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Britney Spears

Spears’s fifth studio album is a witchy electro-pop wonder as suspect as those prescription pills photographed in her purse a few weeks ago. Yes, it’s been a bad year for Spears, with that embarrassing VMA appearance, and the even more bizarre performance — the “Eat it, lick it, snort it, fuck it” quip — she let loose outside a courtroom just days after Blackout leaked on, and The good news is that lyrics like “I’m Mrs. Oh My God, that Britney’s shameless” (“Piece of Me”) aren’t quite that bad. Over a vibrating bass, Britney baby-baby-talks while the Swedish producing team of Bloodshy & Avant play with her pitch and Spears shows a little self-awareness. The disc’s obvious dance singles, “Gimme More” and “Hot As Ice,” are helped by Timbaland protégé Nate “Danja” Hills. (He’s credited on five of the album’s 12 songs.) Spears also takes a stab a Blondie-style new wave with “Heaven on Earth,” the disc’s biggest departure and another pleasant surprise. Blackout may be more a tribute to the skills of the A-list producers who guided her through the disc than to any of her own talents. But at least she was smart enough to accept that guidance.

Latest Articles


Photos: Britney Spears at TD Garden

Britney Spears, live at TD Garden on August 29, 2009
Photos of Britney Spears' Circus tour at TD Garden
By KELLY DAVIDSON  |  September 02, 2009

The Big Hurt: MJ murder mystery, Aerosmith injuries

Music News in Brief
Much as I hate to bring up Michael Jackson again, I was intrigued by sister La Toya's allegations that he was knocked off for his publishing assets.
By DAVID THORPE  |  July 22, 2009
palin list

The Iquitarod

Sarah says 'no mas.' Plus, the United States of Goldman Sachs.
Phillipe and Jorge wish they could claim to have coined that headline about professional loony Sarah Palin's resignation as governor of Alaska prior to her first term being completed, but full points go to Geoffrey Dunn of The Huffington Post .
By PHILLIPE & JORGE  |  July 08, 2009

VIDEO: Michael Jackson's memorial service

Watch video of Michael Jackson's memorial in LA
Thousands attend Michael Jackson's memorial inside the Staples Center in LA
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  July 10, 2009

Britney Spears and Michael Jackson fight it out

Who's #1?
Cue up track six on the new Britney (Jive) and prepare yourself for the Technicolor disco flash-back of the year, swooning string section, chunky Nile Rodgers guitar riff, and all. The song's called "Anticipating," and it captures the most famous 19-year-old girl in the world at her guileless, sentimental best.
By SEAN RICHARDSON  |  June 30, 2009

I Monster | A Dense Swarm of Ancient Stars

Twins of Evil (2009)
Twins of Evil (2009)
By GUSTAVO TURNER  |  May 26, 2009

He shall overcome

Amadeus the Stampede keeps on pushing
There’s nothing lamer than articles that lead with cheap metaphors inspired by an artist’s stage name. But I can’t avoid this one: when Amadeus the Stampede rushes, get the fuck out of the way.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  May 19, 2009

The Big Hurt: Jacko solvent! Boyle swelling! Lupus dissed!

MJ's ranch, Hoppus and Wentz on Twitter, and Susan Boyle
If you had your heart set on picking up a gently used chimp tuxedo or a suspicious child skeleton, you're outta luck
By DAVID THORPE  |  April 28, 2009

Taking the B-boys to School

The Other MIT Crew
You may have noticed, hip-hop dance has gone legit — or at least slightly commercial.
By LISA SPINELLI  |  April 22, 2009

Review: Britney Spears at the Garden

Britney Spears' Circus Maximus at the Garden, March 16, 2009
"Oh my God, this is going to be so fucking crazy!" screams a teenage girl behind me.
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 19, 2009

Slideshow: Britney Spears at the Garden

Britney Spears, live at TD Banknorth Garden, March 16, 2009
Photos of Britney Spears, live at the Garden, March 16, 2009  
By CARINA MASTROCOLA  |  March 19, 2009

Scenes 4 tweens

Troy, Gabriella, and the HSM2 crew put the music in them. Now our two quasi-theater critics are trying to get it out.
When I was a teenager, all I ever longed for was to live in a world where it was socially acceptable, nay, a social requirement , to frequently burst into song.

Good news, bad news

Fear and loathing? Or happy days? The only thing we know for sure about the coming year is that we're all in this together.
It will be the best of times. Or, perhaps, it will be the worst.
By MIKE MILIARD  |  December 30, 2008

Year in National Pop: New attitudes

Are we fated to pretend?
Are we fated to pretend?
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  December 22, 2008

Year in Theater: Staged right

Changing of the local guard
It's been a Buckingham Palace season on the local rialto.
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  December 22, 2008

The Big Hurt: Dr Pepper sickens Axl

Plus Creed threaten to exist again; Camp Freddy awful
Unless we act fast, the darkest chapter in American æsthetic history may soon be revisited.
By DAVID THORPE  |  December 12, 2008

The Big Hurt: Peace capes

Plus Moz yarns, Osmond extensions
The dismissal of the drunk-driving case against Britney Spears has brought a ceremonial end to the downfall that ushered in a new Golden Age of tabloid journalism.
By DAVID THORPE  |  November 10, 2008

Still crazy after all these years

The Force is with Carrie Fisher in her one-woman show Wishful Drinking
Since Dorothy Parker died, in 1967, Carrie Fisher is probably the most hilarious screwed-up person alive.  
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  October 22, 2008

Thugs on parade

Letters to the Boston editor, October 10, 2008
I would like to commend Anne Elizabeth Moore on a fantastic job of reporting from the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.  
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  October 08, 2008

The Big Hurt: Rotten butter

John Lydon spreads it on thick. Plus, intrusive devices and CGI pissoirs
John Lydon spreads it on thick. Plus, intrusive devices and CGI pissoirs
By DAVID THORPE  |  October 08, 2008

Hangin' Tough

New Kids 4-evah!
This article appeared in the September 9, 1999 issue of the Boston Phoenix .
By JASON GAY  |  September 26, 2008

Fallopian follies

While celebrity sages salivate over Hollywood babies, Beltway pundits are spinning the latest wave of ovarian escapades. Have girls really gone wild?
Speculating on celebrity baby “bumps” is Hollywood blood sport.
By KARA BASKIN  |  September 10, 2008

The right stuff

Senator John Kerry has it; challenger Ed O’Reilly doesn’t. Plus, Sarah Palin’s Hannah Montana equation.
Politics is often a matter of perspective.
By EDITORIAL  |  September 10, 2008

Dawg days

The 2008 campaign is turning out to be our first-ever American Idol election
Despite gains by blogs, podcasts, and social-networking Web sites, television is still our dominant mass medium.
By STEVEN STARK  |  September 03, 2008

Over and out for Opie

Newsman takes a walk rather than embrace tabloid lexicon
Jim "Opie" Hummel has been among the handful of local wild and crazy reporters who consistently come up with solid, aggressively pursued, and flashy stories.
By PHILIPPE + JORGE  |  August 06, 2008

Vicious squircles

The Big Hurt: grave errors and virtual disappointments
Someone has made off with Ian Curtis's gravestone.
By DAVID THORPE  |  July 15, 2008

Baby mama drama

Diverse city
I’ve been working to kick my heavy diet of mainstream media programming.
By SHAY STEWART-BOULEY  |  June 25, 2008

A night in Guantánamo

Staying in a replica cell, with no waterboarding included
I’d volunteered to spend the night in the replica cell (which is modeled on the ones at Gitmo) because we’ve all heard stories about unlivable conditions at Gitmo but can’t come close to imagining what it must be like.
By JEFF INGLIS  |  June 18, 2008

Interview: John Cusack sounds off on War, Inc.

Say everything
Most filmgoers recognize John Cusack as a brooding sexy, sometimes sardonic leading man.
By PETER KEOUGH  |  June 11, 2008

State of the art

RISD grads share their visions
RISD’s annual “Graduate Thesis Exhibition” could be just the place to glimpse the future of art, as predicted by the school that U.S. News & World Report recently said has the best master of fine arts program in the country.
By GREG COOK  |  May 28, 2008

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