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Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Hard Candy - Madonna

It's slightly off topic, but I must congratulate her royal madgesty on her new album. She has really dug deeply into her 80s closet for this fantabulous creation. Okay, the single is not her best work but there are some real gems on the album.

'She's Not Me' is pure Madonna. She does 'comedy bitter' with the lyrics in a way that we have not heard since 'Thief of Hearts' from the 'Erotica' album. I cannot resist the wonderful early Michael Jackson synth strings in the chorus that provide a simple but effective harmonic colour for the chorus. 'She's got legs up to there and such beautiful hair, she's not me. Devoted for life. She'll make a beautiful wife. She's not me.' To which she cheekily retorts 'I know I can do it better!'

She's called in some of the producers of the moment including Timbaland and the Neptunes. However, she has not just rehashed what they have done previously and just added her vocals. She has clearly put her stamp on it. There is quite a disco/80s funk vibe about the album. As Stuart Price has said when interviewed on Pop Justice 'you don't write for Madonna, you collaborate with her...'

Stand out tracks for me are 'Dance Tonight', 'She's Not Me' and the snythish 'Devil Wouldn't Recognise Me'.

The closing track 'Voices' is astonishing. It reminds me of her golden periods ('Like a Prayer' and 'Ray of Light'). She does epic ever so well and this song really goes on a musical journey with real developement. Musical build and evolution in a three or four minute pop song is difficult to deliver as a songwriter.

According to sales patterns so far this week, the album is projected to sell 125,000 in the UK alone in its first week. Popularity is not always a sign of quality, but with 'Hard Candy', rest assured that the majority have got it right.

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