Surprise: Britney's New Album Is Innovative
Though she probably had little to do with its edginess, critics say
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 31, 2011 4:42 PM CDT

(Newser) – Britney Spears’ new record is actually pretty innovative for a pop album—though Britney herself may have little to do with that.

  • Femme Fatale is “the rare dance-pop album that never flags, each track preposterously overstuffed with hooks and sensations,” writes Jody Rosen in Slate. Spears is “a great avant-gardist”: These are some “absurd” tracks, but her “star power provides cover for the weirdness—anything she records, no matter how strange, instantly becomes pop.”

  • The producers have made Spears’ voice into “a mix of baby-talk coo and coital panting that is, in its own overprocessed way, just as iconic and propulsive as Michael Jackson’s yips,” writes Adam Markovitz in Entertainment Weekly.
  • Jon Caramanica, however, firmly disagrees: “Femme Fatale is blank,” he writes in the New York Times. While producers have, in the past, “used her as a guinea pig for their cleverest work, much of the music on this album feels flat and redundant.”
  • “At its best, it sounds like a party, with a cutting-edge pop soundtrack,” writes Alexis Petridis in the Guardian. But “the question of precisely what Britney Spears brings to said party remains as imponderable as ever."