• "Like Wile E. Coyote realizing too late that he's walked off a cliff and is standing on thin air, "Britney Jean," the new studio album from Britney Spears, is marked with so many sleights of hand, dubious lyrics and bombastic but boringly simple melodies that the too-rare levitation of its better moments seems an animation trick."
Despite not liking Britney Spears’ album covers, I like her new video quite a bit. Yes, I hate the lyrics just as much as you do. The joke chorus is awful, and the verses are a string of clichés. But at least they’re not “I’m rich and in the club” clichés, like pretty much every other pop song released in the last three years. And anyway, the music is good enough. It’s a nice little trance-techno track that, released as an instrumental, would make people who like to go out and dance (not me) very happy indeed.
But I want to talk about the video, because there are [...]
Pop music does not tailgate. Dress Up. Line up. Maybe even pre-party. But there is no tailgating. This is very obvious to anyone who visited the parking lot of the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota, by far the smallest venue of the second leg of Britney Spears' Circus tour. What is not so obvious is how this show nut-shells just about everything that's wrong with the concert industry, from Ticketmaster's monopoly and price gouging, to mildly corrupt, publicly-owned concert venues, to artists lip-syncing shows while they bleed their fans and pass the blame to us-the people who pay for such bullshit anyway. So, who wants to rock?
It turns out that Britney Spears-or at least her brand manager-is something of a cyber-stalker? According to leaked screenshots of Twitter's admin interface, she is blocked by 3855 users. For contrast, pop singer Lily Allen is only blocked by 184. Leave me alone, Britney!
Perhaps the most feminine of all feminine products to have ever existed on Earth is Love's Baby Soft. Its packaging, all soft curves and pale pink and frost, was basically an homage to the tampon. Its marketing scheme was Cinemaxilly soft-focus pre-teen beauty queen. It was made out of chemicals. It smelled like babies.
From the mid-70s until the mid-90s, this fragrance was an object of intense feminine fetishization for girls who had reached a certain age: the one at which we began to feel, rather definitively, not quite like little girls, not yet like teenagers. At this age, around 11 or 12, we acquire a sense that there's a [...]
I can't remember what any of the singles from the last four Britney Spears albums sounds like. Early singles like "…Baby One More Time," "Oops! I Did It Again," and even "Not A Girl (Not Yet A Woman)" were catchy and memorable. None of her more recent material has stuck with me in the same way. What's most striking about her discography, for me, is the awfulness of the cover art. Since the cover for her new album, Femme Fatale, has been released today, I think a review is in order.
16. Puff Daddy & Faith Evans featuring 112, "I'll Be Missing You" 15. Taylor Hicks, "Do I Make You Proud" 14. Carrie Underwood, "Inside Your Heaven" 13. Clay Aiken, "This Is The Night" 12. Elton John, "Candle in the Wind 1997/Something About the Way You Look Tonight"
Rumors have circulated that Madonna, recording artist, will sing with M.I.A. at the Super Bowl. Nicki Minaj is also implicated. Both artists have had success, but can either bring back the monoculture? Leaving the fleeting sensation of a Lynn Hirschberg truffle-fry ambush aside, if M.I.A. were interviewed by Barbara Walters, who would care? Neither M.I.A., a self-consciously “edgy” singer of extraordinary gifts of curation, nor Nicki Minaj, a self-consciously outré rapper of extraordinary gifts full-stop, have cultivated personae beyond “hardworking,” “talented,” and (in M.I.A.’s case) “prone to ignorable political pronouncements.” It’ll be a good show, but no one should expect an iconic moment on par with Madonna heaving in a [...]
Britney Spears, who is 29 years young, would have you believe from her latest communique that she is prepared for the end of the world (either this May, in the rapture, or late 2012). I declare that this is horsepucky. Like she's going to do that upheld-arm-elbow-bang dance move (technical term) while people's faces are melting and the cities slide into the sea and just bop off down the road? Has she seen The Book of Eli? (I have, I was sick recently, and boy howdy, that was not ideal.) It's rough out there in the last gasp of civilization, and she has few viable skills necessary for the end [...]
Oh my God, I heard the new Britney song on the radio. For those of you who do not have radios or did not know there was a new song by Britney Spears that "leaked" yesterday on the Internet (AKA how we release music now), you are living in a world where you have not come face-to-face with the monstrousness of contemporary emptiness. I say this as a person who owns Britney Spears albums! As a person who is resolutely unafraid of "oh baby, look at my butt in da club" music! But if you have previously experienced the work of Ke$ha, you may have guessed what was [...]
In the wee hours of August 1, 2002, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, who had broken up the previous March after Britney allegedly cheated on Justin with their shared choreographer, ran into each other at a club in Los Angeles called The Lounge. Reports differ, but by all accounts the two young pop stars began arguing, with Britney complaining that Justin had been "using different women for media attention" and Justin calling Britney a cheater. The arguing got heated, and continued onto the dance floor of the club-where for the next 90 minutes, Britney and Justin, with the help of their respective entourages, reportedly had a dance-off.
It is a bad sign for your stardom, and your sense of place in the cultural moment, when you are a major tabloid pop star and you whip out your breasts for your new video and the Internet doesn't explode.