Madonna Doesn’t Know When To Quit

Apr 21st, 2008 // 11 Comments

bcnmadonna.jpgARTIST: Madonna
TITLE: Hard Candy (well, 58% of it, anyway)
RELEASE DATE: April 29, 2008
WEB DEBUT: April 20, 2008

ONE-LISTEN VERDICT: As expected/dreaded, Hard Candy is pretty much Madonna’s attempt to recreate the success of Nelly Furtado’s Loose, and the seven songs that have leaked so far are making me wonder if it’s going to simmer the way that record did in my consciousness, i.e., an inititally grating dance-pop album that revealed its best track months after its release-date press cavalcade. “Miles Away,” Madge’s other collaboration with Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, and Danja, would seem to fit that bill, as it’s a wistful dance-pop ballad that uses the quickly strummed guitars of “Like I Love U.” Otherwise, Madonna seems to be chasing trends from years gone by, particularly the use of cowbell to give dance tracks an “edgy” feel: “Give It To Me” is a cowbell-studded track that has a Pharrell cowriting credit and feels much longer than its four and a half minutes, and you can’t help but wonder how much less flabby the song would be were, say, James Murphy assisting Madonna in her creative decisions instead. “She’s Not Me” has a dark vibe (and no cowbell, somehow), but it’s torpedoed by its adolescent Single White Female lyrics. Bad lyrics also plague “Incredible,” on which Madonna sings in a head-voice yowl that makes her sound even younger than she did when she was wearing fingerless gloves and rubber bracelets, but the hypercolored club-banger nature of that track renders the line “sex with you is … incredible!” at least a little less eye-rolling.

Madonna’s career has been marked by her turning her flaws into assets, and subsequently exploiting them to the hilt; judging by these seven songs, though, the current musical marketplace has made her a little wary, hence her turning to the producers of two-years-ago’s moment to help her get her moxie back. Whether her attempt to make the next generation of 15-year-olds care about her as much as the last three or four have is up for debate.



  1. unperson

    Can anybody name a Madonna song with good lyrics? She’s a terrible writer; calling her on it at this point seems kinda futile.

  2. Audif Jackson Winters III

    Romeo and Juliet/
    they never felt this way, I bet/

  3. Aleb

    The whole retail rip leaked a few hours ago. I’m feeling this album.

  4. Lucas Jensen

    I liked Confessions quite a bit, “New York” aside. I’m a little apprehensive about this one.

  5. Anonymous

    @unperson: Oh, come on! “There’s hunger everywhere
    We’ve got to take a stand
    Reach out for someone’s hand
    Love makes the world go round”


  6. Anonymous

    I’ve only heard the littler snippets, but I quite like what I hear – better than the single. There’s an interesting review of the whole album by an Australian journalist that fans may be more interested to read:

    It gives it a thumbs up and think it kicks CODF’s ass.

  7. extracrispy

    @unperson: “Frozen” has great lyrics. In fact, most of Ray of Light is pretty solid. But I think she might have been hormonal at the time.

  8. narymary

    @extracrispy: When my college friend (a science major) and I first heard the song “Ray of Light” my friend shook her head in disdain and said “Please, like bitch knows what a ‘zephyr’ is!”

  9. Anonymous

    I haven’t liked a Madonna track since ‘What it Feels Like For a Girl’ in 2000, so I’m open to giving this one a listen.

    I just hope it’s not as brutal a listening experience as the lead single would suggest.

  10. extracrispy

    I’m only one track into it, but she’s already sang the lyric “I’ve got Turkish Delight, baby.”

    Not going well so far.

  11. HomefrontRadio

    “Other cities always make me mad
    Other places always make me sad
    No other city ever made me glad
    except New York”

    Ugh. And i bet she *still* used a rhyming dictionary.

    She’s nothing if not consistent. I knew that ’4 Minutes To Save The World’ would be rhymed with ‘Girl’, which, ah, doesn’t.

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