Britney Spears released Blackout, somehow, in October of 2007. Despite all of the hullabaloo and rubbish embedded in her personal life, this is the best album Britney’s ever made. It is deeply produced, often chaotic, and often obnoxiously breathy. Nevertheless, Blackout is also amazingly captivating, precariously danceable, and damned exciting.
Before Brit mystified the world with baldness, babies, and bad behaviour, she was actually a pop star. Way back in 1999, she implored us to hit her one more time. Since then, life’s been interesting for the pop princess as she’s bounced boyfriends around and been reliable rumour fodder for the glitz-and-sham media. Her life has likely put many a paparazzo’s kid through college, if they have those…
But I digress because it really is about the music with Blackout. Sure, she gives the odd nod to her charmed life as the target of stalkers and dreadful decisions. For the most part, though, this is straightforward blazingly hot pop. The familiar strains of “Gimme More” start out the album with a likeable pop standard and we’re swiftly treated to stimulating music after that.
The earworm known as “Radar” seems fit for radio release and a smashing video. Other tracks are hot and sticky in classic Spears fashion, like the aptly-named “Get Naked (I Got a Plan)” on which she coos “I’m not ashamed of my beauty.” She totally strips away any remnants from the Mickey Mouse Club, ditches her tween fans, and gets naked all over Blackout.
Sure, Brit’s often distorted to the point of sounding like a robot, but this is lethal pop. This is the dirty pop *NSYNC tried to deliver. This is greasy, grimy, grubby music from Spears. “Ooh Ooh Lover” is a bouncy tune, perfectly fitting with the album’s sex-obsessed nature. In fact, pretty much every song is about sex. “Freakshow” proclaims that Brit wants people to “clap while we perform.” Yes, that type of performance.
Spears even manages a sour F-you to K-Fed on the album’s last track, the Pharrell Williams-written and Neptunes-produced “Why Should I Be Sad.” It’s the closest thing Blackout has to a ballad and the lyrics on it are barbed and akin to a rap beef track.
Britney Spears is certainly deconstructing as a person, but her music is getting better and better (perhaps because of her turmoil?). With Blackout, she delivers one of the most fascinating, sexy, steamy, and appealing pop albums in a long time and certainly the best in her career. I truly hope this is a sign of things to come for Miss Spears.