Sunday, 13 March 2011

Femme Fatale- Britney Spears Deluxe Edition Album Review

Three years after Britney's true comeback record "Circus", she is back with new album "Femme Fatale", featuring a highly auto tuned and addictive sound, after hearing her snippets. It's the kind that you can't get out of your head! I wonder if the full songs will be as good!

The cover of her album is one of her best yet- very simple and stylish. Undeniably, she looks really pretty and soft, though a little dead in the eyes. With an album title named "Femme Fatale", I personally would've expected something darker and slightly stronger, but perhaps that will come through in her fierce music.

The album contains twelve songs with four bonus tracks:

1. Till the World Ends 4.5/5
The second single penned by autotune princess Ke$ha is a catchy offering, especially the repetitions in the pre-chorus and chorus. The "oh-oh-oh-oh-ohs" are addictive stuff! I've never been a fan of lyrics in Britney's songs, they just seem so shallow and superficial, but the line "see the sunlight, we ain't stopping, keep on dancing till the world ends" is pretty good- well done Ke$ha!


2. Hold It Against Me 4/5
Lead single "Hold It against Me" has a heavy beat which keeps you addicted throughout, but this is where the silly lyrics ruin the song. She sings "You feel like paradise and I need a vacation tonight" which is not something anyone would ever sing in a decent song. That said, this track has everything it needs musically to be a hit (and it is), I just can't get past that one line hence the 4/5.


3. Inside Out 4.5/5
As a softer song, 'Inside Out' is reminiscent of her 2001-2003 era of 'Toxic', 'Bombastic Love' and 'Overprotected', arguably the sound she achieved at the height of her career. This song is definitely less autotuned, which is the Britney I personally prefer, making this one of the better tracks for me.

4. I Wanna Go 5/5
One of the catchiest tracks on the record, I was hooked since hearing the snippet, and this song definitely doesn't disappoint. The chorus just gives you a "club with strobe lighting" feel, whilst the verse is slightly more raw and this contrast makes this the best song on the record and hopefully a future single.

5. How I Roll 2.5/5
The breathing sounds that start this song and the chant of a verse which ends with autotune craziness is like Britney is possessed by Ke$ha or something. I am completely turned off by the first twenty seconds or so but it does get catchier. Then the breathing sounds return and I have to skip it. This isn't a bad song, but just not my type, though it is addictive in some parts.

6. (Drop Dead) Beautiful (ft. Sabi) 3.5/5
The album is back on track with (Drop Dead) Beautiful which at first sounds like 2003 era Britney then launches into Lady Gaga territory with the "Drop Dead, Beautiful" repetitions in the chorus which remind me of "Beautiful Dirty Rich". Sabi (who is she?) comes in at just over two minutes with some rap which personally this song does not need and I would prefer it not to have. This is a good song, but not the best, again mighty catchy!

7. Seal It With A Kiss 4/5
The "o-oo-ooh" at the beginning threw me off a bit, I was thinking "Is this still Britney?" but the catchy stuff comes in and dominates. Another very catchy song with variation provided by the "o-oo-ooh" that returns in the chorus, though doesn't stand out in this album.

8. Big Fat Bass (ft. Will.I.Am) 1/5
The worst song on the album features Black Eyed Peas front man Will.I.Am who repeats "Big Fat Bass" at the beginning for far too long, though obviously this is targeted at club goers. The Britney parts don't even sound like Britney, and I can see Fergie singing this far better. Britney, next time, don't take BEP scraps. At first when I first saw this I read it as "Big Fat Ass" LOL, which this might as well be. NEXT.

9. Trouble For Me 3/5
Another club hit, the annoying beginning (what is that called? Dub step?) turned me off, but the rest of this song is actually phenomenal. If only those stupid intro things aren't so dispersed into this track!! I cannot stand them which is such a shame, this would've done better without them anyway and there are far too many club tunes in this record, it is overkill.

10. Trip to Your Heart 3.5/5
Yet another club track; the intro gives a "club green laser" atmosphere. This is far more listenable than 'Trouble for Me' but the sound of it isn't as catchy. The lyrics aren't bad here, but I personally would've liked this to be a ballad as this is all just auto tune club stuff which I'm not into, so again, wasted potential.

11. Gasoline 4.5/5
Britney is back on the 11th track of the record, this time 'Gasoline' has more of a 'Circus' sound which I really liked. Another upbeat catchy track which isn't overly clubby. The lyrics are a bit superficial but I'm so happy it isn't the regurgitation of club that it will suffice.

12. Criminal 5/5
Another misleadingly weird intro which turns into a stunning song. This album ends with a BANG thanks to Criminal which is thankfully not heavy in beat. A catchy tune with darker themes which this whole album should've been about.

Bonus Tracks:
13. Up n' Down
14. He About to Lose Me
15. Selfish
16. Don't Keep Me Waiting

SONGS TO LOVE: Till The World Ends, Inside Out, I Wanna Go, Gasoline, Criminal

SONGS TO SKIP: How I Roll, Big Fat Bass

With a name like 'Femme Fatale', this album really should showcase Britney's fearlessness, strength and evoke a darker theme to 'Circus'. 

Unfortunately it seems like every song on this record was intended to be used by any club in the world and some tracks are just overkill of typical club sounds (Big Fat Bass, Trouble For Me, Trip to Your Heart), rendering this album uneasy for those that liked 'Circus' Britney or expected a pop/dance sound, as this record has no other label than CLUB, written, stamped and etched all over it.

Luckily, 'Circus' and 2003 Britney (at her best) tries to break through in several stand out tracks 'Inside Out', 'I Wanna Go' and 'Gasoline'. My favourite track on the record has to be 'Criminal' as I feel this song not only showcases Britney's vocal ability, reflects the genre she is best at (pop/dance) and sums up this album fantastically, both in theme and name.

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