Thursday, March 17, 2011

Britney Spears' “Femme Fatale” Is An Aural Assault

Britney Spears, the self-declared living legend, has done it again by (somehow) managing to live up to all the hype and speculation surrounding her seventh studio album Femme Fatale.

It would be too easy to say that this album is representative of today’s pop music scene (for better or worse), rather, it’s more than that. It’s not a concept album. There are no thinly veiled (read: made up) political themes as a means to drive listens. So what is it then?

Femme Fatale is a high-octane, slickly produced dance album comprised of at least 10 potential single-worthy tracks brimming with ridiculously infectious beats and gobs of sexual innuendo. It’s heavy on synthesizers, light on substance, and will straight up assault your eardrums.

By now, we’re all well versed in “Hold It Against Me,” the Dr. Luke/Max Martin production that dissolves into a jaw-dropping dubstep breakdown as well as the Ke$ha penned “Till The World Ends” that is so similar to her own single “Blow” that there are moments where we can’t tell the two songs apart. But that’s OK because the difference is while Ke$ha can write an earworm-worthy song, she doesn’t have the clout to make an impact the way Britney Spears does.

In total, Dr. Luke and Max Martin are responsible for seven of the album’s twelve tracks, but it’s the Bloodshy produced “How I Roll” that elevates Femme Fatale above the latest albums from Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, and Katy Perry, all pop divas in their own right who have cashed in on the Luke/Martin gravy train. The song is unlike anything you’ve heard in Billboard’s Top 100 full of pops, sputters, hand-claps and hollow, robotic Britney vocals. It’s irresistible to anyone with a heartbeat and it could easily have been a b-side from Body Talk, Robyn’s 2010 standout album.

Then there’s the mid-tempo break-up-turn-one-last-romp song,“Inside Out,” which at first listen might appear to be the odd man (uh…song) out on the beat-thumping Femme Fatale, but it’s not. The song is masterful in its own right thanks to Spears’ hazy delivery. Stans will even get a kick out of the little nod in the chorus to the song that started it all, “…Baby One More Time” when she purrs “You know what I want right now/Hit me one more time it’s so amazing…”

Point being – it’s time we all come to terms with the fact that Britney Spears is the real deal regardless of how present or involved she is in deciding her career’s direction (jury is still out there). We’re all guilty of dismissing her talent (yes,talent), chalking her success up to being a great marketing tool (maybe in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s), but the fact is it’s now over a decade since “…Baby One More Time” changed pop music and her latest effort, Femme Fatale, is more progressive than its nearest competitor by a longshot.

Source: The Round Table

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