Hard Candy review by The Times
As finishing touches were being applied to the East London premiere of Madonna’s latest album, academics specialising in adoption at Liverpool University announced what they called The Madonna Effect – a phenomenon “in which parents in Africa surrender their children for adoption thinking they will enjoy a better life”.
Whatever context is applied to it, you felt like adding that The Madonna Effect – sure to accumulate now that she has set her sights on adopting in India – isn’t restricted to adoption. There’s a Madonna effect for almost everything she does. In the past week alone, the Swiss jewellers Chopard have been besieged with requests for replicas of the £500,000 knuckleduster rings exhibited on the sleeve of Hard Candy.
All of which is worth dwelling on, because how will The Madonna Effect play out when Hard Candy is released? It’s tempting even to theorise that Madonna has made it so that there won’t be much of an Effect.
Seemingly eager to relieve herself from the pressure of being imitated at every turn, Madonna’s 11th studio album finds her deploying a coterie of producers – Timbaland, Danja, Pharrell Williams – who have, in varying combinations, already done the same thing with Nelly Furtado, Britney Spears and Gwen Stefani. Naturally, this being Madonna, she has already filed the riposte before you made the criticism. On She’s Not Me, she makes the point that however any other woman attempts to match her, they don’t have the advantage of being Madonna. So, what’s the song like? Well, it’s like roughly two thirds of Hard Candy – a sequenced avalanche of beats in the sonic centre ground that, in the olden days, used to be occupied by tunes.
Click here to continue reading the Times Online 3/5 review of Madonna’s Hard Candy.