Release Date: Dec 3, 2013
Record label: RCA
All "Work Bitch" and no play would make Britney a dull bitch. And who wants that? Nobody. So Britney's back in the game, brushing all the riffraff away from her pop throne. Even though we're in the middle of a pop-princess pileup this winter, with Miley, Katy, Gaga and more elbowing for room on the dance floor, Britney remains the queen who out-bangs, out-booms, out-bizarres them all.
In the 15 years since ...Baby One More Time introduced us to the sexed up virgin Britney Spears, she's managed to eschew major backlash. Everyone roots for Britney. Maybe because she's got the down-to-earth country thang happening, ever loyal to her cutoffs and Uggs. Or maybe, it's because over eight albums, her somewhat inscrutable je ne sais quoi has never really faltered.
I want to enjoy a Britney Spears album without contorting myself through a bunch of justifications about zeitgeists while calling the highlights “sorta as good as ‘Toxic. ’” I want to close my eyes and make out with a record that is “executive” produced by will. i.
It has been a thoroughly disappointing time for anyone hoping to derive joy from major popstar releases this year (ARTPOP? Prism? Bangerz? Really?). This may not seem like a particularly troublesome statement, especially with so much quality output from artists outside the top-40 radio sphere, but one would imagine that a pop veteran such as Britney Spears would use such a ho-hum state-of-affairs to their advantage. However on Britney Jean everyone involved seems completely oblivious to the outside world.
Typically, whenever a self-titled album arrives fairly far into an artist's career it signifies a rebirth, a moment when the musician reconnects to what's real and true. That's the party line on Britney Jean, Britney Spears' eighth album (she already used Britney as the title of her third album, way back in 2001). Prior to its December 2013 release, Britney called Britney Jean one of her most "personal" records, a term that carries a certain weight, suggesting that the brief album -- a mere ten songs and 36 minutes in its standard form and not much longer in its deluxe expansion -- would offer insight into the spectral pop star.
Britney Jean is the first Britney Spears album in which the singer is credited as a co-writer on every track (to put it in perspective, her songwriting credits on her last three efforts combined can be counted on one hand). That fact, coupled with the album's ostensibly personal title, suggests that Britney might be vying for some kind of artistic credibility. Alas, it's more likely that she's finally decided to grab a chunk of those lucrative publishing royalties for herself.
Review Summary: 1. Write album about personal feels 2. Hire will.i.am as executive producer 3. ???? 4. Move to VegasIn the 2013 fall of pop monoliths who would be queen, it’s a bit disconcerting that the most veteran among them would be content to close out the year with a whimper instead of a ….
"I'm gonna mark my territory," sings the once-imperious Spears on Perfume, the most recent cut from album number eight. Trouble is, there isn't anything on Britney Jean that wipes the floor with Katy Perry, Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus, the pretenders now remodelling the pop firmament neglected by Spears. The dead hand and cheesy rave stabs of will.i.am dominate this record, even though he produced only a couple of tracks.
Britney Spears's eighth album has been billed variously as a sequel of sorts to fan-favourite Blackout, her very own Ray of Light-style reinvention, and a personal album "specifically for my diehard fans". For the most part, these proclamations seem completely misplaced, specifically on the deeply impersonal first single, Work Bitch, and the Auto-Tune blitzkrieg that is the will.i.am collaboration It Should Be Easy (produced by partner in aural crime David Guetta). The latter is one of a handful of anonymous, emotion-sapping EDM stompers, bookended by songs that could have formed the backbone of a much better album.
Half-baked theory: Britney Spears has never been famous. Every time you’ve ever talked about Britney Spears, you weren’t talking about “Britney Spears, self-directed person with agency and individuality,” but rather you were talking about “Britney Spears, avatar for the 21st century canned and manufactured pop sound. ” The former you knew and know nothing about, while within the latter you could find the DNA for most of the pop stars of the post-Y2K world (and, for those that you couldn’t, they positioned themselves in direct opposition to the trends Spears started, and were thus equally indebted to it).
Over the course of her 15-year career, Britney Spears has worked with more producers and songwriters than there are stars in the sky, but three names have been integral to her evolution from potential TRL casualty to the sort of mainstay who can headline an upcoming two-year Las Vegas residency: Max Martin, whose name has been nearly synonymous with Spears’ (and a host of other pop superstars) since her 1998 breakout “Baby One More Time” and right up through 2011’s Femme Fatale; Bloodshy & Avant, who helped usher Spears out of the aging teen-pop ghetto and into the dance-music pantheon with In The Zone and especially Blackout, which is generally considered Spears’ redefining work; and Dr. Luke, who’s kept the fires burning in the post-Blackout era. So it’s a bad sign that the credits for Spears’ newest album, Britney Jean, list none of those names, and are headed up by a man who’s previously worked with Spears on two songs, both among her worst.
Britney’s second consecutive play for the EDM dollar following 2011?s Femme Fatale, Britney Jean is a clutch of drivetime electro-house tracks that deliver the standard Boys Noize formula with more dexterity and flair than most similar material out there.. On top of that, by feeding from the pop genius of ’90s trance the music gains a sherbet-y zing previously lacking from much of mid-period Britney. Alas, the eighth studio album from Mississippi’s premier nut bar fails to breathe life into the career of a gravely moribund pop institution.
Britney Spears has been promising that her new album, “Britney Jean,” is her “most personal album ever” since July, when she first tweeted the phrase. Fans might have hoped for a candid look at a turbulent life: child stardom as a Mouseketeer, reinvention as a teenage tease and then a trashy sex symbol, marriages, motherhood, public meltdowns, stints in rehab and her rebound as a hitmaker, a judge on “The X Factor” and, at the end of December, a performer starting a two-year residency in Las Vegas. This week, Ms.
Like Wile E. Coyote realizing too late that he's walked off a cliff and is standing on thin air, "Britney Jean," the new studio album from Britney Spears, is marked with so many sleights of hand, dubious lyrics and bombastic but boringly simple melodies that the too-rare levitation of its better moments seems an animation trick. Item one: "It Should Be Easy," a song that practically wallows in its own failure.
Britney Spears’s last hit was an ostensible collaboration with will.i.am where her most audible contribution was two words (one of which was just her name) that simply referenced something she’d already done. “Scream & Shout” turns out to have been a fitting setup for “Britney Jean,” where Spears barely registers on the product with her name on it (twice). With 20 or so producers elbowing each other for focus on 10 tracks (two songs have six listed producers each), it’s no wonder there’s barely room for the singer in the swirl of swerving Ibiza keyboards (“It Should Be Easy”), dubstep bumpers (“Til It’s Gone”) and Selena Gomez castoffs (“Alien”).