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Customer Review

on 6 December 2003
Britney is backa with a bang, after a promotional boost thanks that racy kiss with Madonna on the MTV Video Music Awards, Britney is pulling out all the stops and is determined to see to it that her new album sells quicker than a special free Jennifer Lopez edition of Playboy and one can't fault the girl for trying. Britney has turned the sensuality metre right up to 11. That's not to say that this album is quite as skanky as Christina Aguilera's Stripped (terrible album by the way) but she does never the less sound like a randy college girl on the loose. One would be forgiven for thinking Britney had a multiple personality disorder. She doesn't sound in any way like the sweet, giggley Britney that you often see in interviews. Here, she sounds like she has enough attitude and libido to beat Annabelle Chong in a game of "I can do more in 10 hours than you". Britney sounds hornier than ever before in songs like "I Got That (Boom Boom)", "Breathe On Me" and "Touch Of My Hand". Unfortunately, none of these songs are as genuinely sexy and fun as "I'm A Slave 4 U" and "Boys". She also treats us to what will probably be the last piece of sugar coated pop that she'll ever do, "Brave New Girl". The song is very positive and uplifting but lacks the distinctiveness and memorable hooks of songs such as "Soda Pop", "Stronger" and the like. Why the quality of Britney's music has declined like this is open to anyone's own interpretation, but I think she could have worked with better producers. Britney has parted ways with Max Martin, who produced all of her hits prior to this album, with the exception of "I'm A Slave 4 U" and "Boys" produced by The Neptunes and her cover of "I Love Rock & Roll" produced by Rodney Jerkins (aka Dark Child). Max Martin is a talented pop tunesmith and an excellent producer and without him, Britney seems lost in this ocean of producers (why she got R. Kelly to produce the awful "Outrageous" is anybody's guess)and in fact, this sounds more like their album than her's even though she has co-written more tracks here than ever before. Britney's vocals sound particularly weak, where she sang her heart out on her first three albums, she rarely utters more than groan here. You can't help but get the feeling that this album would have been no different if you got Emma Bunton to sing it. I would recommend any Spears album (especially her third) to pop enthusiasts apart from this one. Although there are a lot of musical influences here, ranging from trip hop to trance to new age to hip hop and even world music, I was still left feeling cold. Ironically, her other albums were put together in a more calculated way but perhaps that was always part of Britney Spears' charm. This is not a bad album, if want to hear a creative failure of collosal proportions, listen to Christina's disastrous Stripped album, but it still sounds like Britney knows as little about where she's going with her music as she does her career. Lets hope she puts things into perspective with her next release.
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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