Pin It
Favorite

CD Review 

by Marty Demarest


Let's just drop the "Spears." Say what you want about her, Britney's got impeccable marketing instincts. Rather than release an album retreading past territory (which is pretty skimpy, ridiculous stuff), she's taken a turn down a darker path. In the Zone is an awkwardly sexual album that de-humanizes sensuality. Britney's plentiful moans and come-ons sound like they were delivered by a sex-bot, while the music is something from a futuristic dance party. This edgier persona doesn't always work; vocally, Britney still sounds like a teenager on a cell phone. But musically, all the pieces are in place. Like Madonna before her, Britney has hired some of dance's best producers (including Moby), to give her booty-shaking credibility. Thus free of any musical concerns, she's able to devote herself entirely to out-slutting the likes of Christina Aguilera and Pink, to become the ultimate blow-up pop princess.


A superhighway of sound runs through the better cuts on In the Zone, driven by a healthy dose of world music. On "(I Got That) Boom Boom," Britney is backed by a crunk chorus of barking and braying southerners, while a banjo loops a riff pulled from halfway between Deliverance and New Delhi. "Showdown," the album's third cut, is a digital reggae hook-fest that's aggravatingly addicting.


Of course there's plenty of crap on In the Zone. The first song, "Me Against the Music" is already a hit, but it hopefully won't last long. Britney reveals a Missy Elliott-like ability to rap pop lyrics. (Shall we call this style of music "pap?") But it's laughably used by sentiments like "You think you're so hot, better show me what you got." The absolute worst work, however, is on the insipid song "Everytime," which has all of the hallmarks of the next big wedding song, and shows that Britney still hasn't shaken the label of "teen" pop.


Eventually, genuine maturity will start marching across Britney's thighs. But as a recording artist, she'll retain her nubility by acting as though she has something fresh and important to say with each album. There's just enough that works on In the Zone for the album to be a hit. But nothing is good enough to be around in three years. It's a recording that's planned to become obsolete, forcing Britney users to upgrade to the new version when she and her people decide what that's going to be.





Publication date: 12/25/03
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Hiring Among Friends
  • Hiring Among Friends

    What's wrong with this picture? Todd Mielke wants the top job in Spokane County and his colleagues get to decide
    • May 20, 2015
  • Walking to Where, Exactly?
  • Walking to Where, Exactly?

    Publisher's Note
    • May 20, 2015
  • Too Early to Tell
  • Too Early to Tell

    What's your opinion of Emily Farris? Hint: You probably shouldn't have one yet
    • May 20, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
State of the Spokane River

State of the Spokane River @ REI

Thu., May 28, 7-8:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Marty Demarest

  • The Cowboy's Cowboy
  • The Cowboy's Cowboy

    A Canadian sings about the life —  not just the lifestyle — of the new West
    • May 15, 2013
  • Completing the Trilogy
  • Completing the Trilogy

    Mass Effect has finally arrived
    • May 23, 2012
  • Minecraft
  • Minecraft

    Adventure and survival too often give way to mindless crafts in this building-block simulator.
    • Feb 8, 2012
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Hierarchy of Needs

    Spokane experiments with Housing First programs
    • May 13, 2015
  • This Old House

    If it could talk, it could tell stories of three generations, along with a lot of griping from neighbors
    • Apr 29, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Comment


Briefs


Publisher's Note


marijuana


education


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation