Britney Spears’ duet with Madonna on the song “Me Against The Music” marks an historic occasion in pop culture. The longtime pop queen seems to be officially passing her crown and designating Spears as her successor.
Some may wonder why Madonna chose Spears to take the pop diva crown. There are plenty of other talented singers who potentially could take her place in the public spotlight. Christina Aguilera, Pink, Dannii Minogue, Beyonce Knowles and, perhaps, even Nelly Furtado are all serious contenders for the job.
The answer might be hidden on “In The Zone,” which displays a musical direction and sense of maturity that Madonna should enjoy.
Spears’ fourth record was launched amidst heavy promotion, Internet gossip and carefully timed marketing campaigns. For the first time, the star was also launched as a gay icon with plenty of coverage in the national queer weeklies and much-hyped late night stints at Manhattan’s SBNY and Avalon.
On paper “In The Zone” is an impressive effort. The Louisiana native worked with heavy-hitters Moby, Cathy Dennis (Kylie Minogue, Clay Aiken), Tricky (Mya, B2K) and R. Kelly to put the album together.
But the despite the album’s impressive credentials, it has turned out to be a plain hip-hop flavored pop album featuring chaotic beats, trivial lyrics and Spears’ questionable vocals.
Not quite the ground-breaking vibe from an entertainer that is supposedly the leader of the pack.
Things unravel as soon as the star’s teaming with Madonna kicks off the album. “Me Against The Music” is a mediocre dance dump that has Britney challenged by a barrage of beats and that leaves Madonna uninspired.
“Early Mornin’” (co-written by Moby) is a tedious synthetic R&B track with meaningless, adolescent talk-sung lyrics, such as, “Got drunk till the break of dawning. Passed out on the couch yawning.”
The trivial “Touch Of My Hand” might shock some of her younger fans (and their parents) when the star sings about masturbation.
Using the look-at-me-I’m-so-naughty card has been played before and seems disingenuous.
Ironically, it is the bubblegum “Brave New Girl” that appears to be one of the most cohesive tracks on the album, not in the least for its computerized voice alterations.
The inclusion of South Asian and Chinese textures on “Toxic,” “Outrageous,” and “Touch of My Hand” provide some spice, but are not used to the point that they make the melodies interesting.
Overall, it appears that Madonna’s support for Britney Spears is more an acknowledgement of the star’s potential that her actual effort on “In The Zone.”
Read more about Britney Spears and others in the :: Arjanwrites Gay Music Newsletter :: Sign up and receive FREE CDs at www.arjanwrites.com.