© The Financial Times Ltd 2015 FT and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.
November 29, 2013 7:00 pm
Britney Jean’s lead single “Work Bitch” – a preposterous banger produced by will.i.am in which Britney Spears commands credulous listeners to work their assets (emphasis on the first syllable) in order to live like modern-day Marie Antoinettes – turns out to be a red herring.
The rest of the album is calmer, more mature and, oh dear, duller. EDM production tics (booming bass, wild synthesisers) are shoehorned into mid-tempo plodders such as “Til It’s Gone” which have no real interest in the dancefloor.
Meanwhile an over-preponderance of ballads makes good on Spears’ promise, or threat, to deliver her most “personal” record yet. Her vocals sound less artificial than usual, which may of course be a particularly sophisticated piece of computer trickery, but it would be a stretch to describe them as convincingly emotional.
“I try to act natural,” she sings in “Perfume”, which finds her wanting to mark a faithless mate with perfume in order to ward off other women. The self-identification with a synthetic product is typical of the singer’s cybernautic style; what’s untypical is the lack of drive with which Britney Jean animates it.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2015. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.