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Monday, October 29, 2007

Britney Spears: "Blackout"

Don't call it a comeback. Call it a cash-in. Call it expected. Call it absurd. Just don't call it a comeback. When Britney first arrived on the scene nearly a decade ago, she had two main audiences: the prepubescent girl and the creepy old guy. But now Britney's much too raunchy for the younger audience and she's already given the old guys more than a glimpse of pretty much everything imaginable. Those who were fans have largely grown up or grown out of her. So you have to ask yourself, why does this album even exist? "Blackout" is the kind of album that exists for two purposes; to line the wallets of record executives and to boost the ego of Ms. Spears. The point of this album is not to give fans of Britney some new material, but to capitalize on the recent explosion of Britney in the tabloids and celebrity news media. Anyone who can't see that is probably the type of person that would buy this garbage.

"It's Britney, Bitch!" That's how she chooses to start the album, and my immediate response is, "I wish it wasn't." "Gimme More" has been a pretty big success for Britney, getting her the highest on the charts that she's been since "Hit Me Baby, One More Time" believe it or not. For what it's worth, it is the strongest song on "Blackout" and probably the only one that should actually exist. The production here is great, as it is through most of the album. Unfortunately for Britney, however, is the fact that the coolest part of the song are the pitch-shifted "mores" that follow her redundant "Gimme gimme gimme gimme gimmes."

Despite the production being through the roof, it's also the album's biggest flaw. Britney's voice (which has never been her strong point) doesn't even sound like itself half the time. Every trick that you could possibly come up with to disguise the fact that Britney can't carry a tune is employed here in the hopes that we won't actually notice. According to one critic, "In terms of studio trickery, Paris Hilton's album was practically 'unplugged' compared to this." Never is this more evident than on the song "Radar" where Britney sounds more like a robot than a human being. It's absolutely ridiculous!

Also ridiculous is Britney's insistence that she's still America's sweet, little seductress rather than America's punchline. She spends the majority of the album trying to sound sexy and convince us that she's so with such lines as: "If I get on top, you're gonna lose your mind," "Coming back looking delicious, yes I know they wanna kiss me," "I'm just a girl with the ability to drive a man crazy, Make him call me "mama," make him my new baby" "I can feel you on my lips, I can feel you deep inside," or my personal favorite, "Baby I’m just hot for taking, don’t you wanna see my body naked?" (Chances are, he probably already has Brit Brit). All this stuff might have been sexy 4 or 5 years ago, but after seeing Britney in every bad scenario possible, these lyrics are a joke! Every time I start to think that she sounds sexy, I have an image of a coked-out bald woman beating the hell out of a car with an umbrella, or a mentally unstable girl who can't keep her kids in her custody for more than a few hours and whose idea of a comeback is casually walking around on a stage lip-syncing in underwear on national television. Granted, Britney doesn't do much on this album besides provide vocals (she's only credited on two songs for co-writing), but you'd think someone who's been in the business as long as she has would have the good sense to know that the majority of the lyrics on "Blackout" are laughable. At one point, Britney's singing "I fall off the edge of my mind..." over and over again. What the hell does this even mean? Does anyone know?

In the end, "Blackout" is a misguided, rushed, and ultimately botched attempt at a comeback from an artist that desperately need to take her time making an album that wouldn't be added to her growing list of bad decisions. After all her time in the spotlight, what I wanted to hear most from Britney was something real, something personal that goes deeper than the stupid and overused "bump 'n' grind" lyrics that fill this album. "Blackout" just screams of a rushed job and in the ends, it fails as anything other than a mindless collection of songs with maybe one or two songs that you could dance to in a club. The production is incredible, and if they ever release an instrumental version of "Blackout," I might recommend it to someone. But as it stands, "Blackout" is nothing more than a blip on my radar that I'll forget about tomorrow. If the RIAA wonders why people download music illegally these days, look no further than this album. The American public is smart, and we know what good music sounds like. This ain't it! "Blackout" is a collection of mediocre songs, shoveled onto a CD in the hopes of making a quick buck on the tabloid adventures of Britney Spears. No more, no less.

Recommended for the mindless, and anyone who wants to give Britney the resources needed to continue her depraved lifestyle.

Key Tracks:
1. "Gimme More"
2. "Hot as Ice"

3 out of 10 Stars


Craig said...

"Gimme More" has been a pretty big success for Britney, getting her the highest on the charts that she's been since "Hit Me Baby, One More Time" believe it or not."

Yes, clearly ignoring the #1 Position of Crazy, Oops I did it again, I'm a Slave 4 U, Toxic & Everytime.

Worst most uninformed biased review ever - it's interesting, even the complete HATERS of her have stepped down and admitted the album is catchy and a club pleaser, yet you string together your little review blindly making a complete hypocrite of yourself by dissing and praising the production in the same paragraph.

I feel the need to ask, did you even PLAY this CD? I doubt it very much.

Cale said...

Oh Craig. How nice of you to drop by. I'm sure Britney had #1 hits on, say, the pop charts from time to time.

Here, in reality though, where the success of a single is not judged within it's genre, but on the Billboard Hot 100, you'll find that Britney has only had ONE #1 single and it was "...Hit Me Baby, One More Time."

What's her next highest on the chart? Why, it's "Gimme More" which peaked at #3.

Thanks. And have a great day!

shane said...

Hey Cale...Im not even a Britney fan but to give this album a poor review is just asking to eat crow. There is no doubt in my mind that Britney will score at least 1 more #1 hit and maybe more with this album..And as far as the vocaol effects- who cares as long as the song is hot. And we will see just how hot the songs on this album are within the next few weeks..

Cale said...

Hey Shane!

I'm expecting to eat crow. As for your comment on the vocal effects, I just don't want people to give any credit to Britney for this album. What few "hot" moments there are should solely be credited to the producers, not Britney. Her lack of talent is more apparent on this album than it has ever been before. It's saddening, and it's also hard to listen to.

But it's all my opinion. I have no doubt there will be people who love this album because they can jam to it in their car with the window down or dance to it in a club, but it's not worth my time.

tate said...

Wow why do people like britney spears? The only cool thing britney ever did was marry kevin federline! I mean "Lose Control" should have hit the billboard hot 100 at # 1. Maybe that is just me. I'm a huge kevin federline fan!!!