Britney Spears
Blackout


2.0
poor

Review

by Nick Butler EMERITUS
October 31st, 2007 | 20 replies | 11,383 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: What do you mean there's no tunes?

Nobody needs reminding of the train-wreck Britney's become, so let's just get on to the cold facts - this is the most important album Britney Spears is ever likely to release. It's as simple as that. Right now she's clinging onto a career by her fingernails, because she'll know as well as anyone that the public can only take so much of one person self-destructing before they turn. Britney, her PR team, and most crucially her songwriters and producers, have got one final shot before Britney becomes about as popular in America as Pete Doherty is in England.

After the VMAs, you might think that despite everybody else's best intentions, the woman herself was going to be the one that finally sunk this ship. And yet, the exact opposite is true. Britney herself is actually the best thing about the album, shockingly - her voice still may not be anything technically great, but her breathy, disaffected delivery is instantly recognisable and it adds a lot to a few of these songs - her oversexed delivery is a welcome foil to the painfully clinical production.

Ah, the production. It seems like an eternity since Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears were an item, and looking at their careers since they split up, it's a little shocking to remember that simply being Britney Spears' boyfriend actually made Justin the star he is. On an international stage, it was the only reason anybody knew his name at all. So it's a shocking indicator of several things - the fickle nature of pop fans, the speed at which music moves now, just how far Britney's star has fallen - that this album takes FutureSex/LoveSounds as its sonic template, right down to the tiniest detail. As a reviewer, I don't really need to make any more comment on how this album sounds. If you've heard a Justin Timberlake single recently, you know what Blackout sounds like. It's a little upsetting not just because of how it reflects on Britney herself, but because the producers have obviously spent far more time working on how this album sounds than they have on writing any half-decent songs.

Honestly, it beggars belief that a star with the financial clout and mainstream appeal of Britney can only find songs as mediocre as this. Even in the past, when she had something as terrible as "E-Mail My Heart", she made up for it with an undeniably effective single like "You Drive Me Crazy" or "Baby (One More Time)". Here, the only song on that level is "Gimme More", and even that's probably lost its chance to be a megahit after its infamously shambolic live debut. Every other song here feels like a series of missed opportunities - "Piece Of Me" is an excuse to bitch about the way Britney's been treated by the media, and it pales in comparison to any other song where she's done that. "Heaven on Earth" is gleefully indebted to the 80s - with the exception of the snare sound, which sounds suspiciously like the 'Reznor' sounds on Reason - but rather than sounding knowingly camp or sounding like a tribute, it aims for a point between the two and falls into a no man's land that renders it pointless. The intro to "Ooh Ooh Baby" - a flamenco acoustic guitar line backed by the rhythm section from Adam & The Ants - singposts a song that's much better than the one it's attached to, and the melody here just sounds way too similar to too many other songs with much better tunes than this. "Perfect Lover" is so timid it barely even registers as a song at all. Only "Freakshow", which takes its sonic cues from dubstep hero Vex'd, transcends tokenism.

Yet the biggest failure of these songs, and the most confusing thing about this album, are the melodies. Simply put, there aren't any. I suppose you could argue that this album is meant for clubs and the rhythm should supersede the melody, but I don't buy it - this is a pop album, and when it's over, I want to remember some of the songs. After three listens you should AT LEAST be able to recall every chorus on the album - this is Britney Spears, for Christ's sake; she should have bought up the rights to at least five unforgettable melodies. And yet, I feel like I may as well have not listened to anything. The problem isn't so much that there aren't any songs as good as "Toxic", it's that there aren't any songs as good as "From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart" or "Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know". Seriously. From "Gimme More" onwards, you're expecting - hoping - that a song will arrive that isn't just a meticulously crafted synth backing track, and nothing ever comes. It renders the album an oddly exhausting listen, despite its admirably short length - no pop listener should ever have to fight to have to find a hook, and yet that's exactly what at least 10 of the songs here force you to do.

It's genuinely saddening that at such a crucial point in her career, this is the best that Britney and her management can muster. Blackout isn't merely lifeless, it actually sucks the life out of the listener.



Recent reviews by this author
Krzysztof Penderecki and Jonny Greenwood Krzysztof Penderecki / Jonny GreenwoodLana Del Rey Paradise
Scott Walker Bish BoschEmilie Autumn Fight Like A Girl
Susanne Sundfor The Silicone VeilPepe Deluxe Queen of the Wave
user ratings (247)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
zane1234s (4)
Britney has fun - and brings her fans along the way for once....

Dr Dave De Sylvia STAFF (4)
If the Britney Spears Story doesn’t quite have the subject’s full attention, it’s at least cau...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Jom
Staff Reviewer
October 31st 2007



2596 Comments


All you need is a quick proofreading (e.g. '... Spears is every likely to release,' first paragraph; 'From "Gimme More" onwards, you expecting - hoping - that a song will arrive," concluding paragraph, etc.) and this will be pretty perfect, because content-wise, this is stellar, as usual.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
October 31st 2007



2596 Comments


This is even wronger than ****ing Med's Appetite For Destruction review

No, I don't think any review will ever top that.
/gets to work on The Stooges - The Weirdness 5/5 review

Iai
Emeritus
October 31st 2007



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Ugh, yeah, riddled with errors. It's late

Iai
Emeritus
October 31st 2007



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

[quote=Sylvia]You are wrong. This is even wronger than ****ing Med's Appetite For Destruction review [/quote]

You should just give a negative review to Girls Aloud and then we can call it evens tbh

Correction
October 31st 2007



188 Comments


I like having an alternate view on this album. I'm might actually give this a listen: this has amazingly gotten great praise from EVERYONE

Djnx
November 1st 2007



85 Comments


Way more accurate than the first review.

I liked the fact that you pointed out the lack of melody in most songs. Actually most of the modern pop records are all rhythm but no melody and faulty harmony. Let's not even talk about hip-hop.

I think the only reason everyone is praising Blackout is because it'd amazing and entertaining that such a train wreck could put out such a good album, but it hardly goes above average.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
November 1st 2007



16072 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I agree now.

tuff
November 1st 2007



62 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this album takes FutureSex/LoveSounds as its sonic template, right down to the tiniest detail.

That's pretty much what I was thinking the entire time I was listening to it.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
November 2nd 2007



15698 Comments


I do declare, Splat just got pwnd.

Digging: RATKING - So It Goes

McP3000
November 2nd 2007



3941 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I agree with the Timberlake reference. Except Justin is talented and entertaining...Britney is not

AtavanHalen
November 2nd 2007



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Hmmm, two completely contrasting reviews. I have to hear this record.

Tableshaveturned
December 6th 2007



59 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Yes! A review that comes to terms with reality about this sad excuse for an album.

zane1234s
August 20th 2008



47 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sounds nothing like Justin's FutureSex. FutureSex was too full of slow jams and ballads, and there were about 4 dance songs out of the 12, while Britney's album contains 11 dance songs out of 12, Although they both sound robotic.

Epilogue
November 11th 2008



1559 Comments


its britney
bitch

DethThrasher
November 11th 2008



463 Comments


She used to be hot

Anthracks
November 11th 2008



3639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

She still is buddy.

Digging: Tobacco - Ultima II Massage

xmOBSCENEx
November 13th 2008



122 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is a stupid album
in the zone was the best everrr!

Phantom
November 13th 2008



8930 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

She used to be hot



She still is buddy.


123



AtavanHalen
November 13th 2008



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

this is a stupid album

in the zone was the best everrr!

lolllll

Asiatic667
November 14th 2008



4647 Comments


Britney can never be hot.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy