Ed. note: The reviews for Britney Spears’ Blackout keep pouring in, so why not run another edition of “The Last Word,” where we compile the last sentences of reviews of the album? Be honest: You’re much more interested in what people have to say about Britney’s new album than what they have to say about the Eagles’. And that’s OK, really.
• “Ms. Spears scarcely lacks for publicity (she remains the paparazzi’s favorite quarry) but she has done almost nothing, in the recording studio or outside it, to convince fans that Blackout is really hers, or really her. That doesn’t make it any harder to delight in how good the best songs sound. But that may well make it hard (or impossible) for fans and skeptics to treat this CD as a serious comeback attempt. Ubiquitous, one way or another, for almost a decade, Ms. Spears has finally managed to become a spectral presence — on her own album.” [NYT]
• “According to press materials, the album’s title refers to ‘blocking out negativity and embracing life fully.’ But avid Britney watchers will be forgiven for assuming that Blackout refers to getting wasted–too wasted to prepare for your big comeback on the MTV Video Music Awards, or take care of your kids, or put on underwear. The music sounds good. Britney Spears just doesn’t get credit for it.” [Boston Globe]
• “Most of the time, however, Britney is a ghost in her own pop machine, a distant voice chopped into the mix, at the mercy of a fate of her own design. Which seems dangerously close to her real life persona circa whenever the next tabloid hits the stands. When she sings about losing control, which she’s done her whole career, one can’t think this is what she had in mind. ” [Austin American-Statesman]
• “Listening to Blackout is not only an energetic release, it’s also a relief: No, Spears hasn’t completely lost it, and yes, her career has a flicker of fire left–actually much, much more. But with all the damage Spears has done and continues to do to her public image, will anyone outside her core fan base (and who knows what that consists of these days) care anymore? This album is the first, great step in making that happen.” [AP]
• ” And the other is B&A’s grabby ‘Piece Of Me,’ in which she refers to herself as ‘Miss American Dream since I was 17,’ and sings, “I’m Mrs. Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous / I’m Mrs. Oh-My-God that Britney’s shameless.’ Which she again proves herself to be, getting off a few good lines as she portrays herself as an unjustly persecuted working mother: ‘I’m Miss Bad Media Karma, another day, another drama / Guess I can’t see no harm in working and being a mama.’ There certainly is no harm in that, though there’s also nothing on the hearty-partying Blackout to suggest that Spears is focused on attaining the skills to become a model parent any time soon. But being a pop star? She still knows how to do that. ” [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Blackout (stream) [MTV]