Corporate line: Madonna’s eleventh, and final, studio album for Warner Bros., Hard Candy is a brilliant up-tempo collection that adds a hip-hop beat to the cultural icon’s club sensibilities, thanks to collaborations with Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams, and Nate “Danja” Hills. Following her previous studio album, 2005’s Confessions On A Dance Floor, which debuted #1 and has sold more than 8 million copies around the globe, Hard Candy punctuates the first 25 years of the album career of the most successful female artist in history with a musical exclamation point.
“Incredible” – A hot beat provided by the duo of Timberlake and Timbaland.
“Devil Wouldn’t Recognize You” – A smartly written track that doesn’t require Madonna to race against a hyper dance beat. Instead she can take it slow and still kill.
“4 Minutes” – Unbelievably Madonna takes a backseat to Justin Timberlake. You have to wonder who’s song it is? Timberlake steals the show.
“Candy Shop” – Madonna can’t sell the sexual innuendo nearly as well on her 11th album as she could even on her 10th album.
“Miles Away” – The ballad is weak and lacks a big hook that has always been the Madonna trademark.
“Spanish Lesson” – The worst song on the album. Not even worth mentioning.
“Hard Candy” is unremarkable. It’s hard to even believe that a Madonna album could be so lackluster. Madonna albums are an event and yet songs like the subpar “Beat Goes On” sound like an aged pop star going through the motions. Not even an all-star cast of producers and guest stars can save this album.
Watch the video for “Four Minutes”