Britney Spears is 30 this year – whisper it, but in pop years she’s almost dead. Our Brit knows that she’s used up a few of her pop lives already though, so for her seventh studio album she’s taking no chances, ushering in the production powerhouse of Max Martin and Dr Luke as well as an ocean of top writers. The result is a thumping party album flushed with a stack of bang-up pop tunes. If you don’t have your hands in the air for most of this, check your pulse, it might be you that’s dead…
Britney signals her intent with first single Hold It Against Me, which, like most of this opus is a firm friend of the dancefloor with a killer hook. The same goes for second single Till The World Ends which implores the DJ to get us up and keep us dancing till the world ends – as openers go, it’s smokin’. For this album, Britney isn’t letting glumness into the party one bit – not even for a sneaky fag. Instead, she slinks on I Wanna Go and How I Roll; she bleeps on (Drop Dead) Beautiful; and she rocks out with will.i.am, whose Big Fat Bass just keeps getting bigger and bigger. See what they did there? Even break-up track Trouble For Me reverbs with wonkiness and demands a dance routine. Six songs on the album are about Ms Spears hooking up with a stranger at a club; four have her getting in on with someone she already knows. It seems clear that Britney is a terribly friendly soul.
Four years on from the brilliant Blackout, it appears that Britney – and more importantly her choice of writers and producers – are back in the zone. This is a more mature Britney who’s produced her own stamp on the new electro-pop age – yes even with GaGa et al to contend with. There are definite echoes of Madonna’s Confessions On A Dance Floor here and sure, the whole thing’s drowned in auto-tune. However, with mates like will.i.am, Bloodshy & Avant and the good Dr, you know what’s underneath is solid enough not to crumble.
Britney Spears’ Femme Fatale is out on March 28th.