...as many of her detractors hope for. Hard Candy is far from being a brilliant album or the best in pop music but she's still miles ahead of the competition. She's still the entire package with great danceable songs with infectious melodies and hard hitting beats.
This is the closest Madonna has been in the new millennium to replicating her early 80s dance image and it appears many are in fear of her being invincible in the industry. Ironically enough everyone appears to want to have the "old" Madonna back and this album has all the qualities of the earlier era of her career.
People now criticize her for teaming up with accomplished producers as opposed to the underground "groundbreaking" sounds she would discover and manipulate to her own advantage. So now she's playing a different game, if not more humbling and now it's become apparently more desperate on her part. Perhaps people would like to consider that Madonna is coming off a hugely successful album "Confessions on a Dancefloor" and wasn't in need of "reviving" her career. Perhaps she actually does appreciate Pharrel and Timbaland's work and wanted to mesh it with her own pop/dance sensibilities. And Hard Candy is living proof of it going according to plan.
Regardless of the critical response the album has received she's still ahead of the game. Michael Jackson is facing yet another trial, Janet Jackson is having problems sustaining a tour, Britney is nuts, etc. No one has been able to play the game as well as Madonna. And whether you pray for her to go away or sit and bicker about her, she's going nowhere anytime soon. So continue to enjoy the ride.