April 30, 2008

Hard Candy at the Funplex

A couple new CD reviews:

Hard Candy by Madonna

Madonna's latest musical offering looks to be similar to other recent albums - she picks a genre and puts her own spin on it. In this case it's R&B, with appearances by Justin Timberlake and Kanye West, with producing credits from the likes of Timbaland.

The result is a bit mixed. It starts off with some reliable singles that are sure to be hits in the clubs, like the Timberlake duet "4 Minutes." The middle of the record is full of more predictable pop with vapid lyrics - I kind of picture that it's what Paula Abdul would sound like if she'd kept it up all these years.

That being said, there are still some real gems that aren't to be missed. The wistful sounds of "Miles Away" are very hummable. And I like the darker mood and sound of "Devil Wouldn't Recognize You" and "Voices."

In the canon of Madonna, I'd put this album somewhere above Music, but below Erotica. You have to give her credit - for a woman who's close to 50 and has a career that spans decades, she never fails to try something new. Because she knows we're just dying to find out what she'll do next!

Funplex by The B-52's

By contrast, The B-52's haven't been coming up with new materials every year (the last album with new songs was 10 years ago). They have instead focused on touring, which we the fans are certainly grateful for (they put on a great show - I saw them a couple years back).

This album of all new material is a heck of a return to the studio. It fits the familiar mold for one of their albums - several party songs where the girls bop along while Fred Schneider yells various things at us, a couple smoother duets for Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson, and plenty of keyboard-and-guitar arrangements by Keith Strickland.

You'll find plenty to sing along to here, especially the title track, "Hot Corner" and "Deviant Ingredient." But the shining star that I can't get enough of is "Juliet of the Spirits," a soaring duet by the ladies.

Here's hoping The B-52's keep rocking from Idaho all the way to Planet Claire!


ScottE. said...

I love the new B-52's album...I lurve it very much. Madonna...still listening to it...part of me wants to hate it...part of me can't stop singing along...i'm sure when the candy's melted away, I'll know where I truly stand.

joyous said...

Can't get enough of the new B-52s. I love Hot Corner, and Funplex makes me giggle. There was some lovely teasing on Saturday night by the girls towards Fred about finding the G spot. He says he has 18.

Stef said...

Did you not like the Music album? I really liked that one, and Ray of Light. Didn't like Erotica all that much. I like the "4 Minutes" song so far, but i'll probably wait a while on the whole album. "Confessions" wasn't really for me.