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Was Anyone Else Caught Off Guard by Hard Candy?


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  • 6 months later...

Being in the music industry at that level is not easy. She did really good till 2008. Then the Live Nation deal, with more than the double of dates of each tour than when she was younger, the unfair comparisions with other new artists (the press called them 'Queens of pop' with only 1 fucking record) I mean... is not easy to have inspiration when you are EXHAUSTED, depressed, angry or dismissed constantly. 

I'm sure that she just wanted distraction at that time, and worked really hard for the show... the album was a little on automatic mode, but is still a good one, and actually: it had a cohesive sound. 

And yes, she was exhausted with the divorce, etc and she still delivered with a 100% energy on the Sticky & Sweet Tour and the MDNA Tour, and raising a good family at the same time.  

For me that is a superwoman. Super human. Is not fair that we are still talking bad about Hard Candy or MDNA when she did 120 % of what a person at her age can tolerate. 
Please move on from the Blond Ambition days, it's really healty. Like A Virgin is a worst album than Hard Candy and it was following trends at it's time for example... 

 

 

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Turned 50. Got divorced. Got a (bad) facelift. Went back to America.  Pandered to that crowd with a tired musical trend. And tried to save Malawi all at the same time.

Scrub away the male voices overwhelming that record, go back to the original boxer graphic design design and you’d have a wonderful album.

But in her midlife crisis she stumbled and left a vacuum where she used to dominate. Her lack of interest or understanding of the digital generation allowed a certain copycat to steal her recipe and swoop in to fill that vacuum. 

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6 minutes ago, xrayeyes said:

Turned 50. Got divorced. Got a (bad) facelift. Went back to America.  Pandered to that crowd with a tired musical trend. And tried to save Malawi all at the same time.

Scrub away the male voices overwhelming that record, go back to the original boxer graphic design design and you’d have a wonderful album.

But in her midlife crisis she stumbled and left a vacuum where she used to dominate. Her lack of interest or understanding of the digital generation allowed a certain copycat to steal her recipe and swoop in to fill that vacuum. 

rubbish 

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11 minutes ago, xrayeyes said:

Oh, and one more thing. 
GUY OSEARY. 

He is the main cause of her downfall. Never forget. 

downfall ? what ridiculous comments from you - its funny you call it a downfall when i bet she made the most money from this era with touring so as a artist she was still doing pretty well for herself - why should she ponder to the gays with every record ? she is not a performing monkey for the gays 

hard candy was the moment she started writing music to totally support a tour and i feel this is why it seems she made a rubbish album when live it worked quite well same goes for madame x and mdna 

she moved on to the big money maker when record sales were getting low for the majority of artists due to illegal downloading ..i cant blame her .

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For me it has some very nice songs I always play on springtime, when it came: Hearbeat, Devil would not recognize you, she´s not me, Give it to me, that other duet with Justin that is very dreamy..ok is not special or groundbreaking  or wellsung as ROL o Music were but that´s maybe one of the peaks of her artistry and most inspired works, whereas Hard Candy is just a regular good pop record that she did so she was able to Tour, as someone pointed out very cleverly! 

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it makes complete sense that madonna, who started her career as an rnb based disco pop club act who's first 2 albums, like a prayer, erotica and bedtime stories were deeply rooted in rnb based genres would one day do that again. ray of light onwards may had ditched the end influences but it doesn't mean she would never do that genre again.

 

hard candy was the other side of confessions. confessions was euro centric club disco dance pop and hard candy was american centric club rnb disco dance pop

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I've got a soft spot for it. Was expecting something a little more interesting, I was surprised by how basic a lot Timbaland's production was after being a fan of FutureSex/LoveSounds. But every song is pretty solid, certainly could've been made better with a bit of beefing up on the production side. It was definitely the beginning of the slippage in quality control.

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On 7/31/2021 at 12:24 PM, anton5000 said:

I remember reading somewhere that after the Confessions massive success, Madonna was already lining up with the Pet Shop Boys to create a second dance album, like Confessions 2.0; but Warner for some reason (maybe so she won't sounded repeated) thought it would be cool if she went to the RnB/Urban direction and they convinced her to go that route... Big mistake.

However, listening this album nowadays, I still enjoy it and find it at least somewhat more coherent than the mess that was Rebel Heart or Madame Mess, MDNA is another generic EDM mess but I really enjoy that album lol.

Well, I didn't know that, so I started looking for more information and indeed, Neil during a conference confirmed that at the beginning of 2007 they were contacted by Warner itself to ask them to produce the new album of the goddess Madonna, which they accepted happy but the strange thing is that days later Warner calls them again to inform them that they had changed their minds and to forget the pre-agreement they had made since they had changed their minds and had decided that Madonna's new album would have a more urban sound.

This make me think that Warner was ahead of the facts by contacting the PetshopBoys since Madonna had already recorded some demos with Pharrell (maybe Warner wasn't aware of that) and had already decided what style her new album would have, so she rejected Warner's proposal.

But what seems unforgivable to me is that we have missed that collaboration of those 2 music legends (Madonna and PetshopBoys) recognized worldwide, I am not exaggerating when I say that it would have been the album of the year due to the great expectation that would have been generated by seeing what would be the result of that union. Sorry and Jump would be the perfect foretaste of what was to come: a truly orgasmic album. But what we got in the end was ... Hard Candy.

Unfortunately I feel that accepting Warner's proposal to make an album with the PetshopBoys would imply for Madonna a greater commitment and seriousness that she was not willing to offer since it was her last album with Warner and she did not want to commit much to the project and she left everything in the hands of the fashion producers at the time.

 

 

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12 hours ago, chaosmen1984mk said:

Well, I didn't know that, so I started looking for more information and indeed, Neil during a conference confirmed that at the beginning of 2007 they were contacted by Warner itself to ask them to produce the new album of the goddess Madonna, which they accepted happy but the strange thing is that days later Warner calls them again to inform them that they had changed their minds and to forget the pre-agreement they had made since they had changed their minds and had decided that Madonna's new album would have a more urban sound.

This make me think that Warner was ahead of the facts by contacting the PetshopBoys since Madonna had already recorded some demos with Pharrell (maybe Warner wasn't aware of that) and had already decided what style her new album would have, so she rejected Warner's proposal.

But what seems unforgivable to me is that we have missed that collaboration of those 2 music legends (Madonna and PetshopBoys) recognized worldwide, I am not exaggerating when I say that it would have been the album of the year due to the great expectation that would have been generated by seeing what would be the result of that union. Sorry and Jump would be the perfect foretaste of what was to come: a truly orgasmic album. But what we got in the end was ... Hard Candy.

Unfortunately I feel that accepting Warner's proposal to make an album with the PetshopBoys would imply for Madonna a greater commitment and seriousness that she was not willing to offer since it was her last album with Warner and she did not want to commit much to the project and she left everything in the hands of the fashion producers at the time.

 

 

I don’t think it was so much Warner’s idea, but more so Madonna’s. Even Stuart Price said in an interview that Madonna asked for his advice on whether to go down the rnb route or not.

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It's when she started listening to her kids (Rocco loved Timbaland & Lola loved Justin) for advice on what was hot in music. It's still a better album than MDNA and better production than on Rebel Heart. It has great tracks on it. Who cares today how late she was with that sound in 2008 ? And Pharrell had major success again like 3 years later with that same sound again and nobody said anything when Daft Punk co-opted that sound for their horrible album...most of the tracks sound good today, they are still better than the awful dance music made at the time. I don't like 4 minutes but it gave her  her last true hit. I hate Devil because it sounds so Justin and i've never understood his appeal and i certainly do not see him as some Phil spector like pop genius (it has been said before everybody finally woke up). The cover is plain awful though. She looks terribly tired on all the pics from that photoshoot. 

She was already more interested in making movies (she directed Filth & Wisdom while recording it and edited I Am Because We are at the same time too). But it seems  the flop of American Life & the mild success of Confessions in the US really pissed her off and she wanted another hit. Since, she's been obsessed with reconquering the american charts. And failed. With Madame X it sounded like she wanted to go back to when she did not make music aimed at the charts but like in the last quarter of recording she decided to try again by adding stuff that sounds specifically made for them in mind. 

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Well it was confirmed well before the album came out she was working with Pharrel. And then Timbaland. We even had demos leak. The choice of producers alone told us what to expect and to be honest, I remember being relieved by the outcome as it was better than I imagined. Yes the album was behind the trends at the time but it has aged very well and I really enjoy this album now.

I also don't think its true to say this album is un-Madonna. There is actually a lot about it that is very similar to the first 2 albums right down to the choice of producer/s and lyrical themes. Reggie Lucas, Steve Bray and Nile Rogers were in fact rnb producers. To some extent Madonna's roots were actually in rnb, or certainly her early musical influences.

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Think it's a solid pop album  - no where near as good as Confessions, American Life, Music and Ray of Light -  but miles better than MDNA, Rebel Heart and Madame X 

The tour left me cold too many past hits badly remixed taking out what made them great in the first place  - the only section I liked was the latin section

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8 hours ago, deathproof said:

I don’t think it was so much Warner’s idea, but more so Madonna’s. Even Stuart Price said in an interview that Madonna asked for his advice on whether to go down the rnb route or not.

It was definitely Madonna's idea and decision to go for an R&B rhytm on her new album but I think Warner decided to make the PetshopBoys believe by calling them a second time that they were the ones who had decided to go for that rhythm surely to not make the PetshopBoys look bad Madonna and not having to tell them directly that she was the one who refused to work with them. I also think that Warner wanted to release a farewell album in a big way bringing these 2 artists together but Madonna was more excited about what she would do with Live Nation and didn'´t put as much effort into it as she did into her previous albums where you could see her on TV. countless times proudly promoting their product.

With Hard Candy the promotion of the disc was almost null. By the way, the album is not bad and I'm sure that if the main single had been Candy Shop another story would have been. It is a very addictive and catchy song, even Madonna herself liked this song so much that she performed it on several tours and even those who are not Madonna fans like it.

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On 8/1/2021 at 2:31 AM, thegoldencalf said:
It’s funny when fans complain about the Sound being to influenced by Justin and Timbaland and then they single out Devil as their favorite track. Which is literally Cry Me A River Part II.
I totally agree with your take on this. I find all the Justin/Timbaland tracks unoriginal and dated at the time of the release.
But the Pharrell tracks are amazing and totally make up for it.

Most of the The Neptunes/Pharrell tracks suck!

Also, her voice sounds awful in many of these unfamiliar pockets.

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