Hard Candy

Hard Candy

4.2 38
by Madonna

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As with nearly everything she's done, the groove-heavy Hard Candy is distinctly Madonna's own. The Material Girl sculpted her sound this time out by hiring some of the hottest producers on the scene, including Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, and Pharrell and the Neptunes. Cuts like the lead-off single, "4 Minutes" (a duet with Timberlake), and the thumping, sexy title


As with nearly everything she's done, the groove-heavy Hard Candy is distinctly Madonna's own. The Material Girl sculpted her sound this time out by hiring some of the hottest producers on the scene, including Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, and Pharrell and the Neptunes. Cuts like the lead-off single, "4 Minutes" (a duet with Timberlake), and the thumping, sexy title track sparkle with a contemporary club feel. Yet Madonna's classic pop sensibilities are far from lost in the mix. "Beat Goes On" recalls vintage singles like "Holiday"; "Heartbeat" is sleek, singalong Europop; and "Miles Away" is a love song that rides a sweet midtempo groove.

Editorial Reviews

Rolling Stone - Caryn Ganz
Like Confessions, Hard Candy celebrates dance as salvation, but even the euphorically groovy "Heartbeat" and "Dance 2night" strike wistful notes. Although the uptempo set features no ballads, the dominant lyrical themes — regret, yearning, distrust — are far from upbeat.
Blender - Jon Dolan
On Hard Candy, she's like an aging master thief sneaking into the temple of pop goodies for one last big score.
People Magazine
The singer indulges her choral side on the album-closer "Voices," which features production by Justin Timberlake, Timbaland and Nate "Danjahandz" Hills. The song builds to a dark, cinematic crescendo, as the album closes with one lone tone.

Product Details

Release Date:
Warner Bros / Wea

Related Subjects


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Madonna   Primary Artist
Stevie Blacke   Mandolin,Strings,Mandocello
Wendy Melvoin   Guitar
Dan Warner   Guitar
Hannon B. Lane   Keyboards
Timbaland   Drums,DJ,Guest Appearance
Pharrell Williams   Guest Appearance
Justin Timberlake   Guitar,Background Vocals
Andrew Coleman   Guitar
Monte Pittman   Guitar

Technical Credits

Madonna   Composer,Producer,Executive Producer
Mark "Spike" Stent   Engineer
Hannon B. Lane   Producer
Timbaland   Producer
Pharrell Williams   Composer
Tim Mosley   Composer
Neptunes   Producer
Justin Timberlake   Composer,Producer
Andrew Coleman   Engineer
Giovanni Bianco   Art Direction
Alex Dromgoole   Engineer
Madonna Ciccone   Composer
Nate Hills   Composer
Nathaniel Hills   Composer
Hannon Lane   Composer
Marcella Araica   Engineer

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Hard Candy 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
DarthTyranus More than 1 year ago
another great album by the one and only madonna!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Madonna's is back and doesn't dissapoint. This CD is great, lots of fun songs. Still very Madonna, but with a little R&B mixed in. Give it 2 me it's a great 2nd single. It's going to be huge!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another outstanding effort from Madonna, this goes back to her pop roots while still sounding utterly contemporary. No doubt about it: vocally, musically, and conceptually, she's got it going on as much as ever before.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I don't discredit the previous reviewer's thoughts on this album. On the other hand, I enjoy this album for what it is. Madonna delving back into the HipHop genre, which is great for her. She did it wonderfully back when Bedtime Stories came out, and she hasn't lost touch with it ever since. I think it's great and fun dance music. I've enjoyed this album just as much as Confessions.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Madonna returs to the music charts with this great dance, r&b-pop albu. The album follows "Confessions" with the trend of dance tracks, but they also lean into a new, r&b territory. Madonna's partnership with Timberlake in the track "4 Minutes" soars, no wonder it's topping the charts all around! She has implemented great innovations here, and she continues to be bold and outgoing, like always.... They lyrics to the track are typical of Madonna, with some new touches of Hip-Hopish lines to them from time to time, making them interesting but, sometimes, not at the height of her previous songs raved by critics for her genious in writting. To conclude-it is a must of the moment!! Although it is not clear if it'll stand the test of time like her many other recordings, she has done a pretty good job in her 11th studio album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Madonna will make history once again with her new album "Hard Candy". "4 Minutes" is an awesome collaboration with Justin Timberlake. The entire album is non-stop get your ass on the Dance Floor. Anyone refering to her as "Yuck" should get whipped. They clearly DO NOT have any respect for Her Majesty Lady M.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anyone being a true Madonna fan knows that she likes to be trendy, stylish and never repeat the same type of music she has already created. Hard Candy is so upbeat and danceable and her willingness to work with different producers, mixers and artists only goes to show that she continues to be versatile and always wanting to learn more about her talent. Fans that continue to look back only on her past songs should look to bands that constantly recreate the same sound time and again. As Madonna will be 50 in August, I can only hope that she continues to take what is current in the music world and make the sound her own. Way to go Madonna-You ROCK!
Guest More than 1 year ago
the album itself it okay. nothing special. every song today has to be produced by either timbaland or jt. because of this, everything sounds the same. my concern. how the hell can madonna be inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame when she's a pop artist? this particular album has a hip hop flavor to it but it's not rock and roll. i'm not saying this album is bad because it's not. it's predictable, and it's right on par with everything else that's current, hip, and trendy. i think i'm going to stop listening to music and start reading more books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm not exaggerating Madonna's Hard Candy contains the most upbeat, dance songs that you'll ever find. You'll also get smooth relaxing songs at the end. the album is good from start to finish.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've noticed that many of the reviews here are written by either Madonna fanatics or Madonna "haters" that either love everything she does no matter how bad, or hate everything she does no matter how good. So, take this review from a SANE overall MUSIC fan. I do think this is a great Madonna CD and it definitely deserves a spot in your collection. The state of popular music today is atrocious, so it's refreshing to hear a true professional's take on what pop music is supposed to sound like today. Hard Candy is exactly what the title implies: it's ear candy. It's not meant to change your life, or the world, or add another dimension to your existing level of depth. No. Madonna's music on this CD is just very upbeat, very listenable, very danceable and very catchy. Hard Candy is what she does best: good pop. It's also very CONSISTENT in that almost all the songs are good and cohesive. With the exception of a couple of album fillers, you can truly listen to the entire album from beginning to end. The reason as to why I won't give it a full 5 stars is because, although there are a lot of GOOD songs that I like very much, there isn't one song that I truly LOVE, as has been the case with most of her albums. But, again, Hard Candy's very good, consistent and deserves to be purchased. Madonna did good here and it's good to still see and hear her at the top of her game even as she nears 50.
Guest More than 1 year ago
hard candy rocks for madonnas new cd. I love it. so far it rocks and I really like the cd cover. I hope that I get a gift card too barns and noble. for my birthday. cause if i do then I am going too get here new cd. way too go madonna you rock with me !!!!!!!!!from LORI LORI WHATS YOUR STORY
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yep, she's done it again. I'm no fan of hip-hop whatsoever, and I was pretty apprehensive about this new one. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. With the exception of "4 Minutes", the album has the hip-hop vibe, but is more funk based. It reminds me of early Prince protege side-projects ala Vanity 6 or The Time. Once again, she definitely picks a certain genre and makes it her own. I wouldn't necessarily call it a sexy album, I don't think she's made one of those since 1992's Erotica, but it is meant to seduce the listener. And at almost 50, she's still got the little sex tricks up her sleeve. The two final tracks, "Devil Wouldn't Recognize You" and "Voices" are definitely the highlights, the former being classic Madonna. I definitely wouldn't call this her best package, but it's definitely not generic, such as Music or American Life. The one thing I find unattractive is the cover shot. She looks like a blow-up doll.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Most of Madonna's fan base bends the other way if you know what I mean and a lot of her fans do not like hip hop but rather really bad trance and gospel house music. Hard Candy is dance music with a hip hop take on that genre. This album has hints of her debut album but from another time and space so to speak. Candy Shop is wonderful and the chorus is very sweet and sexy with an RnB mood. 4 minutes is wonderful being that it is Madonna's version of Prince's 1999 where being with somebody on the dance floor during the end of time is what it is about. Heartbeat is good being that it is very hip hop influenced and Pharrell's voice and singing is what hip hop producers do "being that Madonna does not rap which i wish she did"for artists that they work for. Give It To Me reminds me of Burning Up in that she is so forcefull in her singing. This album to me is very good because it is DIFFERENT "Madonna does not typically repeat herself"Bedtime stories I would say is more RnB then hip hop because their is more hip hop production on this album and also the title track of Bedtime Stories does not work. That should have been a complete RnB song, not that thing thats on her album. Confessions don't get me wrong is a great dance album but it still had traces of that bad trance and gospel house music that is really bad. But it worked because she changed elements to that sound. I didn't like Hung Up when I first heard it and it was the same with 4 minutes but once you listen to it and see both videos you realize they are hits. To me a really bad album is I'am Breathless or True Blue minus it's respective hit singles. Another thing people have to realize is that Madonna does not care if her fans do not like her new sound at what ever year she comes out. Madonna does what she wants and if your down with it then cool and it your not then oh well. So what you have to do is whenever Madonna comes out with a new concept "this one is her final fight with Warner bros i.e. her last album until the new creations from Live Nation" or album its as if she is a NEW ARTIST!!! This is how she works. So try this HARD CANDY out and get with it because she will continue to change and develop.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Almost 2 months and I'm still playing Madonna's hot dance heavy album, Hard Candy! The opening three numbers are heavy on the high energy, with Candy Shop and Give It to Me outdoing the hit first single 4 minutes on the groove factor! This rivals any of her '80s dance hits of her first 3 albums, even Holiday, Lucky Star and Borderline! And even her 2005 effort Confessions on a Dance Floor. There's not a ballad on here as the focus is on a full blown party! Another pair of songs that stand out are Beat Goes On and the funk heavy Dance 2Night. Incredible is interesting in its groove. She's Not Me has a '70s disco-driven flavor very close to Donna Summer. And Devil Wouldn't Recognize You, Miles Away and Voices have such cool and funky beats and rhythms to them. Both the Neptunes and Timbaland/Justin Timberlake/Danja/Hannon Lane production teams (Madonna produced all the songs on here too) gave Madonna some super numbers. Few artists can go 25 years making albums and still sound this phenomenal. And her approaching 50? She's not over yet she's still rocking it and this album proves it! Hope her world tour keeps everybody dancing and getting off of their seats!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was expecting to hate this CD after being subjected to the oversaturation that was"4 Minutes." Not only did I not get why the song and the bland video was such a hit worldwide, but I figured that it was going to be Madonna's lame attempt at hip-hop. That is until I actually listened to the CD. Now, you can't pretend that the lyrics or songs are the deepest of Madonna's catalogue, but Madonna has been criticized for her lyrics her whole career. When you listen to the songs, you'd see that hidden those dance and hip-hop beats are songs that deal with a variety of dark subjects. Artist, like Nelly Furtado and even Mariah Carey, usually got lost in over-production where it's clear that the artist is not the one in creative control. However, Madonna actually makes all of the songs her own and you believe that she's still the one in charge. She's taken generic mainstream pop/hip-hop that everyone have been hearing for the last decade and makes it outstanding thanks to her just being her. Not only is this one superior to Confessions overall, but I believe this is her best CD since "Music". The songs are absolutely catchy and well-done, and even her mainstream pop execution adds to the overall sound. It's different from the rest of her work, with its closes relative being the mid-90s R&B influenced "Bedtime Story", but listen to it with an open mind and you'll notice the brilliance behind all of it and why it all works. The best three songs of the album are "Voices" "Miles Away" and "Devil Wouldn't Recognize You" in that order. The worst songs are "Spanish Lessons" and "4 Minutes" but even those songs have elements that redeem them and make them listenable.
KiwiGalNY More than 1 year ago
Loving my new Madonna CD .. the songs are great and she collaborates with some fantastic musicians Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Kanye West..Madge shows shes still fabulous at 50! Hard Candy songs dominate the recent Sticky and Sweet concert I went to see.. was great to hear them live!
MushRoomHeadfan101 More than 1 year ago
this album is pretty differnt sure its kind of urban the music is just great just great madonna proves that she is the best chick in pop music today praise madonna shes the best of the best madonna rocks my socks off
Joyachiever More than 1 year ago
I initially reviewed this on June 15, 2008. I personally feel that the cd was overall very strong and entertaining. I admit that I can understand the viewpoints of both the positive and negative reviews. However in my opinion this cd helped solidify why Madonna still is and continues to be a shining example to others to always follow your dreams and that anything is possible. This cd is the type of cd that grows on you each time you listen to it. With that being said here are my opinions on each of the songs
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the song 4 min. with Justin Timberlake. Great song!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Madonna should be ashamed of her eleventh and final studio album on Warner Records. I had the pleasure of going to an exclusive listening party of this disk a few weeks back. I wish I had stayed home and channel surfed. Her poor attempt of sashaying into the realm of r&b/hip-hop is laughable, especailly on this entire album. "Candy Shop" started off the album: a goofy, utterly senseless track in which Madonna continaully chirps the line "My sugar is raw" over and over again. No Madonna, your sugar is not raw. It's quite tired and you're slowly losing your musical touch. I hoped the next track, "4 Minutes" would give me and the album the necessary boost it needed. The marching band rhythms and Justin's lazy attempts at duetting with Madonna had sleep-inducing qualities. Only three of the albums twelve tracks, "Miles Away", "Heartbeat" and Dance 2Night", have a slightly effervescent groove and if mixed correctly, they COULD be hits for her. When Madonna tours this fall, she should be utterly embarassed to perform this trash. I know that if the majority of the setlist is made up of songs from this album, I will be saving my money and not going to see her. Her foray into hip-hop and r&b is something she tried once, with her equally boring "Bedtime Stories" and should NOT have done again, not even with musical wunderkids such as Timbaland and Pharrell, who are usually good, and put themselves out on the line when producing and performing on this album. Madonna needs to return to her roots, 80's dance. She needs to stick with Niki and Donna, her longtime backup singers, and return to collaborating with Pat Leonard and have Shep Pettibone return as her mixer. Those old songs were gems, and I still enjoy dancing to them to this day. Somehow, I don't think her remixers can save these trie, banal songs. After the dance fueled "Confessions On A Dance Floor" album in 2005, one would have expected a knockout follow-up by Her Madgesty. A word to the wise: preview the tracks on iTunes before buying and only buy the tracks you like. Save your money for other things than this boring album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Please ignore that senseless phony review from an alleged Madonna fan. This person is obviously attempting to make a name for himself albeit foolishly. Only those who are in the industry,real journalist and with few exceptions owners of recognised fan sites were privy to those exclusive listening parties. According to many of those who have geniunely attended many have since posted their review of the Album and all have given Madonna glorious reviews including venerable Rolling Stone Magazine,who've just given Hard Candy 4 stars out of 5. Now who are you going to believe?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Without a doubt, the worst madonna album ever!!! this "reinvention" of the material girl is a bust!! the pathetic attempt to delve into hip/hop or whatever the genre, is really disappointing.. i loved madonna's 8o's albums, loved even more the 2000's. i think confessions on the df was probably her best, then this piece of garbage as the followup!!! not one cut do i like
Guest More than 1 year ago
I listened to the sample CD tracks today, and I thought--I Can Hardly bear to listen to this. I forced myself through the tracks. When I got to the end--and the end was by far the best part of the CD--I thought how amazing it is that individuals actually rated the CD as oustanding. I guess to be a Madonna fan, you don't have to be a rocket scientist. You only need a third grade vocabulary. There should be a warning label on the CD-- "If you utilize the executive region of your brain, you will need a neurological insult to fully appreciate the simplistic lyrics of this CD." Way to go Madonna. Keep writing those children's books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's disgusting to see an octengenarian like Madonna crawl out of her wheelchair and think she can still 23-skidoo with the youngsters. Time to get back to raising your kids badly and practising your bad English accent. I get an even bigger kick that some reviewer likens her to Maria Callas. Ms. Callas' talent is oceans away from this former underware model. Ms. Callas is who you listen to when you want to hear good music.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Let me start off by saying that I'm a huge Madonna fan. Going back to the 80's, she's always fascinated me. This album is without a doubt one of her better ones. Not as good as 'Confessions On A Dancefloor', but not as horrible as 'Bedtime Stories' either. Dance, dance, dance is the theme of this album. While I would say some of the lyrics are her weakest in recent albums, you can't help but groove along to what's she got going on. Standout tracks include "Devil Wouldn't Recognize You" which will go down as one of Madonna's best tracks ever to fans. Hauntingly put together, this song is absoluteley amazing. Also, "4 Minutes" and "Miles Away" are also stronger in this pack. "Spanish Lesson" has wonderful rhythm but some of the worst "and most literal" lyrics Madonna has ever written. Surely this will be a track that if performed live will hopefully will be instrumental. Great album overall and worth checking out if you liked the previous three albums.