted for an edgier number as first single. ‘4 Minutes’ features Justin Timberlake (as do others on the album such as the fabulous ‘Dance Tonight’) and it’s all trumpets and R&B beats, still well in keeping with pop, hey it worked for Nelly Furtado and Timbaland’s solo album has been a worldwide success. And also what is pop now? It’s not as pigeon holed as it once was, it’s a merge of dance, R&B, indie and electro for the iPod shuffle generation.

‘Beat Goes On’ leaked late last year and had the forums in a panic – already to eager to slag her off. Yes it’s more R&B than her other work to date, the chorus is however pure pop ‘always the bridesmaid never the bride, two steps behind, you’ve got too much pride’ if anything it was like her number with Britney. Plus it was a demo; the track has been re-worked and now features Kanye West, another shrewd move by Madge following his success.

Madonna’s career has always been one of highs (Like A Prayer, Ray Of Light, Music, Confessions) and what people have deemed lows (Erotica, American Life) and tend to forget genius album tracks like ‘Mother and Father’ which was at once both personal and pure dance floor pop. It’s been the same with her personal life. Adopting David caused a huge stir, no one looked at the good she was doing and continues to do in Malawi. The same goes for her film ‘Filth & Wisdom’ as it’s been slated, but how many people have actually seen it?

If you pop lovers out there are now hiding behind the sofa in fear… fear not there are some true pop gems. ‘Devil’ was from the Confessions sessions and ‘Heartbeat’ is possibly one of the best pop songs she has ever produced. Madonna has said herself of this album “the title is a juxtaposition of tough and sweetness, kind of like I’m gonna kick your ass but it’s going to make you feel good. And of course, I love candy”. Who doesn’t, and trust us you are gonna love this.