Britney Spears – Britney Jean

December 7, 2013 at 12:05 PM | Posted in Britney Spears | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Britney Spears – Britney Jean

1. Alien
2. Work Bitch
3. Perfume
4. It Should Be Easy (feat. will.i.am)
5. Tik Tik Boom (feat. T.I.)
6. Body Ache
7. ‘Til It’s Gone
8. Passenger
9. Chillin’ With You (feat. Jamie Lynn)
10. Don’t Cry

♦ ♦ ♦

Britney Jean is the eighth studio album by American singer Britney Spears, released on November 29, 2013.

Alien is a very appealing midtempo dance/pop track, perfect to open the album because it’s somehow similar to the track ‘Criminal’ on her previous album. Lately Britney has been known for her heavier dance tracks, so to have a rather light and airy one opening the album works amazingly well. I have to admit I’m a bit suspicious about the vocals (they sound heavily altered) but still this is a very nice track.

Moving on to the real club banger, Work Bitch. This is my gym anthem, really, this is some motivation right here. The lyrics are almost all spoken instead of sung and there’s not depth at all in this, but the EDM style this track has really kicks some serious ass. This works very well in a club after midnight.

Perfume then is finally one of the personal tracks Brit must have spoken about when promoting the album. I love her deep vocals here, they don’t sound altered at all! I think I’ve been waiting for something like this for years. The music is very pretty as well, combining soft synths with strings and piano. This could easily be one of her best simple tracks ever, this even slays ‘Everytime’.

It Should Be Easy (feat. will.i.am) has that obvious will.i.am sound, and although the guy irritates the hell out of me he does have an ear for good music. The pumping dance beats and synths are quite catchy and I can imagine this being one of the favorite tracks for some of Brit’s fans. To me it’s an okay track, and besides, will.i.am completely takes over so this is hardly a Britney song.

I actually find Tik Tik Boom (feat. T.I.) very appealing since it combines pop/dance music with hiphop beats, and I’m kind of a sucker for that. It took Britney quite some time on this album before finally sing her usual ‘talk dirty to me’ kind of lyrics, but here they are. T.I. fits perfectly in this track, adding his personal touch to it perfectly.

Body Ache is Work Bitch with more singing in it, but the emptiness is something both songs share. Being a club banger song with another synth breakdown and lyrics about dancing all night, this is not something I personally crave for. But hey, it’s Britney Spears, when has she ever put her heart into something. There wasn’t even a real heavy highlight in this track.

‘Til It’s Gone is bound to be the eargasm for club-goers everywhere and Brit’s fans. It has a clear EDM-inspired theme again, but this time the lyrics dig a little deeper despite the rough musical arrangement. Overall, this is finally a catchy Britney song that takes the musical style she has had for the past years to a new level.

This time she really surprised me. Passenger was co-written by Katy Perry so that already caught my attention, but Britney’s own vocals are top notch here as well. She doesn’t have a very good vocal range, but she just displayed the best vocals in her entire career. Lyrically, she did a great job opening up and showing her vulnerable side. Recommended!

The long awaited duet with her little sister. Chillin’ With You (feat. Jamie Lynn) is a laid back pop/dance track with some hiphop and dubstep influences. It’s nice to hear the two sisters sing together, but Britney sounds like a dying chipmunk and Jamie Lynn is the real star in this one. The song itsself is pretty awkward and out of place on the album, it could’ve been more because this really has potential.

Don’t Cry finally shows Britney baring her soul and talking about her break-up with Jason Trawick. It’s a ballad with some minor synth accents, giving Britney the chance to get into the track and show her more vulnerable and emotional side. She succeeded very well in that, also in keeping me wondering about what she’s going to be doing next after this mysterious track closes the album.

So it has been a litte under two years since Femme Fatale (2011), the album that totally caught me off guard. It made me change my mind about Brit and her music, so I decided to give her another chance. Now she has released Britney Jean, which should’ve been her most personal record yet. Did she succeed? No, not even close. The only tracks that sounded a little more personal were Perfume, Passenger and Don’t Cry, other tracks were heavy on the ‘I wanna dance all night’ kind of vibe. Does that mean I hate the album? No, it means that I’m less impressed than I had hoped I would be, especially after her previous two albums. It seems as if Britney Spears strays away from her music more and more, focusing only on dropping some good club bangers and not on releasing genuine music. Compared to music critics, I’ve been mild.

Favorite tracks: Alien | Work Bitch | Perfume | Tik Tik Boom (feat. T.I.) | Passenger

OVERALL RATING
starstarstarblankstarblankstar
3 stars

SHINee – 3 2 1

December 7, 2013 at 10:51 AM | Posted in SHINee | 1 Comment

SINGLE REVIEW
SHINee – 3 2 1

1. 3 2 1
2. Everybody [Japanese ver.]
3. Colors of the season
4. 3 2 1 [Instrumental]
5. Everybody [Instrumental]
6. Colors of the season [Instrumental]

3 2 1 is the ninth Japanese single by South Korean boy group SHINee, released on December 3, 2013. The title tracks was used as the theme song for the tv drama Tokyo Toybox. The single debuted at #3 on the Oricon Charts.

3 2 1 suprised me by being an uplifting pop/rock song instead of their usual R&B or dance inspired style. It’s a fun and catchy song, and although it doesn’t stray too far from what they usually do this song is actually very original. The boys deliver great vocal performances, every single one of them contributes very well. It’s not a complicated track, just plain fun and another great effort from the group.

Ofcourse they had to make a Japanese version for Everybody, I saw that one coming. Nonetheless, I think this is one of the tracks that kicks ass the most in their entire discography because of the heavy dubstep influence in the chorus. The fact that this song is very well produced is a well known fact by now, I like that little robotic effect. Onew and Jonghyun know how to take their moment to shine.

To balance everything, Colors of the season is a soft ballad that first follows a very classical approach before it starts to sound more like a pop power ballad. It’s beautiful and quite emotional, so this track is perfect for Onew, who obviously takes the lead. This is bound to take your breath away, so give it a listen and you’ll see why there’s not much to say about this track. This one’s more about feeling it.

OVERALL RATING
starstarstarstarhalfstar
4½ stars

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