Monday, December 2, 2013


Okay. This new Britney Spears album, aptly titled Britney Jean, has been hyped as her most personal to date. I am not hearing any evidence of that on initially hearing the record. It seems about as personal as a conversation with an MTA employee. Or a handjob from a Kardashian. That being said, this is a pretty good album. Ray of Light? No. Maybe they meant it's personal for the people who were awake during it's making. Ha. I kid. I love Britney. Britney Jean is, of course, Britney's first and middle name and it bring to mind another artist who hyped a personal album using their middle name that did not do well; Janet Jackson's criminally underrated 2004 effort Damita Jo. That album DID, however, make good on its hype of intimacy. Anyhoo, Britney does have a co-writing credit on every track, but anyone in the music industry knows that just comes from a certain number of successful years in the business and people wanting to work with you. So here is a track-by-track breakdown of Britney Jean.
1. Alien - Britney Jean starts off with a promising track that could be somewhat personal. Alien, produced by William Orbit, among others, and co-written by Britney is all things Orbit; swirling synths, mystical sounding backup vocals and a spot on production. It's got a great melody and, like Gaga's ARTPOP, is delving into space themes. Brit's vocals are nice on this track as well. I would like to see this released as a single.
2. Work Bitch - This cut has been out for a while and it is a pretty banging club track that every gay worth their salt knows by now. Make sure you get the explicit version of the album or instead of "work bitch" it says "work work". LAME!
3. Perfume - serves as the second single from Britney Jean and it's a lovely ballad about a girl losing her man to one of his exes. Personal? Who actually knows if it's that or just more music to move some of her perfume lines. Either way, it's quite lovely and again finds Britney actually singing a melody. Sia co-wrote it and I'll take it. 
4. It Should Be Easy - is a groovy track that, unfortunately, features Will.I.Am. I am so sick of him I can't stand it. The auto-tune on this track makes Cher's Believe sound like an acoustic hootenanny. Still, it's much better than that Scream & Shout monstrosity from last year that they threw at everyone's face and we were supposed to like.
5. Tik Tik Boom (ft. T.I.) - goes hard and sexy with lyrics like "talk dirty to me, babe, every time I want it" Britney is no just flirting on this track. It is full of bass and cooing vocals. One of the stand-out tracks for sure.
6. Body Ache - is not, I learned after hearing it, about a bad flu. It's about dancing until one's body aches. Now I think the last time Britney danced that hard was probably around the time most people buying this album were born, so I find it hard to believe this is personal at all. Ha. This is another hot track.
7. Til It's Gone - Okay, I might believe this is personal on some level. Mourning for lost love could easily fit into Britney's life in many ways. Who knows which lost love this song is about, but it's a nice electro-dance-ballad, if that's a thing. Another stand out track.
8. Passenger - This song is one of the strongest in terms of melody and content that Britney has done in years. Katy Perry co-wrote this song and it seems it could be about God. It's more universally about not trying to control every aspect of your life and letting the universe guide you. Britney turns in a good vocal on this one too, sounding like old-school Brit. This should be a single for sure.
9. Chillin' With You (ft. Jamie Lynn) - Well, this makes a case that auto-tune may be just what the Spears family vocals naturally sound like. They all have little electronic voice boxes. Ha. This is just a simple, bright duet with her little sister, Jamie Lynn, who also has new country single out on iTunes by the way. Nothing groundbreaking here, but I guess it's kind of sweet to hear these two together. They probably understand one another pretty well.
10. Don't Cry - A dark, electronic track closes the album in fine fashion. Mid-tempo beats, sirens and guitar keep this song about staying strong moving along and ending the (non-deluxe) album on a high note. It has a very early Eurythmics feel to it. I like.

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