Monday, April 28, 2008

Madonna - Hard Candy...

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.


Mary said...

Madonna rocks anyway you slice her. It's fascinating to see how she reinvents herself with each album.

(Glad you don't have a heart condition.) :)

Erin G said...

I heard one of the singles on the radio the other day and I liked it, even if it was a little mainstream-sounding for her.