When you are up against Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Katy Perry, there’s no room for subtlety.
Britney Spears never sways from the role of constantly available disco bunny on her album “Femme Fatale,” out today.
The 12 very straightforward mating-call tracks are in-heat demands for love, burnished by her producers into the sleekest collection we are likely to hear in 2011 -- or at least until Lady Gaga releases “Born This Way” on May 23.
Spears, who turns 30 this year, has sold more than 100 million albums. Listen to a track like “Inside Out” and it’s clear she’ll sell a few more. Pulsating synths clatter away and the dubstep beats are easy to dance or work out to.
Britney’s fulltime job for a while was as a one-woman tabloid news factory, fuelled by rehab, car crashes, hasty marriages, custody fights, stripping and head-shaving.
She hasn’t been writing songs or producing her own music -- she’s left that to the likes of Dr. Luke, Max Martin and will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, whose song “Big Fat Bass” is one of the best things here.
Brand Britney is too valuable to be messed up and this autotuned album carries on where “Circus” left off, though there isn’t anything quite as good as its 2008 single “Womanizer” or her previous hits “Toxic” and “Gimme More.”
The lyrics include the lines “So if I said I want your body now, would you hold it against me?” and “Got me kinda hot... steaming like a pot full of vegetables.”
Vegetables? Well, at least it makes a change from Lady Gaga’s meat dress.
What the Stars Mean: ***** Exceptional **** Excellent *** Good ** Average * Poor (No stars) Worthless
Spears is on Jive Records. Her new CD is priced from $12.98 in the U.S. and 8.99 pounds in the U.K. There is also a deluxe edition adding extra tracks. Download fees vary across services.
(Mark Beech writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)