The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Spears’ ‘Blackout’ a whitewash

The first step to approaching “Blackout,” the new album by Britney Spears, is to marvel at the mystery of its existence.

Between tending to her legal troubles and nurturing the public’s obsession (which she spends half this record whining about), whenever does Miss Spears find the time for creative expression?

The next step is to get real. Honestly, how much work can plausibly be attributed to Spears in the process of making an album with her name on it? Other than one Red Bull-fueled afternoon of singing (poorly) into a microphone and one alcohol-soaked night of writing (poorly) a small portion of this record’s self-obsessed lyrics, it seems clear that the only necessity Britney provides to “Blackout” is her own overblown-if-existent personality.

In truth, “Blackout” is the product of a committee of Hollywood image consultants and a dream team of high-profile producers whose job it is to perpetuate the absurd myth that Britney Spears is some sort of artist.

Once esteemed as an innocent but gorgeous backwoods pop princess with an apparently unironic predilection for slut-wear, Spears has since outdone even Madonna as raw meat for scummy tabloids and sassy gossip bloggers. We the people of the 21st century have, accordingly, bore witness to every slight nuance of her rise to power and fall from grace.

We all know what a hot mess she is.

Still, whether you buy into the iconography or despise it, as I do, you’ve got to give Britney mad props. On and off the stage, she remains what her fans are fond of calling her: “a great entertainer.”

That said, considering what “Blackout” aims to do, even the most snobbish of critics must admit it’s a success. The booty jams here are sufficiently bootylicious. As expected, they lack the wit and inventiveness of pop contemporaries such as, say, Gwen Stefani, but they are every bit as self-referential and far more danceable.

Fans will drool over the candy-coated electro-pop of “Radar” and giggle at the all-in-good-fun “Freakshow,” on which Britney shows a since missing and much welcome sense of humor.

Other highlights include “Piece of Me,” about (surprise!) the paparazzi, and “Heaven on Earth,” a single as club-ready as they come. Admittedly, the second half of “Blackout” drags a bit, and all the songs start to sound the same. But that’s little bother. After all, who ever heard of a Britney fan who listens to an album from start to finish as if at the symphony?

“Blackout,” in all its accessible glory, is a paradoxical winner. It’s the perfect album of empty fun.

So there you have it. And now I leave you feeling a little ridiculous for reading this many words about a pop icon who has read about this much in her whole life.

See, regardless of what’s written about Britney here or in Rolling Stone or in The New Yorker, her fans will proceed as usual. Seriously, I think she could release an album consisting solely of the sound of her children crying and the response would be the same. DJs on Lower Greenville would remix it, drag queens in Oak Lawn would lip-synch to it, and teenage girls in Plano would pillage it for details about making out with Justin Timberlake.

“It’s Britney, bitch.” That’s all that matters.

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