When demos began leaking for Madonna's 2008 studio album Hard Candy fans quickly became divided. Either they liked the tongue-in-cheek production that Pharrell and Timbaland brought to the table; or they hated it. Madonna's vocals were slightly out of her range, and I found myself standing on the the backside, trying desperately to like what had been released, but not really finding myself tapping my foot. Then snippets of the album went live on a CD site in Europe. Each second my computer took to load the website was painful, until I finally got to hear previews for some of the more intriguing of songs. And then...I was disappointed. The 30-seconds of music I got to hear per song depressed me and deflated me in a way I can't even describe. Of course, I would end up falling for Hard Candy when I finally got to hear the album in high quality and full running-time, but for the month of March, the music wasn't cutting it for me. But then, I got to hear Give It 2 Me, a track that was first leaked on YouTube in horrendous quality; and even though the hazy static and pitch problems, the ten-second sample sounded sweeter than anything I'd heard from Madonna that year.
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With the release of Hard Candy, I found out I was right, and I quickly declared to other die-hard Madonna fans that this song is amazing, should be a single, and is one of her best musical exploits of all time. Low and behold, Madonna released it as the second single, and though it didn't chart in the Top 50 in the US, it still became a radio hit, and it became a successful Top 10 smash overseas. The circus-esque beats from the album version may annoy people, but who cares...if you live in the United States, that mix isn't even on here. Instead we are treated to a slew of remixes and electronic edits that reinvent this hip hop track for clubs and my ears. The song is a catty take on the gigantic fuss made over Madonna's age, as she declares very calmly: "Don't stop me now. Don't need to catch my breath, I can go on and on and on." What I find most impressive is that the mixes on his CD-single are actually stellar. Unlike the mixes presented to fans of the past two decades, these ones take the original song and recreate it, giving it an entirely new sound. Fans of her electro-ish sound on Confessions can find solace in Fedde Le Grand's (he also mixed Music on her latest tour) excellent club mix that's both mature and fun. The dance beat doesn't speed it or slow it down unnecessarily, and, low and behold, Madonna's vocals are actually present! Unlike many remixes of today, the ones hear tend to actually use the song at will, rather than sampling one line and repeating it for 10 minutes-- that's what the dubs are for.
The Eddie Amador Club Mix, which features thick and snappy bass beats, samples the breakdown's melodic synth section and makes it way less obnoxious than on the album's mix. It reminds me very much of the version used on her latest tour with the exaggerated hits and snaps. It's way more spaced out with its eleven-minute running time, but it's arranged in a great way that makes me wanna burn the dancefloor out. If you've never been to a Madonna concert, you have no idea what you've been missing, because the production is always top quality: "When the lights go down, and there's no one left, I can go on and on and on, on, on, on, on..." This is classic Madonna mixed to its fullest potential. The real start of the show, though, is the Sly and Robbie Bongo Mix, which features the most drastic difference from the original. The down-tempo feel and cool, breezy production make this mix 10x better than the original version-- and I love the original version. Featuring some snappy guest vocals and overall sense of cool, this version makes the entire single a worthwhile purchase. Other mixes include the 2000-sounding House Lovers Mix that sounds a little more dated than the other, but utilizes enough of the album mix to make it a true GI2M remix. If you hate the gay-club house sound, then get this single. It burns it all away.
This is Madonna. This is Madonna remixed. This better than you can ever imagine.
It can go on and on and on...
01. Fedde Le Grand Mix [5 Stars]
02. Oakenfold Extended Remix [4.5 Stars]
03. Oakenfold Drumz In [4.5 Stars]
04. Eddie Amour Club Mix [5 Stars]
05. Eddie Amour House Lovers Mix [4.5 Stars]
06. Tong & Spoon Wonderland Mix [4 Stars]
07. Jody den Broeder Club Mix [4 Stars]
08. Sly & Robbie Bongo Mix [5 Stars]
Best: Sly & Robbie Bongo Mix
Worst: Jody den Broeder Club Mix
SCORE: 5 STARS (4.5 )
OTHER MADONNA REVIEWS:
1982 - Madonna
1984 - Like a Virgin
1984 - Angel/Into the Groove (CD Single/12")
1986 - True Blue
1987 - You Can Dance
1987 - Causing a Commotion (CD Single/12")
1989 - Express Yourself (CD Single/7")
1990 - The Immaculate Collection
1992 - Erotica
2003 - American Life
2005 - Confessions on a Dance Floor
2005 - Hung Up (Single)
2008 - Hard Candy
2008 - Give It 2 Me (US/EU CD Single)