Yes, by now it’s common knowledge that Femme Fatale leaked in its entirety yesterday. And yes, we’ve listened to it. And yes, we think it’s terrific — easily Britney’s best since Blackout, and one of her most consistent and cohesive albums overall. (In other words, there is no equivalent to “Email My Heart” or “Dear Diary.”) But don’t just take our word for it — two of the most-buzzed about tracks include the whistle-happy “I Wanna Go” and the will.i.am collaboration “Big Fat Bass,” on which Britney channels Fergie. We’ve already heard them in clip form — now check out their full glory below.
“Big Fat Bass” has all the strengths and weaknesses of your average Black Eyed Peas tune — it’s catchy but repetitive, danceable with pretty inconsequential lyrics, and has the potential to become annoying if played too frequently. It reminds us of a good number of past BEP tracks, to the extent that it might as well be called “Brit Brit Pow.” Sure, we like it — but we think the album has stronger offerings.
“I Wanna Go,” on the other hand, is pretty incredible. Given fans’ positive reactions, it wouldn’t surprise us if it was the next single off this album — and, in fact, might have been a better first single than “Hold It Against Me,” given that one’s polarizing love-it-or-hate-it reception. “I Wanna Go” seems like a less divisive track that pretty much anyone can get into and is a better demonstration of Femme Fatale‘s sound overall.
It’s full of lyrics that only sound dirty once you really start thinking about them, and Britney’s vocal delivery of “Shame on me” is exactly reminiscent of the just-a-little-naughty sex kitten vibe that made her famous in the first place (and is still going strong, thanks to shoots like the recent one in OUT magazine). This track has the potential to be huge, right up there with “Toxic.”
Overall, we’re pleased (and, admittedly, slightly surprised) that Britney’s latest effort is as solid as it is, with so many single-worthy tracks and not a dud in the bunch. Femme Fatale takes the chart-topping diva in a new direction production-wise while still firmly keeping one foot in the sound and subject matter we’ve come to expect from Justin Timberlake’s ex. (Popular topic: hooking up with strangers at clubs. No surprise there.)
Turns out her quotes from the Ryan Seacrest interview were more than just hype after all. Now it’s clearer than ever that Femme Fatale‘s (actual) release on March 29 should be a good day for the pop icon who intends to dance through the apocalypse.