Note to readers: Madonna’s latest album Hard Candy = TOTAL failure. I am ashamed. You should be ashamed. She should be ashamed. The flighty, wild, eccentric Madonna of the past is dead; she has been replaced with a corporate sellout. The album cover shows Madonna in a tasteless shiny black outfit, her legs spread wide, and the insert includes pages of Madonna in the same outfit with captions like “sweet and sticky” and “plenty to eat.” None of the songs stand out, with the exceptions of “Candy Shop,” a complete derivation from 50 Cent’s song of the same title and “Spanish Lessons,” which comes equipped (quite obviously) with a tango beat. And she does collaborations with Justin Timberlake and Kanye West, of which the former isn’t a complete mess, though that certainly doesn’t save the album from the ruins of Dudville. For years Madonna has admirably and successfully been able to reinvent herself while retaining her individuality, but Hard Candy proves just how susceptible she is to the vagrant taste of trends and corporate interest. One can only hope this album is just a brief failure in Madonna’s history of pop-culture epicness.