Review Summary: "There was a time when I was one of a kind."
She's right. The time she mentions was 2003; musical punching bag Britney Spears was hot and on top of the world with her 2003 effort In the Zone
. It came in the midst of tons of uncalled for cruelty from the media. I could swear for the longest time, that the media was far more kind to Ian Watkins than they were to Britney. Exactly what did she do to deserve so much hate? Well, that I'm still trying to figure out. But this was Britney; she wasn't just any pop star, and she took no *** from the media. It was her most personal record to date too, and it stands to this day as her one true statement as an artist. Which is funny that I mention, because her two best albums, Blackout
, were albums that she had almost nothing to do with- creatively, at least. And that's exactly what makes me feel conflicted as to whether or not I even like Britney at all; she represents almost everything I hate about pop music, she has zero artistic merit, she tries to not try hard (but we must admit she is damned good at it), and I'm confused as to exactly why she was a judge on The X Factor
- which made as much sense as Taylor Swift writing self help books about relationships.
All the problems I mention are all too evident on Britney Jean
. Not since 2007 have we seen any real progression or maturation from her; and I'm pretty sure that mentioning at this point that this album is no different than what she's offered us lately would be redundant. Well, alright, that's kind of a lie; it's slightly different than Femme Fatale
in that it shows her moving in a more EDM-influenced direction, but take a wild guess as to whether or not it works for her at all. She also deserves some extra credit for writing a few of these tracks, but I'm wondering exactly how much of the album she wrote. It's pretty much safe to say that the generically titled "Work, Bitch!" is a clear indicator of what this album sounds like; begins with the obligatory "buildup", "explodes", and the obligatory slow part in the middle there to even things out. And if what she said in the most recent interview promoting this album that she does this mostly for "fun" and doesn't really care how the album comes out is true, well I suppose that can be seen somewhat in this album, it's just that she also seems to be making albums now out of contractual obligation.
I say that because the majority of this album is flat-out boring
, just like its predecessor, Femme Fatale
. I mean, say what you will about the "corniness" of Circus
or the "raveness of Blackout
. I'm not gonna accuse either album of being particularly GOOD, but I will say that at least they had the catchiness and guilty pleasureness of the tracks to fall back on. And sadly there's almost none of that to be found here. Even her voice is a noticeable problem; her voice was never "good" but it served the purpose, and her voice is aging badly. It's detectable right off the bat on "Alien", which features a heavy bout of auto-tune, and it's easy to tell the auto-tuned parts from the non auto-tuned parts. And the production of the album is a real bummer here, but that's what happens when you hire will.i.am as a producer, I guess.
And so why have almost none of the songs been mentioned here? Because nearly all of it is the same. Boring, generic, void of any emotion or emotional connecibility. There seems to be absolutely no reason for it to exist but to further inflate her already over-inflated ego and promote her upcoming Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood, which I'm sure will no doubt be sold out right now for shows in two years. But even looking past both of those, there really won't be anything here that will win her new fans, and old fans will probably forget they even have this album in a couple months' time. And that's why this album sucks- it's not good, it's not bad. It's just another pop album lost in a sea of Artpops, PRISMs and almost every other pop album you could imagine. And it's just flat out boring.