I grew up in the era of Britney and stuck with her unfailingly throughout all her traumas. It was, however, a musical issue which threw me off the Britney train: Blackout. Everyone seems to think it’s her best work, but for me it couldn’t compare in the slightest to any of her previous albums. I listened a few times and moved on, and if others had felt the same as me it would have been OK – I would feel justified in not loving it. But as everyone I usually agreed with declared its brilliance, I felt more and more detached from my once obsessive Britney fandom, and things between Britney and I have never been the same since.
My excitement for a new Britney album is now no stronger than my anticipation of any major artist’s next career move. It’s interesting because she’s an icon, and particularly because she is a musical plaything for some of my favourite songwriters, but where once I’d be counting down the days til a new release and soaking up any demo material I could find, I now find myself nonchalantly listening to Till The World Ends, which I hear will be her next single, struggling to come up with any particular opinion of it. I note that it sounds a bit like We R Who We R by Ke$ha, a song I quite like, but I don’t need a Britney version of it.
The “woah-oh-oh”s are clearly the highlight, but the verses are actually quite dull, even with the cacophony of electronic sounds in the background. Songs about “dancing til the world ends” should make me want to dance, and this one hasn’t even got me bopping in my seat. The end is a glimpse of how fun and exciting the song could be, but I find myself wishing it would, as it keeps threatening to, break into this much more poptastic V Factory song. I need more than nice sounds – I want an actual song!
Just because she’s Britney doesn’t mean she gets off without putting out music at the same level as her competitors, and if she continues not to even attempt to compete then she is going to become irrelevant faster than you can say “Christina Aguilera”. I’ve thought for several years now that it would be best for Britney to go off and try to live a normal life, but I always thought that if that did happen, she would be a big loss for pop. However, I’m starting to wonder if the money spent on her would be much better spent on someone who really wants to be a popstar and who will make our pop-loving lives better for their presence.