Tomorrow one Britney Spears will release her seventh studio album, ‘Femme Fatale,’ and I figured in anticipation I should gay up this blog and pay tribute to her bizarrely enjoyable 12-year career. Spears is one of the few pop artists that I genuinely and eagerly anticipate an album from, despite the fact that she represents exactly what irritates me about the manufacturing of pop music: She can’t sing, she can’t dance, she clearly has no creative control over her career, and her personality continues to fade to what I can only assume is a prescription drug-induced oblivion.
But she’s somehow become a considerable icon without really even trying (at least not in the past 5 or 6 years). Maybe this is because of her shortcomings. You can’t help but feel sorry for Spears as she stumbles through the second half of her 20s, clearly uninspired (or incapable of being inspired) by the world around her. As someone who is roughly Spears’ age, I watched her emerge, rise, and then fall, fall, and fall again from the perspective of something like a peer. This relationship was clearly aided by the fact that – and this is definitely the key to Spears’ longevity – her music is consistently catchy, occasionally inventive and always a remarkable guilty pleasure. She has provided the soundtrack to many a night in a gay bar and many a trip to the gym. Which obviously is a testament to a great set of producers and handlers guiding Spears through the motions.
I’ve had ‘Femme Fatale’ for a couple weeks now, and it’s no exception. The vast majority of the tracks are epic dance tracks – expertly produced and sometimes quite imaginative, even if Spears’ trademark robotic voice isn’t bringing much to the picture. I’d go so far as to call it her second best album after 2007’s ‘Blackout,’ which as we recall came out in the midst of her most intense of all her breakdowns only to become one the best dance albums of the past decade. It’s an album very well represented in the following list, which offers my own personal top 20 for Ms. Spears… Say what you want about her, or about me for wasting an hour of my life compiling this list… But try getting through all 20 songs without the urge to run on a treadmill or to recklessly dance or flirt at a bar. Maybe that’s all Spears is good for, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s good enough.
1. Toxic (In The Zone, 2004)
2. Piece of Me (Blackout, 2007)
3. Oops!… I Did It Again (Oops!… I Did It Again, 2000)
4. Gimme More (Blackout, 2007)
5. …Baby One More Time (…Baby One More Time, 1999)
continues after the jump
6. Till The World Ends (Femme Fatale, 2011)
7. Radar (Blackout, 2007)
8. I’m a Slave 4 U (Britney, 2001)
9. Touch of My Hand (In The Zone, 2004)
10. Womanizer (Circus, 2008)
11. Hold It Against Me (Femme Fatale, 2011)
12. Heaven on Earth (Blackout, 2007)
13. Stronger (Oops!… I Did It Again, 2000)
14. Break The Ice (Blackout, 2007)
15. (You Drive Me) Crazy (…Baby One More Time, 1999)
16. How I Roll (Femme Fatale, 2011)
17. Blur (Circus, 2008)
18. Me Against The Music (In The Zone, 2004)
19. Toy Soldier (Blackout, 2007)
20. Big Fat Bass (Femme Fatale, 2011)