Tonight we tried to write a track by track album review for Britney Spears’ new album ‘Britney Jean’. Touted throughout its promotion as being highly ‘personal’, and with Spears herself containing a co-write on every track for the very first time, we really didn’t want to be let down by the album. Through our fandom and fondness of Britney, we felt duty bound to go and purchase a physical copy of the album, rather than listening to any leaks. Not being huge fans of either single lifted from the album we presumed that we would be underwhelmed with the album. We tried to give the album a chance. We really did.
There are only so many times you can criticise an artist’s output whilst still remaining complimentary about them. Britney’s albums ‘In The Zone’ and ‘Blackout’ are two of the best albums we own and probably will ever own. But there’s got to be a time when you just accept that an artist isn’t doing it for you. That she’s constantly putting out what is, in your eyes, subpar material. A time when you demand more from one of your favourite artists. Because whilst sales are still strong, nothing will change, and Britney will still be producing wildly inappropriate music. Whilst hardcore fans blindly put all her material on a pedestal, we will still be demanding more, because we expect more. We’re sure that Britney has amazing instincts when it comes to pop music. She doubtless has it in her to be an absolutely incredible popstar. There are far too many people coming between Britney and the music and that makes us frustrated and sad.
Regrettably Britney Jean is not delivering the material any longer.
We’ll start with some of the things we like on the album. ‘Now That I Found You’ is our favourite track from the album, and even though it has very blatantly been “influenced” by Avicii’s megahit ‘Wake Me Up,’ we find it extremely enjoyable. ‘Brightest Morning Star’ is a sweet pop song that makes us wish that Dr Luke had been executive producer of the album. ‘Passenger’ is cutesy but should never have been sung by Britney. Jamie Lynn’s feature in ‘Chillin’ With You’ is a great idea. We’ve warmed up to lead single ‘Work Bitch’, and we think ‘It Should Be Easy’ could be a massive club and chart hit. Finally, we enjoy many of the elements of ‘Tik Tik Boom’, particularly T.I.’s guest rap.
Sadly there are far too many things wrong with the album. We really don’t feel like tackling all these issues, mainly because it ultimately boils down to the songs not being good enough. There should be a certain quality standard that songs have to pass to be included on a Britney Spears album. It’s hard to blame Spears when her vocals have been so fiddled with, so warped beyond recognition, that it’s hard to imagine her ever actually singing plenty of these songs. It’s even harder to imagine her writing any of these tracks despite her co-write credits. It’s hard to imagine her caring much about the album at all. Which makes the whole ‘it’s personal’ message behind the album feel even more redundant. It makes ‘Femme Fatale’ sound like a masterpiece by comparison.
If Britney has reached a point in her career where she doesn’t want to be a popstar for the time being, as seems apparent, then we wish the powers that be would let that happen.
This is really not a good album.