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Reviewed by John Aizlewood for the Evening Standard

MADONNA

Hard Candy (Warner Bros)

****

There's an unquestioned consensus that, these days, Madonna is a stranger to cutting edge. So what? Madonna's obsession is Madonna herself rather than her music. With Hard Candy, she's stepped back a generation and hired Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake and Timbaland to fashion a shiny album more timeless than ahead of its time. Despite (or because of) speculation regarding her marriage, it's overtly sexual ('I love you in the shower,' she trills in the outstanding but paranoid She's Not Me), full of Hung Up-esque dance songs and, in Voices, the most fearless she's been in years.

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