In the opening of Kill The Lights, from Britney's 2008 'Circus' album, she's described as "our very own pop princess now queen of pop". At this point, six albums into her career, Britney was undoubtedly a superstar. But what does that make her now?
Spears is a classic example of not knowing when to stop. Now eight albums in, she's struggling to keep up with younger artists. Her name simply isn't enough anymore - she's no longer relevant.
Her career has been filled with lip synching allegations and 'Britney Jean' just exemplifies her lack of singing ability. Even on the promotional artwork for the album, Spears looks dead behind the eyes. This is an utterly soulless record, devoid of personality and with barely a single note that hasn't been auto-tuned into place. On lead single Work Bitch she doesn't even attempt to sing for most of it.
There's also a complete lack of variety on offer. 'Britney Jean' comprises ten tracks of noisy and repetitive EDM that perfectly match the robotic vocals. That will.i.am produced much of the album should come as no surprise, each track simply a dated series of bleeps and bloops. David Guetta even crops up on a couple of tracks. It's as if Britney's gathered a team of the key players who have ruined pop music in recent years to create the ultimate album of electronic trite.
Perfume is the only real ballad on offer but even that has a pounding beat behind it. And any semblance of romanticism is ruined by the central lyric "I put on my perfume, I want it all over you, I'm gonna mark my territory", a bit like a cat pissing up a wall. The rest of the album does attempt to inject some personal lyrics into proceedings, but they're smothered in electronic noise and robotic vocals devoid of emotion.
There are plenty of club bangers here, the shuffling rhythms of Tik Tik Boom and the thumping beat of Body Ache especially. Yet when Work Bitch is one of the best tracks, you know you've got one of the worst albums of the year. It makes you wish Spears would just bow out gracefully.
* Work Bitch
* Tik Tik Boom
Listen: 'Britney Jean' is released on 2nd December (if you really must listen).