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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Britney Spears releases Britney Jean today. My track by track review



Britney Jean, the newest album from Britney Spears is being released today, one day after her 32nd birthday. Overall this album has more hits than misses but strangely the strongest tracks weren't released as the first or second single. Unlike, Femme Fatale, this album features a fair balance between the dance tracks and the mid-tempo/ballads.  While I think Britney's voice is suited for dance backdrops, she sounds surprisingly good on half of the mid-tempo tracks.  The lyrics have gotten significantly deeper than her previous albums and we are seeing a more grown-up Britney.  While her manager and record company touted this record as Britney's "Ray of Light," referring to Madonna's most critically acclaimed 90's masterpiece which revived Madonna's career and is on many respected greatest albums of all-time lists, Britney Jean doesn't have the same cohesive theme or energy as the album it was inspired by.
If you are only going to buy a couple tracks to try the album out, then you should start with:
1. Body Ache
2. Till It's Gone
3. Passenger

Here is a review of the tracks IN ORDER of FAVORITES:

1. "Body Ache" -- This hot electro house edm track reminds me most of "Scream & Shout," mixed with some 90's hi-nrg euro. The best track on the album with her best vocals to date. RELEASE THIS NOW!

2. "Til It's Gone" -- Heavy EDM track that is hard to get out of your head and another vocal stand-out from Ms. Spears. One of her best songs ever!

3. "Passenger" -- Katy Perry gets writing credits and Diplo gets production credits on this slower mid-tempo track and what I think should have been, either the first or second single from this album.

4. "Alien" -- William Orbit worked on this awesome mid-tempo track.

5. "Work B----" -- We all know this one. While I love this track, I am not happy that it was chosen as the first single. Nonetheless the beat is hot and the video is hotter.

6. "Tik Tik Boom" (featuring T.I.) -- Super sexy lyrics against a hip-hop pop-hop backdrop with super catchy chorus to boot. Ultimately this could have been released by any of todays female singers so expect more from britney but nonetheless its highly addicting.

7. Now That I Found You - Great EDM track with a country vibe similar in sound to that Pitbull/Kesha collaboration thats out. Beautiful lyrics, beautiful vocals. Great track! This should be on all versions of the album.

8. "It Should Be Easy" (featuring will.i.am) -- This is my least favorite of the EDM Will.I.Am tracks.

9. "Perfume" -- Sia gets writing credits for this track. I was expecting much more from a Sia collaboration and these are not my favorite Britney vocals. Shocked that this was chosen as a single release. This is sadly headed for flop status. The "Dreaming" version (which is on the deluxe) sounds significantly better to me than the original

10. "Chillin' with You" (featuring Jamie Lynn) -- Awkard track on an overall great album. Clearly, shes trying to help promote her sister with this filler track. Pass.

11. "Don't Cry" "Brightest Morning" "Hold On Tight" -- Not impressed with any of these slow jams.        

Monday, December 2, 2013

LADY GAGA - ARTPOP ALBUM REVIEW


Artpop is a solid album of pop gems. Lady Gaga melds the accessibility of her Fame album with the electronics of the Born This Way album to give us this superb collection of art pop. DJ White Shadow produced half of Artpop. I personally would like Gaga to try out new producers when she starts work on her next album.  Half of their effort I love and the other half I could easily do without. The following tracks are DJWS productions:
"Sexxx Dreams" - Super sleek production and a major contender for a single - my only concern is the song name might be deemed to controversial so they may change it to the name that appears on the clean version of the album, X Dreams.
"Jewels n' Drugs" (featuring T.I., Too Short and Twista) - Though this is my least favorite song on the album it is still quite catchy and works with todays trap sound. I think if this track and one or two others were left off, this would have been a perfect album.
"ManIcure" - Super cathcy anthem with a chorus that seeps into your brain and won't stop.
"Do What U Want" (featuring R. Kelly) - super sleek and sexy with an 80's vibe. Hands down this one is an album gem. While it was originally intended as a promo single, the fact that it went to #1 in over 71 countries, was proof enough that this could potentially be a major hit for Gaga, and is now the official second single for Artpop.
"Artpop" - This track could have easily been on the Born This Way album. Electronic pop opera is what comes to mind when I hear this. The clean electro production and the sexy vocals from Gaga are pure magic.
"Swine" - This track may not be as accessible as others on the album but like every track on the album has a sense of melody, some stronger than others but all have a common pop theme. This is probably the most edm, club heavy track.
"Applause" - love this track. It's a crime it didnt go to number one.

 The remaining half of the album includes production from french house producers Zedd and David Guetta along with Leqlercq AKA Madeon and will.i.am:
 1. Fashion! - This funky track sounds like a merging of Daft Punk's Get Lucky, Madonna's Holiday, and David Bowie's Let's Dance and just makes me want to move. This is a David Guetta/will.i.am production and for the most part is pop perfection. The problem for me is the last 40 seconds kind of get too hectic and kill the groove. Nonetheless, I absolutely love this track.  In her recent muppets thanksgiving variety special that aired on television, Gaga surprisingly performed this track and invited, drag race diva Rupaul to duet with her.  Its was perfection.
2. Donatella - This beat is so fierce and strong with a diva-esque fashiony comedic alter ego with comicy lyrics to go along with what is a surefire club banger. This Zedd production needs to be released asap!
3. Gypsy - Produced by Leclercq, this is the "Edge of Glory" on this album and should be the next single.
4. G.U.Y. - Guy Under You is another excellent Zedd production with a great beat to dance to. 5. Dope - This is the only ballad on this album and is just stunning. Based on the strength of the other songs on this album I am not sure I support this one being a single but based on indicators when it was released as a promo, it may do well.
6. Aura - Strong fresh electronic opener. There's a demo floating around that some gaga fans prefer over the final released version. It may be worth searching the web to hear what you think.
7. Venus - While I love the beat of this track, I am just not a fan of the lyrics.
8. Mary Jane Holland - is one of the very few track on the album which I skip. The chorus is drab and brings the energy down.

 Long story short, Lady Gaga has put out an album of 15 tracks with minimal fillers and a strong number of potential number one singles. If you want a fantastic electronic album to dance to, this is the one. She exudes confidence, pokes fun at herself and pop culture while infusing today's electro edm beats as her back-drop.  The pic is from the limited edition RSD record story day vinyl release of "Applause."  There are only 2000 copies of this 12" in existence.