Do ya’ll know what tomorrow is?
It’s the release of Madonna’s 11th (count ‘em… ELEVENTH) studio album, Hard Candy. In my world, any new Madonna album is cause for a National Celebration… and trust me, I’m really needing a celebration right now. It’s like she’s my frikkin’ patron saint. Saint Madge… it has a nice ring. She’s always there when I need her.
All that said, the weeks leading up to tomorrow have been torture. Madonna’s promotional team is like a machine. The reviews have been pouring out for many, many days (it seems like months), and I have literally been counting down the days. Surprisingly, the reviews, in large part, have been glowing, and for once I find myself smiling instead of fuming after reading them. Honestly, the mean-spirited, hateful, uninformed reviews that came out before and during the heyday of Confessions on a Dancefloor really pissed me off. So much so, in fact, that I had many dear friends worried that I was taking all of it waaaay too seriously. So it was good news for my general mood and temper, not to mention my heart condition, when I read that not only was Hard Candy well received, but even recommended by the most jaded and bitter reviewers in the music industry.
I don’t want to get too deep with all of this, but there was a time when people, including myself, expressed doubt concerning Madonna’s new musical direction. When I heard she was collaborating with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake (that’s a lot of Timber, right there), I wasn’t so much worried… I was TERRIFIED! Compromise is not in Madonna’s gestalt, dammit, and I was chewing my nails off their nailbeds thinking she might be teetering on the edge of selling out.
A few days ago, Madonna released the entire album on her Myspace page… a risky thing to do as far as record sales are concerned, but I enjoy seeing her so confident in her work. I listened. I listened again.
Let me tell you something. I worried for nothing. This album is utterly amazing, and I feel like I should probably do some sort of self-mortification for doubting her. Has anyone seen my bull-whip? The one with the spikes on it?
If you’re interested, here are some major reviews for the album. Of course, the ratings/grades/scores aren’t indicative of the prose, but these reviewers really don’t enjoy giving Madonna any kind of credit. 4 stars from the Rolling Stone is like… earth shattering, apparently.
The Rolling Stone (4/5 stars)
Entertainment Weekly (B+)
The New York Times (+)
The Times (3/5)
And a track by track analysis from Matthew at Boy Culture
And no, I don't actually have a heart condition.