Sunday, August 19, 2012

FLASHBACK RECORD REVIEW: Britney Spears - "Circus"

Britney Spears

Recently, I came across
several old features I had
written years ago for the
arts and culture magazine, Despite still
floating around in cyber
space, Ink 19 editor Ian
Koss has allowed me to
reprint a few of them here.
Dig, if you will.

Don't 'cha just love an underdog? I genuinely was rooting for Britney Spears when her latest "comeback" album hit stores recently. In fact, I was so hooked by the record's catchy first single, "Womanizer," and seduced by its accompanying soft-core video that I actually journeyed through the freezing streets of Nashville to purchase the CD on the day of its release.

But I was duped. Circus turned to be everything that deep down I feared it would be — another well-crafted collection of perfectly written and slickly produced, soulless three-and-a-half minute, high-tech, modern pop, synthetic dance tracks. Hooray!

Spears has enjoyed such tremendous success over the last decade peddling this predictable type of electronic drivel that to the untrained eye (or ear) she actually can (at times) appear to be an artist (almost). However, any current female "pop-tart" or Justin Timberlake could have had their face airbrushed on the Circus CD cover (or any of Britney's previous releases for that matter) and provided the same computer-generated vocals without compromising a bit of the music's, uh  — integrity.

Spears after being forced to listen to
her own music for 24hrs straight.
Britney's longtime personal manager Larry Rudolph and veteran A&R messiah Teresa LaBarbera Whites come together here as the record's executive producers along with a host of additional modern day ace lead dogs who meticulously crafted each individual track.

"There's only two types of people in the world. The ones that entertain, and the ones that observe," Ms. Spears states in the record's title track. "Well baby," she continues, "I'm a put-on-a-show kinda girl." Mmm, deep.

On "Kill the Lights" Britney is touted as the "new Queen of Pop." Really? C'mon now — 1999 was a very long time ago. And somebody needs to smell the coffee and recognize that at almost 30, the schtick is wearing thin.

This perky, well-adjusted little gal is but one
"script" away from being my next ex-girlfriend.
I love pop icons and Britney Spears is arguably the "Ali" of modern-day pop icons. In 2008 she was Googled more frequently than Barack Obama. And Circus did debut at #1 on the Billboard chart. So, what do I know? Hey, don't you only have to sell like 23 units these days to debut at #1?

Oh well, one thing is for sure though, Circus is, without a doubt, the newest record of Britney Spears' career.

-Christopher Long
(April 2009)



C'MON! -