Ed. 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]