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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R.I.P. Bionic 2010-2010

10 09 2010

Speaking at a press event for Burlesque (squeeeeeal!) X-tina let it slip that she is done with all things Bionic.
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She said “The creative process that involved Bionic is over, I did what I wanted to do and I’m satisfied with it. If the album sells or if the songs are a hit, I don’t care and I don’t need to know it, I did my part and I gave 100% while I was doing it, and I’m proud of this work…The creative process is my thing, I’m an artist and once something is over, I look forward for what is next, and I don’t look back.”

Honey Honey Honey. You can spin it how you want. Mistakes were made. The first single. Although I loved “Not Myself Tonight”, the bi-sexual Madonna loving video that accompanied it had a “been there, done that” feel. Not a good quality to have. People didn’t want X-tina back. They wanted Christina back. The second problem was ignoring the fact that the first single was going nowhere fast, and not getting something else out pronto.

For me the album was uneven. The most spectacular proof of this was the interlude w/ hubby Bratman and their baby “singing like mama does” right after a song entitled “Sex For Breakfast”. Again. Ewwwwwwwwww. Not okay.

She has given us so much good music over the years and I want to end my critique of the Bionic era on a good note. “Vanity” should have been released as a single. It is as cocky as she wanted to be, but had the balls to back it up. It was a fun self assured romp that Queens all over the South are using as an anthem as we speak. It hurts me to think of the AMAZING remixes that could have been!!!!!

I know she is going to take a hit for Burlesque too- which although I will love- is basically going to be Showgirls Part 2. For me that is an amazing thing. For the mainstream media and middle of the road fans- not so much. Could this be the end of the Superstar?

Have a listen to “Vanity” below. Should it have been a single? Sound off below!


Christina Aguilera – Vanity by maxhipo





From TVLand to Bargain Bin

3 08 2010

Yes, Kristy McNichol DID sing

In the past few weeks I’ve notice two pop/dance “diva’s” albums take two different turns. As Kylie Minogue’s Aphrodite becomes her highest debuting CD of her career, Leighton Meester’s still unreleased CD sits on Universal’s shelf, since its announcement and failed single back in October 2009. These two have more in common than having a slick sound, great shoes and weighing as much as large house cats. Both came from being known as TV actresses (Gossip Girl and Neighbors) with hopes of a big music career. One with a 20 year plus career, one not so much.

So what is it that makes it for so few and breaks it for more than a few?

Could it be talent? While there’s no doubt that the landscape of TV is littered with tone deaf (Cheryl Ladd, Tootie) and over-singers (Dixie and Lynda Carter) many actresses have very nice passable voices which if not great, are Jennifer Lopez, Hilary…not Haley…Duff, and Alanis Morisette have all made pretty decent music…some more than others, but they’re all decent singers.

So if it’s not talent, what is it. The formula seems to have been solved by Disney. They seemed to get it right early on with the 90’s Mickey Mouse Club spawning Britney, X-Tina, and Justin Timberlake. The key formula is today as it was then. Introduce the music with the acting as a slow brainwashing so that you see them as multi-talented and it’s not a shock when they do put out the CD. It still works to this day with successes by Miley and Selena Gomez.

So, Leighton, you may have missed the boat by being the bitch, not the chanteuse, on GG, but maybe Kylie could still use one more backing singer on her next tour. You can sing, right?