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Old 04-29-2008, 03:23 PM   #46
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Originally posted by LarryMullen's_POPAngel


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I used to make my parents watch my dance to Borderline - they thought it was cute, the first ten times, after that it got a bit old for them.
Grandma!

I created a lovely little routine to go along with 'Holiday', and I do a deliciously embarassing rock-out to "Burning Up"
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Old 04-29-2008, 10:18 PM   #47
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I just got done with the first listen. My overall knee-jerk judgement: not bad!

Candy Shop is insipid. That's really the only song I didn't care for, although Spanish Lesson comes close. I wanted to like Voices, but there was a big distortion that I wasn't sure was intentional - none of the other songs sounded like that, so it must have been intentional. I hate that.

I liked Give It 2 Me, Heartbeat, Beat Goes On

I really liked 4 Minutes (which I already knew I liked), Miles Away, She's Not Me (although it's about a minute too long) and Devil Wouldn't Recognize Me.

Incredible was okay - I really don't need 6 minutes of Madonna yammering about how sex with Guy Ritchie is so awesome.
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Old 04-29-2008, 10:21 PM   #48
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The question is how is this compared to Confessions?
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Old 04-29-2008, 10:26 PM   #49
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Originally posted by Zootlesque
The question is how is this compared to Confessions?
It pales, IMO. It's not that the production doesn't work, it's that the songs aren't anything special.

American Life was at least inventive, if misguided.
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Old 04-29-2008, 10:26 PM   #50
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Honestly, the two albums are so different in their feel and sound I don't even think you can or even should compare them.

If you're going to compare an album to an album you completely love, you're likely going to be disappointed.

Don't try to compare it - judge it on its own merits, and you either like it or you don't.

By the way, I absolutely loved Confessions upon first listen. I don't love this one nearly as much, but that's okay. I'm not going to be all disappointed about it or anything. Madonna's albums have always been a little hit or miss for me, love her as I do.
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Old 04-29-2008, 10:29 PM   #51
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I hadn't bought a Madonna album since Ray Of Light when I first listened to Confessions and I absolutely love it... and still do! But after listening to 4 Minutes, I'm somewhat underwhelmed and not in any hurry to get this one.
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:45 PM   #52
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4 Minutes is growing on me, in the context of the album. It's pretty strong. I think Confessions loses a little steam by the end, this one had some pretty strong tracks at the conclusion like Devil and Voices.

And Dance 2night isn't getting enough love around here.
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:47 PM   #53
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Actually 4 min is kinda growing on me too.
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:57 PM   #54
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Allmusic didn't seem to like it...

Quote:
All through her career, it has been impossible to divorce Madonna's music from her image, as they feed off each other to the point where it's hard to tell which came first, the concept or the songs. Glancing at the aggressively ugly cover to Hard Candy - its blistering pinks and assaultive leather suggesting a cheap bottom barrel porno - it's hard not to wish that this is the one time Madge broke from tradition, offering music that wasn't quite as garish as her graphics. That is not the case. Hard Candy is all brutal hard edges and blaring primary colors, a relentlessly mercenary collection of cold beats and chilly innuendo. Sex has always been a driving force for Madonna, but she's never been as ruthlessly pornographic as she is here, not even when she cut Erotica as a companion to her softcore coffeetable book Sex back in 1992. For all of its carnality Erotica was coy, belonging to the classic burlesque teasing tradition, but Hard Candy is utterly modern, a steely sex album for the age of Cialisis. This new millennium is also an era where Top 40 has pretty much ceased to exist and a pop artist as sharp as Madonna knows this, so she has abandoned the idea of a big crossover hit - the kind that Erotica courted with such gorgeous, shimmering adult contemporary ballads as "Rain" and "Bad Girl" - and pitches Hard Candy directly toward her core audience of club-conscious, fashion-forward trend-setters.

This is a smart play, as this is the audience that's always consisted of Madonna loyalists, and it's also is a savvy way to negotiate the explosion of niches in 2008, but there problems in her execution. Madonna relies on the Neptunes and the pair of Timbaland and Justin Timberlake for most of her modern makeover - a good idea in theory as they are some of the biggest hitmakers of the decade, but the productions they've constructed here sound a couple years old at best and at worst feel like they're dressing Madonna in Nelly Furtado's promiscuous hand-me-downs. Sometimes this can result in reasonably appealing grooves - "Candy Shop" captures Pharrell Williams' flair for slim, sleek grooves, "Dance 2night" conjures Timberlake's Off the Wall obsession nicely and the icy heartbreak of "Miles Away" is a worthy successor to "What Goes Around Comes Around" - but this also points out the album's main flaw: the track comes before the song. Madonna's greatness has always hinged on how she channeled dance trends into pop songs, placing equal emphasis on sound and melody, which provided a neat way to sneak underground club trends into the mainstream. Here, she cedes melodic hooks to rhythmic hooks - witness the clanging, cluttered "4 Minutes" where she's drowned out by Timbaland's farting four-note synth - which might not have been so bad if the tracks were fresher and if the whole enterprise didn't feel quite so joylessly mechanical. Madonna doesn't even sound desperate to sit atop of current trends; rather, she's following them because she's expected to do so. There's a palpable sense of disinterest here, as if she just handed the reigns over to Pharrell and TimbaLake, trusting them to polish up this piece of stale candy. Maybe she's not into the music, maybe she's just running out this last album for Warner before she moves onto the greener pastures of Live Nation -- either way, Hard Candy is as a rare thing: a lifeless Madonna album.
( 2 stars)
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:00 AM   #55
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Reviews have certainly been mixed this time out. It has a 64 on metacritic at the moment. American Life received a 60, while both Confessions and Music received an 80.
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:02 AM   #56
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"Glancing at the aggressively ugly cover to Hard Candy - its blistering pinks and assaultive leather suggesting a cheap bottom barrel porno."

Can't say I disagree with that. I don't care for the pictures in the insert, either. I think the artwork for the whole thing is poor.

"That is not the case. Hard Candy is all brutal hard edges and blaring primary colors, a relentlessly mercenary collection of cold beats and chilly innuendo. "

I actually agree with that, too. But I guess I don't necessarily see it as a bad thing.

I'm curious to see how much the album grows on me. Will it be one in steady rotation on my iPod, or will it be like American Life?
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:40 AM   #57
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I had a really long post here but now it's lost in Interference limbo because of the stupid smilie limit

Oh well, it was longwinded anyway, so let me put it in a nutshell.

I wasn't all that impressed with 4 Minutes, because honestly, the song is a mess. It just sounds crowded. There's just too much going on with all the music and vocalists. Plus my brain notes the heavy inclusion of Justin Timberlake and Timbaland, and can't help but feel that she's pandering to the young mainstream.

But I've been a Madonna fan since I was a Little Mermaid obsessed child, and I saw the mermaids in the Cherish video. I've been stuck ever since, and my brother, who loves Madonna like I love Bono has kept my love for the queen going strong.

So I listened to Hard Candy openmindedly, and overall, I like it. It's not as good as Confessions, and it's certainly not as good as Ray of Light (I don't think she'll ever top Ray of Light), but it's better than American Life, and about on par with Music.
I'll also add my two cents on American Life since so many others have. My problem with that album was that, while it had some really good songs, it just seemed to be all over the place. While I wouldn't say it had any real clunkers, some of the songs just got old fast. I really really like X-Static Process though.

As for Hard Candy, I have to agree with Britney that it definitely reminds me of her first album, although I didn't quite realize that until you brought it up. I just knew that it reminded me of something older, I just couldn't put my finger on just what. (P.S. I've been on a big Burning Up kick for the last couple of weeks)

My favourite tracks on the album are Devil Wouldn't Recognize You, Give it 2 Me, and She's Not Me. My least favourites are Dance 2Night, Voices, and 4 Minutes.

Devil Wouldn't Recognize You is an overall good song. Excellent music, vocals, production, and lyrics. I love the piano, the rain effects, the vocal layering.

Give it 2 Me is really catchy, with good lyrics and a great beat. I can already tell that it's gonna be a really fun song to sing along to loudly. I even love the funny 'get stupid' section. It's reminiscent of Thief of Hearts from Erotica.

She's Not Me has a fantastic bassline. I had a really big ooooh moment at 4:18 when the bass kicks back in all muted. It sounded fantastic, something worthy of Ray of Light.

On the other hand, I found Dance 2Night to just be boring. The guitar was groovy and the song had a funky beat, but nothing else stood out. The vocals just didn't hold my attention at all.

And Voices might actually be good if it weren't for the distortion. I like some distortion in its time and place, but it just didn't sound right here. I kept wanting to check to make sure there wasn't something wrong with my speakers. It kinda killed the song for me.

I'd also like to note that I liked Candy Shop, although I seem to be in the minority. It had a really fun, groovy beat. I could see belly dancers dancing to it. It was kinda vaguely middle-eastern. Maybe it was Moroccan (that's a joke for those of you who follow the threads in WTAHNN) The lyrics just make me think of Savoy Truffle by The Beatles though The beat made me think of Get into the Groove.

Also, Spanish Lesson has great music and a great beat, but the lyrics are just... cheesy. "Yo te quiero means I love you, much gusto means I'm welcome to you" ....and uno, dos, tres, catorce means Bono needs a Spanish lesson.


Lastly, I don't really like the album art. It seems flat, and poorly put together. Also the airbrushing on it makes her cleavage seem really unnatural (I am interested in Madonna's cleavage, you see.) Plus her hair looks like it should belong to every preppy girl who attended high school in the late 80s. That look should've stayed dead.

But my brother wanted a Hard Candy wallpaper, and he employed my graphic skills to get one, so I'll share it here, even though I didn't much like the image I had to work with:

Version 1, with a stripe:


Version 2, without:



Daaamn, that's STILL longwinded. Imagine how long it was before
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Old 04-30-2008, 07:38 AM   #58
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My appreciation of the album:

Usually, when I buy an album, it can take weeks or months to make an accurate appreciation of it.
Madonna is one of the exceptions. When I buy one of her albums (I've got 'em all), it doesn't take much to decide - at least - which songs I love, and which I don't.

About this Hard Candy...
I am definitely not in love with the album and, as I predicted, this is one Madonna's weakest albums, thinking that the string of albums that started with Ray Of Light and that ended with Confessions On A Dancefloor was a perfect one of great pop music albums.
That doesn't mean that Hard Candy is bad, but it represents Madonna's big and desperate effort to conquer the american audiences once again, which she hasn't been doing with the last albums.

Now, song by song:

Candy Shop This is the prelude for the album. Nice beats, interesting instrumental. Cannot say the same about the lyrics: not only they're unnecessary as they're among Madonna's worst lyrics ever. Did Madonna forget how to talk about sex during Erotica full of rich metaphores and games with ideas?

4 Minutes I prefered when this song had the big tittle - can't explain why, it sounds much better than just "4 Minutes". At first, I didn't like it much, but now the song is growing on me. References to the Doomsday clock (although the real one is not on the 4 minutes) and to a fake world where Madonna herself belongs. The song becomes interesting mainly because of the instrumental and the horns section.

Give It 2 Me Some of the better rated songs. I expected much better, specially because of some that described an approch to "Get Together", which I can't find.

Heartbeat By now, it doesn't do much for me too. In fact, I found it a little boring despite its uptempo beats. Maybe it's a grower, but not now...

Miles Away The first song I really likes on this album! Very good! Not only the lyrics, the melody of the song that is very appealing and Madonna's vocals (and backing vocals) help too). Hope it turns a single.

She's Not Me It'd be one of the best songs if it was not so long and so repetitive at the end - nothing that a 'single edit' cannot mend. Besides that, it's a very nice tune with interesting lyrics, thinking that it was the Queen of Pop that wrote it.

Incredible Not in love with this song. Up tempo? Too fast that it irritates. The lyrics... didn't like it too. "Sex with you is incredible"? WTF, this line is so obvious, and so not interesting... Typical Pharell production. Besides that, the song is too long too.

Beat Goes On Nice song. It has a good beat and nice lyrics. If it didn't have Kanye West it would still be a good song. It can be a good single.

Dance 2 Night Interesting instrumental and vocals. Uninteresting lyrics, that look like Prince's "Kiss" poor-sister in that aspect.

Spanish Lesson Almost all reviews underrate this song. In fact... I liked it! Of course the lyrics seem poor in the verses, but the chorus is very catchy and appealing. The instrumental is typical Pharell, reminded me of one of his hit singles. It can be another great single.

Devil Wouldn't Recognize You Madonna tried to record her "Cry Me A River", which is a good song. This version of "Devil" looks like a Timberlake song extracted from his last album.
It's not bad and I like the song, but I can bet that the original version that Madonna wrote during the Re-Invention tour for a cancelled musical was muuuuuch better.

Voices Interesting lyrics, and they're good to close the album. The instrumental... a bit bland for me, I was expecting more for the album closer.

Veredict: unlike many critics said, I found the album pretty cohesive in terms of instrumental and theme, it doesn't run from what Madonna gives us about album cohesion.
The album is not bad, but is not great.
I find many troubles in the production, many ideas that were great but that don't necessarily fit the song or that specific section. I have already said too many times that Pharrell has some great ideas, but he is not a good producer and that is not hard to find errors in his production works.

This album is gonna be another big hit for Madonna - specially in the NA - but is not even close to Madonna's best albums (Erotica, Confession On A Dancefllor, Ray Of Light, American Life, Like A Prayer).
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:33 AM   #59
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I'm really liking all the songs, except for "Candy Shop", at this point. It's ok, but I'm not digging it like I am with all the others. "Heartbeat" is my favorite right now. It's got a very early Madonna sound, and it's fun to dance to.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:55 AM   #60
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I haven't heard it,
but if it it's indeed worse than Confessions - which already had very few good songs, some atrocious lyrics and seemed to be more about production than anything else - then I don't need to hear it
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