Britney Spears: Just Hanging On

Courtesy of Jive Records

“Femme Fatale,” Britney Spears’ newest album, delivers a noticeably electronic sound with trance influences. It features Britney’s signature synthesized voice with a few added embellishments.

Ever since musical pioneer T-Pain paved the way for artists with his signature, auto-tuned voice, artists have been bolder about blatantly transforming their voices for aesthetic appeal. Whereas in the past, when it seemed that Britney hid the fact that she couldn’t sing behind lip-syncing and bells and whistles, in this album, she sports a much more obviously altered voice. This is sure to make no difference in garnering or hindering appreciation. No one has ever really listened to Britney’s music for her vocal expertise anyway. People look to Britney for fun pop music, and she most certainly delivers.

Like any great pop album, there is a definite emphasis on dance tracks, and the deluxe version of the album supplies 16. The subject matter for the most part is about love, dancing and having a good time, as can be expected. makes an appearance on track 8 on the album, titled “Big Fat Bass” which he also helped write. The track is a subtler dance song with surprisingly gentle lifts in the melody, accompanied with Britney’s robotic voice.

Ke$ha, although without a vocal appearance on the album, leant her creative pen to the formation of the first track on the album, “Till the World Ends,” a refreshingly innocent song about dancing until the world ends. It accurately depicts the moments in life when you get those antsy feelings on the dance floor, when you just can’t resist having the beat pulsate through your body, in the presence of someone you want to move to the beat with. It would seem as though Britney’s producers pulled in the reins on Ke$ha’s raunchy creativity on this one. There is no reason to foresee mothers taking an issue with the song. “See that sunlight / We ain’t stopping / Keep on dancing till the world ends.”

Britney’s impending success on this album can be attributed to the fact that she, or more realistically, her handlers, aren’t trying to create music imitating or trying to top recent superstars like Lady Gaga or Rihanna, who seem to be trying to outdo each other, or themselves. Britney has a team of seasoned veterans from the top of the pop world, who don’t need to resort to loving the smell of sex in the air or giving birth to alien life forms for shock value to sell albums. The music speaks for itself and the lyrics are barely suggestive and relatively PG-rated. The album is definitely targeted toward an extremely wide audience.

Some recommended tracks include “Till the World Ends,” “Hold it Against Me,” “I Wanna Go,” “Trouble for Me,” “Gasoline,” and “Up n’ Down.”

There is no doubt that this album will achieve success, but it comes at a price which is clear for everyone who ventures to peer into Britney‘s lifeless eyes. Whether you like pop music or not, you have to admit that Britney is a martyr of sorts. She has sacrificed a life of normalcy and stability for the entertainment of the masses and the bank accounts of her producers. So, the next time you’re bumping one of her tracks in the car with your girlfriends, take a second to appreciate Britney. Think twice before commenting about how shallow she is and how she’s the epitome of mainstream. There is no denying the millions of people she makes happy, even if it is only for the duration of a simple three to five-minute song.

Rating: 3/5 Stars