Britney Spears’ seventh studio album was released this past week, marking the beginning of another year of Britney’s roboticized vocals controlling the pop music charts. Get ready to be tired of this album. Her album, though praised for being highly revolutionary, is in short and nothing more than synthesized sex. She’s selling the same idea as Oops… I Did it Again, In the Zone and Circus, but this time entitled Femme Fatale. Don’t be fooled into purchasing her erotically charged workout music.
Femme Fatale truly personifies an attempt at that expression. An attempt but not a success, as much of Spears’ music is so manufactured that her sexuality becomes almost comical. Lyrics like “baby let me blow your mind tonight” and “I wanna show all the dirt I got running through my mind” begin to lose their flavor by the third song. Sung with as much fervor as when someone clips their toenails, Spears’ attempts at another titillating album fall short of expectations.
The album begins with the new radio sensation and Britney’s favorite track, “Till the World Ends.” This opening number is another soon to be forgotten dance club beat. The majority of the tracks, including “Inside Out,” “I Wanna Go,” “Drop Dead Beautiful,” “Seal it with a Kiss” and “Trip Your Heart,” all share the same Eurodisco rave synths and coincidentally, all sound alike. However, one song does stand out. “How I Roll” is unlike many of the other tracks on the album for its use of clicks, lasers, pops and elongated slides. It doesn’t carry the identical energy of the other callisthenic based tracks but instead ventures into a new territory for Britney. Her true voice is most clearly distinguishable in this track, giving a new air of relaxation. Sadly, its lyrics again fail to offer depth and continue onward through themes of sex and partying.
The most elementary and prominent ingredient of Britney’s album is the use of repetition. No song escapes this plague of simplicity. “Big Fat Bass” repeats “you can be the bass” over 30 times in its short, four minute composition. Its redundancy is irritating and meaningless.
The pop princess is no more than the puppet of her producers, Max Martin and Dr. Luke. Martin and Dr. Luke play the puppeteers well, responsible for seven of the 12 tracks including the song, “Till the World Ends.” Britney’s manufactured vocals are another product of the puppeteer partners. Her voice is stripped and shredded beyond recognition in almost all tracks. With that formula, one would assume failure, but both producers’ experiences have taught them both differently. Martin and Dr. Luke puppet other pop icons, including Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne, Ke$ha and Pink.
Spears was reluctant to give an interview with Ryan Seacrest on March 4 about her upcoming album. She fielded his questions confidently about “Femme Fatale,” her love life and her personal trainer. Of her album, Spears said “really fun, it’s a really, really fun record.” Her other ideas about the album included “my best work yet,” “great to workout to,” and “upbeat.” Spears’ primary goal was to make a “good mood” album. Femme Fatale does just that. Its redundant lyrics masked by high energy beats create the “good mood” feeling that Spears was aiming for this year.
However, the lack of depth is clear in the lyrics. Spears is not entirely to blame for this as she doesn’t leverage a prominent role in the writing of any of her songs. All in all, the lyrics send the same juvenile messages, and the rave synths can’t compete in the pop world where Lady Gaga is queen.