It’s Britney BITCH! God I love Britney blog posts. No need to be refined, no need to really even say anything, because words can’t do this girl justice, just as words will never hurt her. Britney is the nuclear-proof cockroach of the charts, her fans are GAGGING for new material, to the point that even before Femme Fatale has been officially released we’ve all over-played it and want more. There is a group of people, me included, who will literally throw money at anything by “Britney Spears”, possibly because we were at an impressionable age when Baby One More Time came out, possibly because she accommodates our alter-egos, or possibly becauses she just pushes out pop music at its purest. Perhaps those are the signs of a true pop star. Someone who has a place in your heart, someone you've kept with you since childhood. An inexplicable emblem.
When it comes to writing about Britney, everything has already been said, she’s not real, she’s just a brand, she can’t sing, she can’t dance, wa wa wa. Few of us know what she’s really like. Perhaps she’s quite intelligent underneath it all, perhaps she really is insane. Perhaps she’s watching TV with Ashton Kutcher right now, perhaps she’s in the bath, perhaps she’s dead. No, when it comes to Britney the old lady drops the blogger’s rulebook into the ocean and you can just type what the fuck you like. This girl don't even turn up to her own press conferences. Super STARRGH, where you from, how’s it going? Even national newspapers know that Britney is a journalistic wild card. Britney just is, and Britney just isn’t. Just say the word to yourself - Britney - go on, say it again, - Britney - what do you feel? - Britney - just remarkable. Its 100% distilled pop culture.
SO, Britney has a new album out, Femme Fatale. It’s a club album really, with girly dance songs seemingly inspired by nursery rhymes and breezy beats that are all underlined with intense and dark production touches. A genre which I’m christening as Dub-Prep. Anyway, I just had a listen and here are my first thoughts on each track:
Till The World Ends
A good first track. Lots of electronic vroop-vroop-vroops that set Femme Fatale’s club theme. Gets a bit boring though. Too reminiscent of Britney’s Pepsi ad. Seeing Britney buy songs off Ke$ha is like Ralph Lauren asking Jack Wills to design a collection. The problem with Ke$ha is that she’s a poor risk-shy hybrid of Uffie and Gaga, who in turn are both imitations of their own idols, and so we’re right at the end of the pop chain here. Imagine if you will a human centipede in which Britney’s plastic mouth is sewn-up to Ke$ha’s flabby glitter arse, forced to swallow her own successor’s shit. Luckily, Femme Fatale has more to offer…
Hold It Against Me
With its refreshing dub step inspired elements, dramatic breaks and hardcore beat, Hold It Against Me is the new trump card in Britney’s songbook. A Dub-Prep classic (WILL. CATCH. ON). The song says “Look Gaga, you can make a twenty-three minute video, re-enact the nativity story underwater with robots and wear a Rhino on your head for all I care, because I’m Britney Spears, I was nailing this shit a decade before you and all I need is my dodgy mascara” Britney has a gift for making pop look easy and effortless, everything’s in cruise control, whereas Gaga, as genius as she may be, makes being a pop star look exhausting.
Odd pauses at the start – effective slash annoying. Very Timbalandy sound. Sadly has one of of those constipated urban beats that is too slow for a party, for marching to work or for playing in the car (parts of my life that I gladly hand over to Miss Spears). I liked the lyric “Gotta look my best if we’re gonna break up”, also “hit me one more time” was a nice self-reference. Sexy beat or sandwich filler? Can’t decide.
I Wanna Go
Ooh, big camp beat HELLO. The whistling annoys me. She does that old trick where “I wanna go” suddenly becomes “I, I, I, Wanna Na Na Na, Go Oh Oh Oh”, which is fine at first but becomes a bit weak as the keystone of the entire song. Fast forward.
How I Roll
Definite like. Some Grace Jones-esque operattack vocal trickery here, à la Kylie Minogue’s X track Nudity. I like the splash of a piano, a nice anachronistic touch that reminds us we’re not actually living in space yet. Explicit lyrics alert, like “You can be my fuck tonight” and “Go down where my pussy’s at”. Britney is well past trying to prove she’s not that innocent, the final effect is just a chilled out message of “Look, I’m turning 30 this year guys”.
Drop Dead (Beautiful) feat. Sabi
Coming to a Shane Dawson YouTube video near you, it’s one of those poochy pouty applying-my-lip-gloss in the back of a taxi ones. Someone needs to tell Britney the phrase is actually drop dead gorgeous. The closest track to anything on Circus, sounds a bit like Kill The Lights (watching me, watching you, doo-bee dee). I love the bit where Britney just laughs her head off. What’s this Sabi malarkey though?
Seal It With A Kiss
I can just picture the Glee version now. The Ke$ha influence is very evident again, lots of Blah Blah Blah yo-yo beats. The chorus is a scared-of-itself rip-off of Katy Perry’s California Girls, which of course was itself a rip off of both Ke$ha's Tik Tok and Gaga’s Just Dance, which in turn was a rip-off of Aqua probably. Weird dub-preppy bit in the middle. The nursery rhyme inspiration this time: Cross my heart, Hope to die.
Big Fat Bass feat. Will.I.Am
Quite a fun number, and you can choose between the Will.I.Am or the Without.I.Am versions. Sounds a bit like something they’d use in a Curry’s advert. I like it when Britney speaks like a manic robot “THE BASS IS GET TING BIG GER THE BASS IS GET TING BIGGER”. A harmless dance tune, but let’s be honest, it’s like a Dannii Minogue album track. Pull the needle off it.
Trouble For Me
“Black Jack, whiskey straight, every day changes your life”. It’s a song about sleeping with hot twats and reluctantly giving them a second chance, mainly because they’re good in bed, which is kind of the story of my life. 2nd favourite track on album.
Trip To Your Heart
My current favourite. It’s a bubblegum electro-lullaby take on Shakira’s She Wolf that steers itself very close to the melody of Forever Young, and with a bit of everyone's favourite One Two, Buckle My Shoe thrown in for good measure. Halfway through the chorus Britney ditches lyrics in favour of going “Mm, loo loo loo dum dum dum doo”, like she’s got a croissant in her mouth or is skipping around the studio pulling her own plaits, I like that part.
Not feeling this one. It’s the If You Seek Amy of Femme Fatale and it’s even more irritating.
The intro made me crack up; it’s like a medieval-themed computer game. Like something off Madonna’s American Life album. Guitars and Britney don’t go. There’s also something a bit weird about a heartfelt slow number sung by a computer-generated witch that vaguely sounds like Britney Spears. If you want a Britney ballad you’re still better off listening to her 90s whoppers like Sometimes and Born To Wear A Nappy.
So, there we have it. As Culture Bully put it – “Femme Fatale is an album about celebrating the night: music for and about the clubs and the intimate aftermath that follows.”
It’s nothing mind-blowing, nothing new, none of the tracks are better than Cyndi Lauper’s Into The Night. But it’s Britney bitch, and you’re so buying it.
P.s. The photos on Britney's Wikipedia page are weird.