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Criticism | ‘Femme Fatale’ reflects Britney Spears’ brash ambition to reinvent herself

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In an apparent recovery of the attributes that put her on top of the world, Britney Spears finally seemed to have made up for it after a media-caused meltdown. With the release of ‘Blackout’ in 2007 and the consecutive release of ‘Circus’ two years later, the Music Princess showed great appreciation for the pop genre she had explored early in her career and took advantage of it. to follow the trends that have shone. into mainstream culture – embracing forays into electro-pop, synth-pop and EDM, merging them into explosive iterations that have fallen in the interest of critics and audiences alike and reaffirmed their important status in the music industry.

In January 2011, Spears began promoting his next work, titled ‘Femme Fatale’. The evocative title, worthy of a diva who wears a crown as marked as this, was already preparing fans for an adventure full of sensuality, romantic lyrics and a melancholy sadness that had invaded their songs for some time (well, en plein The previous review noted the apathy of the performer in “Out from Under” and “Unusual You”, for example). The difference is that with this seventh studio album, Britney was able to play with styles and not give the obvious in artistic terms – even if some advances did not work. The result, although inferior to anything the singer had given us so far, remains dancing enough to make us forget the problems.

Upon release, ‘Femme Fatale’ caught critical attention for the exuberance of each piece and the way in which countless instrumental expressions have melted into a microcosm of pure experimentalism, one step closer to ‘l ‘art for the sake of art’, talk about it – but they noticed the weak inspiration of the verses, which didn’t even allow her to sign any of the songs (except for ‘Scary’, which didn’t do the starring). standard version of the disc). That said, one has to comment on the skill of Max Martin, Dr. Luke and Lukasz Gottwald, frequent contributors to Spears, who have done their best to at least try to create some dialogical connection between the tracks and extract the marketing successes – a objective they have masterfully achieved.

Britney’s first new age single was brought to life with the dance-pop song “Hold It Against Me”. Despite the glaring multiplicity of sound elements that unfold throughout the piece, everything is carefully thought out and, in the end, converges towards an important change of air for the artist. Of course, the bubblegum pop stays alive both in the drills and in the chorus and in the iconic bridge that brings us together for a final epic – fueled exponentially by a gorgeous music video titled by Jonas Åkerlund (a director who worked with Lady Gaga and Madonna, for example). Lyrically, you don’t see much originality; on the contrary, we have the exhilaration of carnal love and the phases that accompany it – but it doesn’t matter: we are engulfed in an icy atmosphere that makes us want to dance until the end of the world.

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The pun here is a hook for the second single from the album, which reached a rarity to match its predecessor: “Till the World Ends”, functioning as an electro-dance epigraph, is a narcotic journey through a brash post-apocalyptic underworld, driven by the uncontrollable desire to dance and not caring about the issues that plague us day in and day out. “You know I can level it up, baby” is a classic nostalgia-ripped verse that picks up on “Britney” and “In The Zone” – but elevated to the tenth power when it comes to contemporaneity and a production determined without aesthetic limits. Likewise, Britney demonstrates her fun in the controversial “I Wanna Go”, reminiscent of the liberation hymns she awoke years ago.

While several songs grab our attention and guide us on this new journey of the princess of pop, others fail to complete their goal and don’t even seem to know how to go about it. The main obstacle they face is editing and the inability to achieve their own exaggeration – and here I’m citing the unnecessary distortions of “He About to Lose Me” or the mistaken house flirting with “Big Fat Bass” (an inexplicable conjunction of Britney with the will .i.am of the group Black Eyed Peas). Others resort to an empirical exploration that could be better protected, such as the pressing subtlety of “Gasoline” or the nostalgic pop-rock of the underrated “Don’t Keep Me Waiting”, which deserved a greater place on the screen. ‘album. ‘Selfish’ is another of the tracks that has been wrongly left out, as it is one of the best entries of ‘Femme Fatale’, whether for the familiarity of its progression or for the subliminal messages that lurk. in his verses.

It is almost irrelevant to comment on the flawless beauty of “Criminal,” a semi-ballad that, in the album’s standard version, ends this journey with a touch of gold. The tale moves away from conventionalisms immortalized by Spears throughout his career and puts Martin back in shape; perhaps the aspect that catches our attention the most is the fact that the iteration is not as aggressive as its compatriots and reflects the vulnerability we love so much about the singer.

‘Femme Fatale’ suffers from the ailments that have emerged on the mainstream scene since the late 2000s – the demand Britney Spears feels obligated to meet: to prove that she can stay ahead of a violent industry without being erased by new artists (that is, something that she doesn’t realize she doesn’t need to do).

Rating per track:

1. Until the end of the world – 5/5
2. Hold it against me – 5/5
3. Upside down – 3.5 / 5
4. I want to go – 4/5
5. How do I ride – 2/5
6. (Drop Dead) Beautiful (feat. Sabi) – 3/5
7. Seal it with a kiss – 3.5 / 5
8. Big Fat Bass (feat. Will.i.am) – 2/5
9. Problem for me – 3.5 / 5
10. Journey to the Heart – 3/5
11. Gasoline – 4.5 / 5
12. Criminal – 5/5
13. Up and down – 2.5 / 5
14. He’s about to lose me – 2.5 / 5
15. Selfish – 4.5 / 5
16. Don’t make me wait – 5/5

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