Tuesday, April 29, 2008

ALBUM REVIEW: Madonna's "Hard Candy"

Collaborations: Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, and Kanye West.

's approach was to give Madonna rhythms and intonations that you wouldn't normally hear from her. It's almost as if he was trying to help her make up for the horrible rap lyrics in her American Life album by giving her uncharacteristic lines like "get stupid" during a Teriyaki Boys-infused detour in the mildly entertaining "Give It 2 Me" and "see my booty get down" in "Heartbeat," which I'm sure unintentionally reminds me of the character Virginiaka on "SNL" who often says "see my booty go up and down." He also sped up the way she sings in "She's Not Me" and produced an extremely hot guitar/drum/flamenco beat for "Spanish Lesson" that she destroyed with lame English translations and monotone Gwen Stefani-esque moments. Once I heard "Incredible," I realized that the problem with the Pharrell-Madonna collaboration process is that he's really just producing songs that he himself would record. Madonna is just not this eclectic. Her tracks have never changed up backbeats as many times as the songs he's provided her with do. His best contribution is a 70s throwback called "Beat Goes On" where he sings on the chorus and Kanye West raps a few sub-par verses. Listen:

There was also a semi-tolerable 70s/techno track in Timbaland and Justin Timberlake's 5 production contributions, which was called "Dance 2night." If she wanted to release a slow-beat track, I'd skip the lyrically juvenile "Voices" and opt for "Devil Wouldn't Recognize You." I'm not sure why, but it gives me a "Cry me a River" vibe. Listen:

Besides "4 Minutes," which grew on me, my personal favorite of the Timbsters collabos is "Miles Away." Listen:

All in all, I'd recommend downloading choice tracks instead of investing in the whole shebang.

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