I have been remiss in commenting on what I think of the latest songs to leak from Madonna's yet-to-be-released album. This, in and of itself, should say something. What exactly that something is, I'm not entirely sure. It could mean that I'm not terribly impressed with the songs. It could also mean that I've been busy thinking about things that are more serious than Madonna's attempt to connect with the kiddies. Or it could mean that I've been a lazy blogger and a bad fan. Or a combination of all three.
The songs to leak, as just about everyone knows are "The Beat Goes On" (thankfully not a cover of the Sonny and Cher song) and "Candy Shop." They are, as I mentioned, from Madonna's forthcoming album produced by Pharrell, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, among others. I have to say that when I heard who she was collaborating with for this record, I was nervous. It smacked of desperation - something that Madonna has never really shown before save perhaps the Bedtime Stories project which ostensibly tried to get her back into the public's good graces after the Erotica/Sex/Body of Evidence debacle as well as to incorporate the mid-90s R&B sound.
While new Madonna has a can't-miss quality to it, let's just say that this is simply THE most underwhelming new Madonna material for as long as I can remember. The songs are not BAD, they're just so far below what she is capable of. I was telling a friend not too long ago that while "The Beat Goes On" has grown on me some, there are a lot of unsightly things that can grow on you if you're not careful. Mostly, what I dislike about it is that the songs don't really have a melody! Or song structure! Or a bridge! (for shame!!) The lyrics are not great at all, and even though Madonna has had her share of bad lyrics ("Other places make me feel like a dork" and "My father had to go to work, I used to think he was a jerk" spring instantly to mind), these are bad in an entirely different way.
The music is not altogether awful, but like I want to say that about Madonna?!? I'd rather save those kind of "well, it's not THAT bad" comments for Britney where it would actually be a compliment. My only hope is that these are either demos and the instrumentation is not complete yet or that these are the worst songs on the album. Or better yet - that they are rejects from the album and what will actually be on there will be leaps and bounds better than this. It surprises me that they've leaked this early - no release date on the album yet and the songs are leaking? Madonna runs a notoriously tight ship when it comes to her work, so the fact that these are leaking make me think that they are not going to be on the album and they have been deliberately leaked.
What do I think will happen? I think that Madonna will release "Candy Shop" or something very similar to it and it will tank in the U.S. - despite her purchase of the latest and greatest producers. I hate to say it, but I think her attempts to be all hip and cool with Pharrell and Timbaland will come off as false and the record buying public (aka the kids) will see right through it. They will not buy a 50 year old woman doing that - not to be ageist, but I'm just being realistic. In the process, I think she will alienate a lot of her die hard fans who won't have time for this album, especially after the brilliance that was Confessions on a Dance Floor. While I will not be alienated enough to either not buy the record or stop being a fan (I'm signed on for the long haul), I am a bit resigned to the fact that this will be Bedtime Stories redux. I am not a fan of that album, despite the fact that some very good songs have their home there - "Secret" and "Survival" being two examples. Both albums will also have the misfortune of being the follow-up to Madonna at her best.
So who knows. I could be totally wrong and this will be a massive hit for Madonna. Since you seem to need ARTIST featuring RAP ARTIST to have a hit these days, perhaps it will work. I just seriously have my doubts.