WHEN you hear the name Britney Spears, phrases like media pandemonium, mesmerising performer, a poster child for poor public choices and pop icon instantly come to mind. When Britney releases an album, we all hope we are reminded of the latter [pop icon] and that she crawl her way out of the cult of celebrity to create an album that will really deliver, selling music and not magazines.
After Spears’ half-hearted comeback album, Circus, her new innovative LP Femme Fatale had to reach the magnitude of Britney’s rampant fame and give us performance we all expect. We know Britney isn’t capable of the vocal gymnastics pop revival and recent trainwreck Christina Aguilera frequently boasts but it’s her persona and taboo sexuality that makes us fascinated by her and her perfect combination of dance, club beats and appeal.
Christina Aguilera is the good girl yearning to be bad; Britney is the bad girl trying to be tamed.
Britney adores the publicity, although she leads us to believe otherwise, as she always seems to be doing something to remind us of her existence. She’s conjured up a superficial love between herself and the paparazzi which have, in recent years, exposed the cracks in her ‘sexy school girl’ image. Despite the tabloid rumours that spread like wild fire left, right and centre, Britney is always forgiven if she can do what got her here in the first place: make good music.
Over the past few weeks, she’s released snippets of her new album and I truly believe this is exactly what Britney camp need to polish her tarnished crown, although as we’ve learnt in recent years uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.
Her first snippet was Inside Out, and like her next snippet, I Wanna Go was the perfect combination of dance music energy and cheeky lyrics. The lyrics are basic but talk about Britney’s typical theme: seduction. How I Roll is the ideal title for the lyrics as this is exactly how the former party animal rolls: “Burnin’ up town, need to buy another round, turn the light up, hear the sound of the speaker. Show your knee socks, with tequila on the rocks, till you make your body pops, to the speaker.”
The Big Fat Bass is a major disappointment considering the fantastic Will i am collaboration but she will probably release it as a single, which is a big mistake. Although if you like hearing ‘the big fat bass’ repeated over and over again in auto tune, this is a song you’ll simply adore. Seal It with a Kiss and Criminal are the best so far. The energy and the lyrics, as well as, dare I say it, Britney’s vocals are just pop perfection. So if I said I want this album now, would you hold it against me?
If a million eyes were on Britney, they certainly wouldn’t be enthralled by her in an unadorned dress simply singing into a microphone. Christina Aguilera is one of few in the industry who are able to pull of such a feat.
Any sane person can tell you that Christina can sing, whether she remembers the lyrics are a different matter, but her recent and drastic change in image left her with poor Bionic album sales and her only English album not to be nominated for a Grammy. Her personal life seems to have taken over, following her recent divorce and arrest for intoxication.
She seems to be reveling in this delayed adolescence and we are still watching in shock as we watch her continue to behave in such a self destructive manner. The difference with Britney and Christina is that Britney wasn’t her own person and had false sets of scruples but Christina was a strong, independent woman with embedded morals.
Why is it that those who have everything wish to throw it all away? It is because they have lived the heights of fame and have smeared boundaries or is it just in their personalities. The question I’m asking you is that is fame deluding and a cruel way of life or would this have happened to Britney or Christina. They are human but they set the examples for the rest of the world, including impressionable children, so is being a member of the cult of celebrity a more dangerous job than a miner, a bomb diffuser or a race car driver? Is the glamourised life of a celebrity really physiological torture?