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ALBUM REVIEW: Femme Fatale – Britney Spears
March 29, 2011, 6:45 pm
Filed under: Album Review, Electronic, Pop Music | Tags:

Happy Britney Day!!!

I was horrifyingly disappointed that I couldn’t buy a physical copy today of Britney’s new album, Femme Fatale, as it was only released on iTunes this morning. Stupid iTunes. This album is quite awesome in many aspects, but I have to say I’m ever-so-not-want-to-admittingly disappointed.

All the songs are pop perfrction, without a doubt. They perfectly harness new sounds and technology while also keeping that classic Britney sound. Same goes for lyricism and production – great blend of today’s sound (thanks Dr. Luke & Max Martin) with Britney’s traditional epic pop diva sound (especially on the will.i.am track). Luckily, I wasn’t expecting any vocally challenging material, so I wasn’t let down at all by that. I mean, it’s Britney, c’mon. We love her for what she gives us. Overall, I’m happy about it. I love Britney, and drool over getting to hear new material by her. I can’t really pick favorites at this point, although I am thoroughly smitten with “Till The World Ends”. I need a couple weeks to really digest and obsess over the album to get a better feel for it. “Trouble For Me” and “Up ‘N Down” are sick techno-ey tracks, and I also love the slow, electronic beat on “Inside Out”. “Don’t Keep Me Waiting” is a bit heavier, and I really am smitten with its edgy feel. “Criminal” is also an incredible midtempo song. The whole album is definitely a more electro feel than Britney has ever pursued, which is really where pop music is heading, so good for her. However, “Baby One More Time” used real instrumentation and was a smash beyond belief… Which leads me to the disappointment.

The whole album feels like an icy surface to me. There is NO depth – you can barely scratch the surface of it. As much as I love Britney, I feel like she never exposes any real depth to herself. Everyone that reads my blog knows I’m a huge pop music junkie and love listening to brain-melting, simple, stupid songs, because they’re fun. I guess since I’m such a big Brit-head I was just looking for a little something MORE out of her. More variety, more emotion, more depth, I don’t know. Just more.

With that being said, the songs are sooo catchy and fun and I really do LOVE them. In true Britney style, she has captivated me with her hypnotizing, danceable songs that I want to scream the lyrics to. I’m really impressed by the A+ production – there’s such cool sounds that differ with each track, like whistling and bubbles (“How I Roll”.. such a cool song!). The hooks are repetitive but amazing.. So while I am very happy about the album, I guess I just set my expectations way too high. Truth is, she’ll never be “Baby One More Time” Britney again, and I deal with change very badly. I need to take a deep breath and embrace the new, more mature Britney. It cuts me DEEP!

On the brainless pop scale of Ke$ha to Taylor Swift, this album falls on a solid Katy Perry. Britney does always manage to be clever, and Femme Fatale is certainly packed with suggestive double entendres. I feel like I’m in a bad mood today and would give a different review if it was warmer out. That’s probably defying the cardinal rule of journalism, but maybe I’m the Ke$ha of journalism. Nah, I’d give myself a solid Katy Perry as well. I guess all I can say is it’s easy to let disappointments get the best of you, even when something really good is right in front of your face. So, congrats on a not-epic-but-still-amazing album, Britney! How does she keep me so loyal?! Ugh LOVE HER!

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ALBUM REVIEW: “LASERS” – Lupe Fiasco
March 13, 2011, 6:42 pm
Filed under: Album Review, Alternative, Hip Hop, Pop Music | Tags: , ,

Now I can finally properly review Lupe Fiasco’s new, disgustingly-long awaited album, Lasers. I LOVE IT. The instrumentation, the originality, the talent… I’m actually upset that Lupe isn’t a fan of this album: he told Complex that he “hated” this album:

“One thing I try to stress about this project is, I love and hate this album. I listen to it and I’ll like some of the songs. But when I think about what it took to actually get the record together and everything that I went through on this record—which is something I can’t separate—I hate this album. A lot of the songs that are on the album, I’m kinda neutral to. Not that I don’t like them, or that I hate them, it’s just I know the process that went behind it. I know the sneaky business deal that went down behind this song, or the artist or singer or songwriter who wrote this hook and didn’t want to give me this song in the first place.”

Read full article at Complex.com here.

Besides the instrumentation on this album, my favorite part is probably the combination/harmony of the verses with the hooks. The choruses are such great, well-connected segments of the song, as opposed to some hip-hop these days where the verses and choruses share no relevance. “Never Forget You” with John Legend is just such a great song; real instruments, amazing vocals, real lyrics, and of course a beautiful flow from Lupe. “Break The Chain” featuring Sway and Eric Turner has a cool, synthy track to match a nice echoey hook. The greatest thing is that I feel like I can listen to this album all the way through without being disappointed by certain songs and wanting to skip them. It’s just a well tied-together album. Lupe should really be proud that he was able to put out an album like this after all the negativity that held him back from releasing it for so long. Also, the album is a great reflection of Lupe’s old sound, and yet there’s still some innovation. He’s a very talented musician.

“State Run Radio” is one of my favorite tracks, because I’m such a sucker for rap & guitar. It just feels right. A bit redundant, but nonetheless a great song. “Coming Up” is probably my favorite LUPE song on the CD – it really showcases his perfect, head-bobbing flow. Mdma’s vocals sound above and beyond on that track as well. Mdma is on a couple tracks on this album, including “I Don’t Wanna Care Right Now”, which is a really cool one. It’s different and sticks out from the other songs on the album for its interesting sound. Mdma is also on “Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways)”. I thought this song might be my favorite just because of its title (ridiculous, I know), but it turned out to be one of my least favorites. I have a feeling it could grow on me though. It has that “don’t-judge-a-book-by-its-cover-but-it-might-grow-on-you-anyway” feel, you know?

“Till I Get There”. I love this one. The piano’s chord progression is killing me, it’s so beautiful with Lupe’s smooth flow. This one is probably my favorite on Lasers. It’s pure Lupe and its just great music. I don’t even know how else to describe it. I realllllly like “Letting Go” too, although it reminds me of another song that I can’t put my finger on. It’s driving me crazy! And obviously “Words I Never Said” is a great song and Skylar Grey’s voice sounds amazing. “All Black Everything”, “Out Of My Head” Feat. Trey Songz, and “The Show Goes On” were already previously Jillboarded, so check out those reviews by clicking on ze links.

Glad I got all that out of my system. Congrats on a beautiful project, Loopee! (That’s what my dad calls him…lolz). Sonic-nom.

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