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Review: Britney Spears returns to the club with the gutsy and infectious ‘Femme Fatale’

Dance fueled pop has made a huge comeback over the past two years and it’s hard to remember when the quality of the material itself was so strong.  Spears is no stranger to the dance floor, but has a lot of competition these days with Lady Gaga, Kesha (who contributes to “Femme Fatale” as a songwriter), Rihanna, a revitalized Jennifer Lopez and even remixed Katy Perry dominating the singles charts.  Either taking a gamble or just a reflection of her own tastes, “Fatale” is the most club ready album from a major artist since Madonna’s “Confessions on a Dance Floor.”

Spears told Rolling Stone said she wanted all kinds of different sounds on her seventh studio album and to play with her voice and that’s exactly what she’s done with “Femme Fatale.”  Working with previous collaborators such as Dr. Luke (“Circus”), Max Martin (“If U Seek Amy”) and Bloodshy (“Piece of Me”) and new producers such as Will.I.Am and Stargate, Spears has selected songs  (and let’s make it clear, she decides what is on the album musically, not handlers) with pop-friendly lyrics, but allowed the music to take some gutsy electronic risks that will even surprise some of her sharpest artistic detractors.

Moreover, she told her fans she was back in “Blackout” and “Circus,” but on “Femme Fatale” she’s singing that now she’s in control — even if that means escaping to the dance floor.  And who can blame her?  No paparazzi, no managers, no media pressures, no business pressures.  It’s almost as freeing as the recording booth.

The album itself contains 12 tracks. There are four additional songs available on the Deluxe Edition.  Strangely, every single one of the extras could easily make any Spears album (and in fact, they are arguably all better than a number of the weaker “Circus” and “Blackout” songs), but if you are going to look at the album thematically (don’t laugh), they probably don’t fit. Perhaps Spears will pull a Gaga and release them on a second album later this year with a few other new tracks?  We can only speculate.  With that in mind however, here’s some thoughts on the individual “Femme Fatale” songs.

By Gregory Ellwood – Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Kesha better watch out



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