Britney’s Femme Fatale Wounds, But Doesn’t “Kill”

11 03 2011

Don’t call it a comeback, again. She never really left. Unless you count a couple of years off for crazy, Britney’s been going strong-ish for over a decade now. Somehow through all her troubles, PR issues, seeming lack of personality or brains or hair, she’s continued to draw the biggest talent and get the most press, all outselling girls from her heyday with much bigger voices like XTina, Jessica Simpson and my beloved Mandy Moore. What has Britney got that has kept her relevant over the years while the Aguilera’s of the world sing from the gutter (no, really, I just saw her out front Hotel Chateau)? Listening to Britney’s new CD, the secrets in the producers.

Much like sports teams like the Yankees, enough money will buy you talent, therefore getting you results, fixed or not. The ultimate pop powerhouse of Dr. Luke (Taio Cruz, Katy Perry, Ke-dollar sign-ha) and Max Martin (Kelly Clarkson, P!nk, BSB, Britney) are executive producers with Darkchild, Bloodshy, and Satan Will.i.am twiddling the knobs. Not that there’s anything wrong per se with this method. What  Femme Fatale (in stores March 25th) gives us is as polished and pretty as a new diamond. Early singles Till The End Of the World and Hold It Against Me lead of the project, both extremely strong, if not overly simple.  Just like on the last two albums, they led off with candy singles and hid some of the other gems (Break The Ice, Mannequin, Unusual You) for your later discovery. Trip To The Heart moves beyond her usual sounds for more of a Kylie Minogue “green fairy dust” sort of lightness that works well for her voice. The pop jams Trouble For Me and Gasoline wouldn’t sound out of place on her mid-period albums with their simple funky 00’s sheen – Think Toxic, or Stronger – though we could do without the prog house drops in the middle of Trouble. The only missteps are the dubhouse crap of Inside Out and How I Roll. Both to sound dated soon. If you liked Circus, definitely pick up, Femme Fatale, but if not, she won’t win you over with this one either.

 

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