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Britney Jean [Deluxe Edition] [PA]

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Britney Jean [Deluxe Edition] [Parental Advisory]

Artist: Britney Spears

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Label: RCA
Album: Britney Jean [Deluxe Edition]
# Song Title   Time
1)    Alien
2)    Work Bitch
3)    Perfume
4)    It Should Be Easy
5)    Tik Tik Boom
6)    Body Ache
7)    Til It's Gone
8)    Passenger
9)    Chillin' with You
10)    Don't Cry
11)    Brightest Morning Star
12)    Hold on Tite
13)    Now That I Found You
14)    Perfume [The Dreaming Mix] - (mix, remix)
 



Performer Notes
  • Recording information: DAZMO Music Studios, Montr‚al, Canada; Glenwood Place Studios, Burbank, CA; Guerilla Studios, London; House Of Blues, Encino, CA; i58, Westlake Village, CA; KBK Studios, Stockholm, Sweden; Luke's In The Boo, Malibu, CA; Magical Thinking Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Mound Sound; Nightbird Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Piano Music Studios, Amrsterdam, Netherlands; Record Plant, Hollywood, CA; The Future, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Photographers: Michelangelo Di Battista; Frances Iacuzzi.
  • Typically, whenever a self-titled album arrives fairly far into an artist's career it signifies a rebirth, a moment when the musician reconnects to what's real and true. That's the party line on Britney Jean, Britney Spears' eighth album (she already used Britney as the title of her third album, way back in 2001). Prior to its December 2013 release, Britney called Britney Jean one of her most "personal" records, a term that carries a certain weight, suggesting that the brief album -- a mere ten songs and 36 minutes in its standard form and not much longer in its deluxe expansion -- would offer insight into the spectral pop star. As it turns out, Britney Jean is a streamlined approximation of 2011's Femme Fatale, which itself attempted to re-create the producer-driven magic of 2007's Blackout, the album that seems destined to be the apex and turning point of Spears' career. Dr. Luke, the main producer behind Femme Fatale's two big hits ("Till the World Ends" and "Hold It Against Me"), is absent, as is her longtime collaborator Max Martin, who worked on those two Dr. Luke-produced hits. In their place is will.i.am, the Black Eyed Peas leader who happened to be responsible for Femme Fatale's "Big Fat Bass." will.i.am sports producer credits on seven of the ten songs on Britney Jean and is listed as executive producer, responsible for shaping the sound and direction of the album. Often, this means Britney seems to be playing a role will.i.am created just for her, a situation not unfamiliar to Spears. The best moments arrive when she's forced to the front: she's the focus on the Katy Perry co-written and Diplo-produced "Passenger," the purest pop moment on the record that finds a counterpart in the album's best ballad, "Perfume"; her bizarre vocal affectations invigorate "Work Bitch" (it's hard to resist her faux British phrasing) and are mildly memorable on the Jamie Lynn Spears duet "Chillin' with You." Elsewhere, will.i.am, sometimes assisted by David Guetta, puts Britney through Euro-disco paces as she competes with synthesizers and bass; William Orbit works a similar territory but achieves a melancholy grace on the album opener, "Alien." ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (p.91) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Britney's back in the game....Britney remains the queen who out-bangs, out-booms, out-bizarres them all."

Entertainment Weekly (p.81) - "[The album] happily indulges the fantasies of endorphin-seeking EDM fans." -- Grade: B+

Billboard - "'Passenger,' BRITNEY JEAN's second-half standout, finds the singer ruminating on romantic trust while delivering an empowering vocal performance over Diplo's guitar-driven production."

Format:CD (0 Disc); Stereo
Country:USA
Studio/Live: Studio
Release Date:2 December, 2013
Guest Artist: Will.I.Am; T.I.; Jamie Lynn Spears

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1 review(s)
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Luke on
 
In my opinion, "Britney Jean" is an underappreciated gem. I will acknowledge that, as a whole, it isn't Britney's most cohesive album; and I will say that even though Britney has called this album her most personal, not all the songs seem so personal. However, it still has its moments where it shines, where there are personal moments, and that's what I'd like to highlight.

"Alien" opens the album, and it is one of those personal moments; and it is certainly one of the stronger tracks on the whole album. In this mid-tempo, Britney compares her loneliness like an alien travelling through space, far away from home; and the electronic production, with the bleeps, complements the lyrical content, which is not only about feeling lonely and lost, but finding where you belong.

The lead single, "Work B**ch," of the album is a catchy, upbeat EDM track, which has an important message: that you have to work toward something to achieve it. Even though it is a strong track, it doesn't seem entirely personal; and I feel like it could've been used for another project, though I do love it.

Following this, "Perfume" is another personal moment: it's about jealousy, about the insecurities in a relationship. I enjoyed the pop-rock style here, Britney's vocals are powerful and they are filled with emotion with every line she sings. It definitely fits the whole "personal" vibe.

"It Should Be Easy" featuring will.i.am is one of the weakest - if not the weakest - moment on the album. It has a personal message behind it, yes, but what makes it not that good comprises of many things: the production, some of the cheesy lyrical, and, oh yeah, will.i.am. I think it would've been a solid track if the lyrics had been edited; if Britney's vocals were natural and not so processed; and if will.i.am had no vocals included at all. Or simply to remove the track altogether.

"Tik Tik Boom" is a catchy track that I actually like. However, it is impersonal and meant for the dancefloor and could've been saved for another project, along with "Work B**ch"; and I think it would've been better if T.I.'s verse had been changed or removed entirely because that comes across as offensive; I don't know why that is even there. But overall, it's still a nice, Blackout-esque track, and I enjoyed Britney's vocal performance; she and R&B definitely work together.

I have never been fussed on "Body Ache" - I mean, it's a solid dance track, I'll give it that, but it's entirely impersonal; and anyway, the album would've been better without it.

"Til It's Gone" is an explosive EDM - and I assure you, in a good way - and it happens to be personal as well. Britney sings about the end of the relationship and how she never knew what she had until it was gone. I love the production and it is really effective. I wouldn't change anything about it, though I must say, I would love to hear an acoustic version.

"Passenger," much like "Perfume," is a pop-rock track. Only this time, it's about learning to trust, and allowing her love interest to "take the wheel," she learns that she doesn't have to be so guarded. Passenger is one of the strongest tracks on the album, and it would've been a strong single following "Perfume" if another had been released.

I really think "Chillin' With You" featuring Jamie Lynn Spears is such a cute song. It's about feeling alright, feeling like you can just chill someone without feeling too much pressure. It might not be the strongest track, but I can definitely relate, and it's especially cool that Britney collaborated with her sister.

"Don't Cry" is an emotional breakup song that reminisces "From the Bottom of My Broken Heart" on Britney's debut album, "...Baby One More Time." Her vocals even sound like that era. Even though she is singing, "Don't cry," she sounds like she's on the verge of tears - or that she already is teary.

"Brightest Morning Star" is such a beautiful track. From what I interpret, it's either about Britney's sons or it's about her relationship with God. Either way, it's still a powerful track; and her vocals soar in the chorus, and they are filled with emotion when she sings: "I lift my hands and pray 'cause life is tough somedays." Definitely should've been on the standard, replacing either "Work B**ch," "Tik Tik Boom," or "Body Ache."

And here comes what is my favourite moment on "Britney Jean" . . . "Hold On Tight" is one of most personal, most vulnerable moments on "Britney Jean," and it's definitely a highlight for me. It's about when life gets so hard, you need to hold on; it will get better. It is my favourite vocal performance from Britney; they are strong, filled with emotion, and prove that she can sing. "Hold On Tight" should've been on the standard edition; and it deserve more attention.

"Now That I Found You" turns out to be a bouncy dance track about how finding that special someone can change your life for the good, about finding that love does exist. It's another track that should've been on the standard edition; and it would've been a strong single.

Overall, "Britney Jean" does have its personal moments; highlights are "Hold On Tight," "Alien," "Perfume," "Passenger," "Brightest Morning Star" and "Now That I Found You." It would've been a more cohesive album, Britney's most personal album, if "Work B**ch" and "Tik Tik Boom" had been saved for another project and if "Body Ache" and "It Should Be Easy" hadn't been included. But "Britney Jean" remains an underappreciated gem and I hope people start to appreciate the personal moments it does have to offer.

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