As anyone who follows me on Twitter knows, I have been immersed in the latest Britney Spears album for some time now. I was excited ever since I realized that her new album was being released Christmas time. It has pretty much been on loop on my iTunes for some time now, as I got more addicted to the songs on there. I am listening to ‘Alien’ right now, as I write this. I love the album so much and this is why this review is going to be a tricky one to write for me.
I am going to strip away my fanboy sel… sigh, fine. I am going to strip away my fangirl self and try to review this as an unbiased reviewer. Because as much as I love Britney Spears and love this album, it is a very flawed selection of tracks. Let’s start with the obvious and just come out and say that it is not her best work. I have come to peace with the fact that the old Britney who brought out ‘Oops I did it Again’ and ‘Toxic’ is gone and replaced with a singer, who, and as much as it pains me to say this, is just struggling to try and stay in the music industry for as long as she can.
There are some good songs on it. For example, it opens with Alien, which is the most original song on the entire album and I wouldn’t argue with anyone saying that it is the greatest song on the CD. It is different from anything she has done before and is quite a good song to listen to. People have said that it doesn’t quite have enough of a kick to it, but for the first song of the album, it works as a song to help you slip into the rest of the tracks. Like easing into a warm bath. With Britney Spears. (Bad metaphor: you don’t ease into that bath. You dive in and then get escorted out by security.) However, while I think that Alien should be the most celebrated song on the CD, the song that seems to be put onto a pedestal is ‘Perfume’.
Don’t get me wrong, I do like this song. It is a slower song that allows Britney to just sing. When you hit the few following tracks that follow along the clubby route of ‘Scream and Shout’, you will want more of this kind of track. But Britney seems to think that this song is the highlight of the album. This is made clear, as the CD ends with an unnecessary ‘Dreaming Mix’ of this tune (this mix feels a tad pointless and isn’t varied enough to warrant itself). I like ‘Perfume’, but I don’t hold it in a higher regard than the other songs. If the album didn’t draw attention to this song, I would have probably paid it little thought, thinking it is a filler song with a pretty impressive chorus. I think there are far better songs on the album (like Alien), and feel they should be celebrated more than Perfume. Of course, then we have songs like ‘Work, B****!), which you probably have already listened to. There are a few songs like that, for example:
Before I go into a review of the above song, can we please just take a moment to chuckle at how she pronounces tick? That is not how the word tick should sound? I have spent many a morning singing ‘Dick, Dick, Dick, Boob’. She sounds like a crazy nymphomaniac that has finally snapped. Seeing as the song is pretty much singing about orgasms, it makes the lyrics so much better, as if she just gave up with subtle metaphors and just started singing penis at the top of her voice. Anyway, joking over, there are a lot of songs like this. I have discussed before how Britney has fallen back on this style of song to fit in with a more modern crowd. You will like these songs, but they will not be the Britney you love. These have turned into the songs that get skipped over the most and there is one particular song that annoys me, because of a need to be more stereotypically modern.
This song is called ‘Chillin’ and for those that do not know, Jamie Lynn, who is in this song with her, is actually her sister, which is a nice touch. The tune is pretty laid-back and enjoyable. In other words, it is a song to ‘chill’ with, exactly as the title says. It has a nice soul style to it, as the song focuses more on vocals than the music. After several more clubby tracks, this is a nice, relaxing change of pace. Her sister could easily have a career in country music and it feels like a cross between the best of Britney and the best of Taylor Swift (I hate that I think Britney and Taylor combined is good music, but F*** you!). Then the chorus kicks in and spoils everything. It is Britney with her annoying accent, saying ‘Chillin’ wit’ choo’ over and over again. I expected a softer chorus and I felt that this song really could have been something if the chorus had been worked on more.
Then we get to the other side of the album and something happens. The songs get much better. It feels as though the dirty club beats that Britney thinks is a quick-fire trick for success are dropped and she kind of just makes some music. In her eyes, maybe this is all fillers, but personally I think this is the kind of music, she should be making right now. Sure, some of them are pretty forgettable and will probably be lost when put against the rest of Britney’s discography. But I like them and have been listening to them more than any other tracks on the album. I shall list a few of the best.
Let’s end this review on that last song. It is my personal favourite. I think it is catchy and has a great club beat. In my opinion, it is the true highlight of the album and I hope that it gets into the charts, rather than fading into obscurity. However, while I totally praise this song, I have to admit it is a pretty lazy effort. Tell me you don’t think of Avicci ‘Wake Me Up’ when you listen to the beat dropping. Country and club mixing was an inspired idea from Avicci and a few other singers have stolen the idea since (which is good, as I want this trend to catch on). However, while Pitbull mimicked this with ‘Timber’, he kind of did something new with the idea, while Britney’s song is almost identical to ‘Wake Me Up.’ It doesn’t help that the lyrics, as you can tell from the title, sounds a lot like Calvin Harris and Rihanna – We Found Love. So as much as I love this song, I can’t bring myself to compliment it too much.
So that is a little round-up of the album. In conclusion, I really enjoyed this album, but I don’t think the general public will be too happy with this effort. If ‘Femme Fatale’ didn’t really work for anyone, I cannot see Britney Jean setting the world on fire. However, I still believe that there are some good tunes on this CD and even if some of them are lazy efforts, they still are enjoyable to listen to. Hopefully, you will keep this tab up and listen to a couple of the songs when you have time.