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On Pop Icon Britney Spears‘ seventh album “Femme Fatale“, yet again Ms. Spears delivers a perfectly fine Pop/Dance album. And yet again her voice is heavily vocoded and autotuned, and sometimes drowned out by the slick production, and yet again Britney doesn’t show that she contributes much to her music at all. On this album Britney takes the “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” approach and basically delivers “Blackout” part 2, and even if I expected more I can’t fault her for staying safe and in her own lane. Hopes and expectations aside, “Femme Fatale” is a perfectly passable Dance album. There are actually a few exciting moments that stand above alot of the Pop offerings in the past few years.The album opener “Till The World Ends” is the stuff of Dancefloor legend, with the call out and response “oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ooh-oooh” hook, to the bass thumping production of Dr. Luke and Max Martin I’d be really surprised if this didn’t become an international anthem. “How I Roll” finds Britney in a more relaxed confident space, over a really refreshing and unique track by Bloodshy and Avant (there’s a Robyn vibe on the track, but Britney does manage to make it her own). And “Inside Out”, a sort of dubstep ballad, is a standout on the album with Britney’s voice being more in the forefront, with pretty clever lyrics as well.
The rest runs the spectrum of slightly above average Dance singles like “Trip to Your Heart”, which takes a slightly experimental production take on EuroDance, as well as “Seal it With a Kiss” and “Criminal” which show more diversity with their more Pop/Urban leanings. And than there’s the terribly average Dance tracks like “(Drop Dead) Beautiful” “I Wanna Go” “Trouble for Me” and “Gasoline” which all are fun, but sound a little dated and like re-treads of stuff we’ve already heard. In the end you just wish that Britney had stretched herself a little further and took a few more risks, this could have been a masterpiece compared to her other work. Instead it just falls in line with the rest of her catalgoue with only quick glimpses of any growth. The album is still better than a lot of the Dance-Pop material over the years, and she’s more or less established herself as the Queen of the Dancefloor, since that’s what we should always expect from her in the future apparently.

Rating: 3 of 5
Best: How I Roll, Inside Out, Till The World Ends