Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. 60
    And though it sometimes plays safe, Hard Candy could be her most unpretentious and consistently enjoyable pop record since Like A Virgin.
  2. Hard Candy is a let-down after 2005's triumphant "Confessions on a Dancefloor." Still, your disappointment is tempered by the certainty that there'll be another Madonna album along in a bit, and it would be a foolish man who wrote off her chances of scaling the heights again.
  3. Overall, Hard Candy sounds a bit too much like Madonna’s trying to catch up with the American R&B princesses. Having said that, she holds her own for the most part, and when her own voice shines through, she reminds us why she’s outlasted so many.
  4. Q Magazine
    60
    Hard Candy is the sound of pop's ultimate superbrand consolidating her success. [June 2008, p.134]
  5. Mojo
    60
    Flowing with an easy energy, it's the last track on an album that shows Madonna still firmly on the dancefloor, but with her eyes now turning to the USA. [June 2008, p.106]
  6. Hard Candy is a serviceable and sometimes very good pop album that also happens to be a confusing and even dismal Madonna album.
  7. Timbaland's productions are the weaker links on this frustratingly ordinary album.
  8. This time, Madonna is just another singer drawing on the chart appeal of Timbaland, Timberlake and Pharrell, which makes this particular piece of candy taste like a sour ball: It's appealing to fans, but it's not for everyone.
  9. So yes, a solid enough album by the standards of most pop tarts, but from the mistress of innovation? Pretty mediocre.
  10. It is overpopulated with recycled pop that is indistinguishable and artificial, something Madonna’s soothing arpeggiating vocals cannot alleviate.
  11. Hard Candy is as a rare thing: a lifeless Madonna album.
  12. Overall, Hard Candy lacks subtlety and is overworked and overproduced.
  13. Quite evidently her attempt to court an urban audience after the disco leanings of this record’s immediate predecessor-–whatever 'urban' actually means nowadays-–Madonna’s sidestepping outside of her shimmer-pop comfort zone has resulted in a well-intentioned failure of an album that will be a commercial success regardless of any critical indifference.
  14. Hard Candy sounds bloody expensive, but has precious little to declare except an infatuation with its own reflection in a nightclub mirror.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 460 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 70 out of 460
  1. IanR
    May 25, 2008
    3
    As a huge Madonna fan, I'm disappointed. Never has she sounded more bored and more like a guest on her own songs. Enlisting the help of As a huge Madonna fan, I'm disappointed. Never has she sounded more bored and more like a guest on her own songs. Enlisting the help of Timbaland and Timberlake reeks of desperation, and this half-baked effort contains no Madonna classics and only a handful of tolerable songs. Her worst studio effort without question. Full Review »
  2. SeanF
    Dec 5, 2008
    10
    Fantastic considering the worst song on the album was a number 1 Hit!
  3. Mar 25, 2012
    6
    I'm really waiting MDNA, because i don't like this a lot. Sure, this is Madonna's worst album. Yes there are good songs ( I think that MilesI'm really waiting MDNA, because i don't like this a lot. Sure, this is Madonna's worst album. Yes there are good songs ( I think that Miles Away it's fantastic ) but there are bad songs like "Spanish Lesson" and "incredible", too. And this is the first Madonna's album that doesn't have a particular or revolutionary sound. So, a quite good album but when you are Madonna people want from you a great album, not quite good. (sorry for my English) Full Review »