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Madonna - Hard Candy 5th Anniversary


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Old 24-04-2013, 19:50
matt22101987
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Hey guys, Madonna's 11th album Hard Candy turns 5 years old this month! Time has flown by! I know a lot of you can't stand this album for various different reasons and compare it to the previous album before it, Confessions... But I personally think that it was a great album, not her best, but still a great album. I liked how she didn't stay in the "safe" zone and do a sequel to Confessions, but instead did something different and added that Urban and R&B feel to the album. Also the album includes one of my ultimate favourite Madonna tunes - 4 MINUTES! What a tune!

Four years before she was waving her pom-poms onstage next to Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. at the Super Bowl (the most-watched halftime show in history, for the record), Madonna was already working up a sweat (and flaunting her vascularity) in the middle of a boxing ring to the tune of her crunchy, workout-ready collection of electro-pop treats: Hard Candy, originally released in April 2008.


Five years later, the record still holds as a mixed candy jar. Some confections have become a bit less tasty, while others prove to be far stickier, sweeter and far more fresh than their expected shelf life.

So I'm listening through the album again and rediscovering the rawness of Madonna’s sugar.

So what did you guys think to the Sticky and Sweet album Hard Candy!? Hurry, you only got 4 minutes!

Take your time, and leave a comment below with your thoughts on Hard Candy....
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Old 24-04-2013, 20:07
tortfeasor
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I'm in a minority of people because on balance I actually prefer 'Hard Candy' to 'Confessions.'

Don't get me wrong (as Chrissie Hynde sang), 'Confessions' is a very good album but I still get bored listening to it from beginning to end, particularly in the middle where I find it sounds a bit samey samey. I do like the references to 70s disco music, particularly because I'm a big fan of the music from that period; I liked all of the singles and some of the album tracks are brilliant. However, it isn't a Madonna album I listen to from beginning to end that often. That's just my opinion.

I listen to 'Hard Candy' and tracks from it more than anything from 'Confessions.' I personally heard similarities to 1980s Madonna in some of the songs from 'Hard Candy': Madonna's 1980s output will always be my favourite, so 'Hard Candy' struck a chord with me. For instance, the 'get up out of your seat...' chant in 'Candy Shop' reminded me just a bit of a similar chant in 'Everybody.' I liked it from the word go and was genuinely excited about the Sticky & Sweet tour when I'd watched footage from Radio 1's big weekend at home. The concert did not disappoint either and having been to both a 'Confessions' and 'Sticky & Sweet' tour show, I personally thought 'Sticky & Sweet' was more entertaining, mixed and visually stunning.

I also happen to be a fan of 'The Neptunes' sound, if one can call it that. Yes, I will admit that it can be argued that songs on 'Hard Candy' sound samey samey as well, but for some reason I don't get that bored listening to them.

In addition, the album featured 'Miles Away,' which is one of my favourite tracks from recent years.
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Old 24-04-2013, 20:11
MrMarple
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Until she released the abysmal MDNA, Hard Candy was her worst album IMO. Now they are neck & neck for the honour.
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Old 24-04-2013, 20:22
matt22101987
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A teaser advert for the album back in 2008! Awesome! - http://youtu.be/xUCY2FwAqSQ
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Old 24-04-2013, 20:26
Gigi4
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Definitely not my favourite by her, but it does have a few great songs. I really like Devil Wouldn't Recognize You, Voices and Miles Away. I tend to like the more traditional pop songs. I don't like the more hip hop/R&B influenced songs since that is my least favourite genre of music.
For me, MDNA is miles better than HC. But a lot of that is my personal preference in that I like dance/electronic much more than R&B/hip hop.
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Old 24-04-2013, 20:28
RetroMusicFan
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I'm in a minority of people because on balance I actually prefer 'Hard Candy' to 'Confessions.'

Don't get me wrong (as Chrissie Hynde sang), 'Confessions' is a very good album but I still get bored listening to it from beginning to end, particularly in the middle where I find it sounds a bit samey samey. I do like the references to 70s disco music, particularly because I'm a big fan of the music from that period; I liked all of the singles and some of the album tracks are brilliant. However, it isn't a Madonna album I listen to from beginning to end that often. That's just my opinion.

I listen to 'Hard Candy' and tracks from it more than anything from 'Confessions.' I personally heard similarities to 1980s Madonna in some of the songs from 'Hard Candy': Madonna's 1980s output will always be my favourite, so 'Hard Candy' struck a chord with me. For instance, the 'get up out of your seat...' chant in 'Candy Shop' reminded me just a bit of a similar chant in 'Everybody.' I liked it from the word go and was genuinely excited about the Sticky & Sweet tour when I'd watched footage from Radio 1's big weekend at home. The concert did not disappoint either and having been to both a 'Confessions' and 'Sticky & Sweet' tour show, I personally thought 'Sticky & Sweet' was more entertaining, mixed and visually stunning.

I also happen to be a fan of 'The Neptunes' sound, if one can call it that. Yes, I will admit that it can be argued that songs on 'Hard Candy' sound samey samey as well, but for some reason I don't get that bored listening to them.

In addition, the album featured 'Miles Away,' which is one of my favourite tracks from recent years.
I'm joining that minority too, as I prefer HC to Confessions also. I love that 80s ish soul groove as I prefer her 80s stuff too.

My faves off the album are Give It 2 Me,Incredible, Dance Tonight and Beat Goes On.
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Old 24-04-2013, 20:32
Demonicrodent
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Really hated this album with a passion.
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Old 24-04-2013, 20:36
Gigi4
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I'm joining that minority too, as I prefer HC to Confessions also. I love that 80s ish soul groove as I prefer her 80s stuff too.

My faves off the album are Give It 2 Me,Incredible, Dance Tonight and Beat Goes On.
Maybe that's why I don't like it. I was not that big on her earliest 80's work. Only really got heavy into her with LAP. HC definitely does hark back to her first album in the 80's soul/funk thing. So I can see if you like her early 80's stuff you would be into it.
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Old 24-04-2013, 21:42
zummigummi
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Really hated this album with a passion.
I have every Madonna studio album on my Mp3 Player & can quite honestly say this is the only one I never listen to at all, not even a single track from it however I added it for completion reasons.

Its utterly dreadful.
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Old 24-04-2013, 22:13
Josh Pinder
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My main frustration with Hard Candy is....what it COULD have been...Madonna had Stuart Price still burning from the hot success of Confessions on hand and a song lined up with Pet Shop Boys too...she had The Neptunes there (which of coruse ended up in the album) and Diplo (Madonna heard his 2006 remix of Hung Up...if you havent heard it...check it it is amazing!) but instead Warner twisted Ms arm a lot...they kidna wanted COnfessions but for a Stateside audience...and of course Timbaland was hot off of Justins success with Futuresex/Lovesound album and JT obviously...so they were pushed onto M....however PSB and Price sadly didnt make the cut...although still close friends (as close they can be with Madonna anyhow) we never got to hear it :/

However that aside....Hard Candy is like a soft sequel (ironically) to Confessions On A Dance Floor....it has that similar "echoes to the past" theme....but what i ADORE about COnfessions was that she pushed forward...she utilised 70s Punk/Disco, 80s Synth/New Wave 90s House 00s Electronica and combined them and pushed them millions of livht years into the future...it was incredible...and dark and brutal in places too but pushed you to the euphoric edge...whereas Hard Candy feels kinda like how COADF was marketed as...it really is an ode to her 1980s early work...her collabs with Jellybean, Nile Rodgers and Reggie Lucas 1982 - 1985...but IMO it definitely doesnt reach those stanards of innovation...instead it feels like early 80s Synthpop/Electro Disco injected with then contemporary R&B/Urban Electro rhythms....not a bad thing...but it feels a bit disjointed in certain areas due to this....however INCREDIBLE is my favourite song on the album and IMO one of her finest ever songs too...it really is the stand out for me...the journey across almost 7 minutes is a briliant idea that works well...love it...Shes Not Me has a cult following, Miles Away is a gentle melody, give it 2 Me makes you burn into a sweat, Heartbeat also is a punchy number and of course the stunning power of Devil Wouldnt Recognise You....very very smooth and beautiful.

And while it is cohesive and definitely one of the finer albums of 2008...i do feel it could have pushed the level of innovation much harder (see what i did there) than what the result was....plus the imagery i did not understand...i love the wrestler vibe, i loved the willy wonka vibe....but together it didnt look as great as what it could have been....maybe that was the point? Unsure....but still compared to her previous 10 albums it is solid but not a masterpiece but it has a flow that i enjoy replaying and it reminds me of summer 2008 a lot too...my final year of Secondary School and everything So yeah...all round a really solid album piece but ultimately it had the potential to be so so so much more than the sum of its sticky and sweet parts...
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Old 24-04-2013, 22:17
Josh Pinder
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Also for "Pop comparatives" and contemporaries etc in terms of 2008 released i do definitely feel Hard Candy is a more effective album than recent releases at the time by Janet, Kylie, Britney....it seemed to be the year of returning female artists really....even the summer saw ahem...Donna Summer (RIP) and Cyndi give out their efforts too...but it does have to be said while Hard Candy does face a lot of bashing for different reasons and while it may indeed not be up with her best work...it was better than a plethora of the material during this time epriod definitely!
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Old 24-04-2013, 23:08
SpencerLevey
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tbh This is my favorite Madonna album.
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Old 24-04-2013, 23:20
Josh Pinder
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tbh This is my favorite Madonna album.
You know i have seen a few that have also said this...funnily enough i do think people forget that actually Hard Candy did bring new fans on board and the album did sell 4.5million and actually did get a handful of reviews acclaiming the album too

Anyways i do wish she kept with the Black Madonna concept and idea and cohesiveness...imagine...I adore M and Kleins visuals together...

https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.n...32245718_n.jpg
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Old 24-04-2013, 23:28
hello.member
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MDNA is definitely worse than Hard Candy in my opinion.
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Old 24-04-2013, 23:30
Zack06
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I liked R&B Madonna....I really liked Candy Shop, Heartbeat (though the Nicole S. version is just as good), Spanish Lesson, Miles Away, Beat Goes On and 4 Minutes of course...

I don't think this album was anywhere near as bad as some people claim. The production was hot for the time, and it was yet another side of Madonna to see. I think it's an underrated album.
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Old 24-04-2013, 23:32
zummigummi
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MDNA is definitely worse than Hard Candy in my opinion.
They are as bad as each other, both had Madonna following trends instead of being the trendsetter like she was with every other studio album she recorded.

However MDNA at least had a really fun pop song in "Girl Gone Wild" even though anyone from Britney to The Saturdays could have been the ones singing it.
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Old 24-04-2013, 23:38
That_Guy
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Just an awful album. That first song. Really? Madonna? MDNA is a little better but not by much.
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Old 24-04-2013, 23:42
ritchie2yk
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It's an ok album that will stand the test of time longer than mdna , devil wouldn't recognise you is quite a tune, she should carry this sound into her next era and ditch the throwaway poppy tracks that carry no identity
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Old 24-04-2013, 23:45
That_Guy
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She should go back to being MADONNA.
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Old 25-04-2013, 00:54
Gigi4
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She should go back to being MADONNA.
And how didn't she do that on MDNA? If you listen to it there are echoes of her past records on it. People say she is following trends because she did dance on MDNA and dance music is considered trendy now but she has always had a heavy dance element to her music.Listen to her first record. Even HC although it has some R&B/hip hop feel still has a strong dance element to it.
I actually think people would be more interested that if she did something that was un-Madonna that people might not expect from her. I like her dance stuff and she does it well, but I think she could change it up a little and do something less dance/electronic.
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Old 25-04-2013, 03:02
mmeister2
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I really like all of Madonna's albums but if I'm honest this is my least favourite. It just didn't feel as revolutionary as her other albums, which were all trendsetters and ahead of their time. While this is still a fantastic album and better than alot of the recent pop albums created, it just felt a little lacking. When listening to it there were some really good stand-out tracks, but then there were others which felt as though they could have just as easily belonged to Britney Spears, Katy Perry or other more modern pop stars. I don't think it deserves the reputation it has, because it's still an excellent album, but I don't get that same 'wow' factor with it as I do with her other albums.
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Old 25-04-2013, 09:25
TH14
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It's a very average album and I don't think that genre of music suits her really. It has a couple of decent tracks and I really like 4 minutes but I won't be listening to that album in years to come. When you hear albums like True Blue and Like A Prayer then listen to Hard Candy, you can understand why some people would consider her past her best. MDNA was a decent album though with some very average to weak tracks mixed with some absolutely fantastic ones..it's a very erratic record but some of the music on there has convinced me that she is capable of putting out another genius record and that she hasn't lost it completely. She needs to focus on her music and not be distracted by other projects so much and if she selects the right people to work with them I'm sure she will rediscover her magic
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Old 25-04-2013, 10:41
Terry Hesticles
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My main frustration with Hard Candy is....what it COULD have been
Agree with this...

She should go back to being MADONNA.
..and this!

I love Give It To Me, She's Not Me, and Miles Away (which should have been a massive hit, it has 'classic' Madonna written all over it!). Also I think this is just me but the intro to Devil Wouldn't Recognize You has always sounded like Kylie's Red Blooded Woman to me!
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Old 25-04-2013, 17:22
Josh Pinder
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I do find it funny when some say hard Candy is her most R&B/Urban/trying to harness this audience...but ironically i think actually Madonna did bring the more Pop aspects out of Pharrell (man i dig him!) and The Neptunes here....it is very Electro Urban and very Synthpop and very much echoes elements of her first two albums which i very much dig....and Hard Candy i feel on replay sounds more like a group album....i mean Pharrell and JT vocals are on all their respective collaborations (not to mention Kanye West included too due to him being in the next door studio and he came in to mess about with M lol)

I mean lets be honest...i think we all knew Madonnas main focus (much like recently with MDNA) was to embark on her new Live Nation 10 year deal (whatever it was called)...Filth & Wisdom she was filmig and she had the original Black Madonna concept n her mind and had Stuart Price, Pet Shop Boys (for one song on a Price co-production), Diplo and The Neptunes on board.....then Warner said they wanted t o push her into a more Stateside commercial arena...so Timbaland was called in and Timberlake saw it as a massive chance for him to get involved too...the result....Stuart Price was left off the project and so were PSB ( although they are still chums with M of course) and Diplo was scrapped in early stages sadly....so i guess Madonna didnt want to focus on interviews/television etc which is why the promo was far more minimmal compared to any previous album/era before (at the time was her leats promoted album until MDNA) with a Candy Shop promo tour in New York, Maidenhead and Paris and then straight into the world tour...and only three singles with two simple videos and a live one.

So yeah...but re-listening man how Shes Not Me has become a cult classic and Incredible is such a riot and i found new love for Dance 2Night....adore Beat goes on, Miles Away, Devil and Heartbeat and man give it 2 me is a perfect burn out song!

And funnily enough...i do prefer Hard Candy to MDNA now on re-listening..i do think i prefer the cohesiveness of it maybe...and the idea of it being more of a team effort and echo to the past...an i do prefer it to True Blue too personally (not that i dont enjoy True Blue i just play Hard Candy so much more)
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Old 25-04-2013, 17:32
Josh Pinder
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I really like all of Madonna's albums but if I'm honest this is my least favourite. It just didn't feel as revolutionary as her other albums, which were all trendsetters and ahead of their time. While this is still a fantastic album and better than alot of the recent pop albums created, it just felt a little lacking. When listening to it there were some really good stand-out tracks, but then there were others which felt as though they could have just as easily belonged to Britney Spears, Katy Perry or other more modern pop stars. I don't think it deserves the reputation it has, because it's still an excellent album, but I don't get that same 'wow' factor with it as I do with her other albums.
Funnily enough...like i said earlier....2008 was a year of returning female atists/pop acts and Katy Perry made her comemrcial debut in 2008 as did gaga and of course Britney with her media coverage in that time period too! and what with Blackout and Circus...and of course Danja on there as well as on Hard Candy it does generate those vibes with it being in a transitional period...being Madonna but appealing to what AMerica is listening to for the first time ever in her career looking at the sheer commercial angle of America rather than the music showcasing itself off to the world much like all 10 albums beforehand did really....although you could argue that Like A Virgin and True Blue albums catered for the masses and commercial views of the mid 80s however with the wave of Dance Pop/Synthpop/Retro Pop styles acros that time period...and of coruse Bedtime Stories in 1994/5 covering the mid-90s shwocase of rise of R&B,Soul music in AMerica....but regardless it was a rarity...and still is really...i mean for all people slam MDNA for...it didnt really have a commercial look/feel around it bar the singles that were released.

But ido hope with her recent political stance in the world and the Pussy Riot controversies and the Malawi insidents etc and plus her own personal life i hope she is ready for a new musical reinvention and feel...something that can compete with Like a Prayer, Erotica, Confessions, Ray Of Light, Music, American Life, The FIrst album and be presented alongside them...she has it in her...so come on M!
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