New Madonna set looks to debut at #1

ChuckD

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Madonna's newest release (Hard Candy - released this Tuesday) is predicted by Billboard Magazine to debut at the #1 spot on the Hot 200 CDs. Lead off single "4 Minutes" with Justin Timberlake and Timberland is bouncing up and down the Top 10, From 3, to 3, to 7, to 6, and up to 4 this week.

He's one review of the CD by Ann Powers:

Madonna still has some fight in her
By Ann Powers • Los Angeles Times • May 2, 2008

Before "Hard Candy," Madonna had never before opened her legs for an album cover. Two decades ago, her patchouli-scented belly adorned the sleeve of the intimate "Like a Prayer," and in 2005 she showed a bit of derriere for the disco-nostalgic "Confessions on a Dance Floor." She played with self-exposure in her scandalous 1992 book, "Sex," and in plenty of videos. But now the mistress of organized fantasy has put out, front and center.

The photograph shows its subject sitting back like a fighter in a corner. She's corset-clad, wrestling belt around her waist, binding her hands with black tape. Her tongue registers more strongly than her half-closed eyes; her hair is styled in an androgynous pompadour. The background looks like cracked peppermint. She is Venus and Mars, the embodiment of sex as war.

"Hard Candy" is a coldly effective show of prowess that should yield several hit singles beyond the irresistible, nonsensical "4 Minutes." Madonna's pugilistic mood extended to her choice of collaborators -- the album's 12 cuts unfold as a battle between rival production teams the Neptunes and Timbaland-Timberlake, who established their reps (in part) by updating Madonna's style to suit Britney Spears and Nelly Furtado, and now have a field day trying similar tricks at the source.

As a lesson in the contemporary deployment of female allure -- and a survey of Madonna's career as an exhibitionist -- "Hard Candy" is powerful, precise and coldly revelatory. As an exploration of female sexuality at midlife, it's depressing.

Throughout her career, Madonna has explored the two poles of sex -- its transformation into a product and its potential to become the opposite, a liberating force beyond laws. "Hard Candy" comes down firmly on the side of the marketplace.

It opens with "Candy Shop," a Neptunes track that pops along on a conga beat and some double-time heavy breathing, and where better to situate our predatory guide (go ahead, call her a "cougar," everyone else does) than in a store full of tempting treats?

Right away, Madonna tinges her sweetness with menace and the will to win.
This ambivalence about desire extends throughout the disc, along with the distinct message that, when it comes to hotness, there's no extra room at the top. There are a few contemplative moments, notably the Tim-team produced ballads "Miles Away" and "Devil Wouldn't Recognize You," which set their meditations about troubled long-term relationships against thick layers of instrumentation and effects.

Perhaps "Hard Candy" is simply one last roar before Madonna mellows into the autumn of her years, reflecting upon all she's accomplished and throwing down wisdom instead of a gauntlet.

But even if she gets this latest fight out of her system, Madonna already might be done with nostalgia. Her previous album, the house-music-warmed "Confessions," was as sweet as "Hard Candy" is lip-puckering. Madonna knows better than anyone that looking backward is dangerous for pop stars, especially women. It can lead them into the most vicious competition of all -- with their younger selves.
 

ChuckD

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The CD has debuted in the #1 spot, selling almost 300,000 copies.

Madonna also announced a summer/autumn tour, to be called "Sticky & Sweet"
 
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