Britney Spears’ “Blackout” Gets Some Harsh Light Thrown On It

blackout.jpgEd. note: We usually save “The Last Word”–where we collect reactions on a new album–for the Monday or Tuesday of that album’s release week, but for some reason, writeups of Britney Spears’ Blackout have started coming in in over the past 24 hours. (Perhaps the dailies are saving their prime review slots for their reactions to the new Eagles album, I’m Not There soundtrack, or, I dunno, the Larry the Cable Guy Christmas album.) So in honor of this–and Jive Records’ decision to bump up the release date for the album–we’ve decided to rush this edition of the feature out as well.

• “Still, there is something delightfully escapist about Blackout, a perfectly serviceable dance album abundant in the kind of bouncy electro elements that buttressed her hottest hits (‘I’m a Slave 4 U,’ ‘Toxic’). Say what you will about Spears’ personal life, but there’s no denying that the girl knows how to have a good time. B+” [EW]
• “The best thing about Blackout is that it makes no pretense about showcasing her vocal prowess with warbled ballads. For Britney, hitting the high notes means getting you into the groove so you can get into her. You can move your feet or just move on.” [USA Today]
• “If you think about it too much, it’s hard not to see her as that old Saturday Night Live ‘drunk girl’ character, the sad lush pawing men at a party. Luckily, with music this fun you won’t have to think about that too much. Instead think about this: How wonderful it is that, in the world of slick pop, even if stars can’t deliver, the machine behind them still can.” [NY Daily News]
• “‘ I’m Mrs. ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’/You want a piece of me/I’m Mrs. ‘Oh my God, that Britney’s Shameless’/You want a piece of me,’ Spears sings, asserting that the caricature in the gossip columns isn’t the ‘real’ Britney. The trouble is none of that sounds too exaggerated. And anyone who does want a piece of such a sad, troubled and self-destructive woman should really be ashamed.” [Chicago Sun-Times]
• “While personal responsibility may be a hard concept to grasp, especially when work essentially crafted by others, like “Blackout,” appears with your name on it, nevertheless it’s a reality. And the faster Spears recognizes that, the quicker we can move on to the next chapter in “The Britney Spears Story.” The current one, you see, has grown increasingly tedious.” [Newsday]

Blackout (stream) [MTV]

  • Anonymous

    Wait a second… she didn’t write all the music?

  • jt.ramsay

    But have you seen the AP review? From the article:

    “Blackout,” her first studio album in four years, is not only a very good album, it’s her best work ever _ a triumph, with not a bad song to be found on the 12 tracks.

  • DeeW

    Well, the reviews are generally good. You know what time it is, right?

    Britney vs. 50 Cent

    It’s inevitable.

  • Julio Allison


    Not a bad song? Fuck, they’ve all been bad songs. It really depends more on whether you enjoy listening to complete shit.

  • mike a

    Looks like the cover of the Julie Ruin album, which is ironic to say the least…

  • katieee

    Looks like she’s wearing one of those mailman safari hats.

    The good reviews probably don’t mean the album is actually good; just that it’s not shockingly bad, as it could have been. With a performer like her, do reviews even matter? All that’s expected of her are vaguely dance-able tunes, and she has enough fans and gawkers to keep her afloat. The tour should be an interesting affair, if there is one…

  • Cfredl54

    i am a big fan of early britney- ‘Baby one more time’ through, like, her “britney” album. (I know its sad, but i am not ashamed.) anyway i think this CD sucks. I miss “Email my Heart” britney! @mike a: haha, but the julie ruin album looked a lot better than this HS yearbook quality photoshop job, and had some good songs on it.

  • jt.ramsay

    @KingHater: Yeah, I was quoting that article because I found it to be, how can I put this, batshit crazy, not because I love the new album.

  • DrSpaceman

    How wonderful it is that, in the world of slick pop, even if stars can’t deliver, the machine behind them still can.

    Huh. Interesting defition of “wonderful” there.

    So everybody admits that this supposed pop singer can’t sing (that even her minute chirps are Pro-Tooled up the arse and buried in computer effects), can’t dance, can’t write, can’t perform live or even in a much-edited enviroment of a music video. She’s not conventionally beautiful or even clean enough to be attractive these days, has lost custody of her kids, is too drugged up to do any PR and too dumb to even realize she has an album coming out under her name. Not to be all “Get off my lawn” – because I recognize a place for manufactured pop in the industry – but why are we supposed to find it “wonderful” rather than disturbing when a record company spends millions on someone with absolutely nothing to offer in the way of talent, performing ability or even basic human decency? Christ, at least Milli Vanilli put energy into promo appearances and being the public face for the music they didn’t sing. With the decline of the industry and the departure of major artists from the labels, I fail to see what the bright side of this situation is. What would be “wonderful” is if, after this release, Jive cut ties from this fiasco. They could easily spend their Britney budget on developing ten new artists and bands that might actually be talented and grateful for the opportunity.