The Critic ~ Album #4: Britney Spears - In The Zone
I went into this one with a completely open mind...I already knew the singles because they were big hits when I was around 15 years old, she was just everywhere, much more popular than she is at the present time. I never thought I'd be listening to a Britney Spears album to be honest!
Firstly I have to say that Britney's voice ranges from limp/weak/lifeless to annoying, I simply do not feel anything when she sings, her voice has no expression. After really giving the album a good listen I've concluded that my opinion has unfortunately not changed on her one bit. I could tell that she attempts to try a few new sounds (mainly variants of dance) but in my opinion she doesn't really pull it off and it's due to her limp and unconvincing delivery.
Some of the songs would have been elevated by a much better vocalist/artist in my opinion and all some of them needed was such, a number of tracks left me completely cold. The only really dire track on here however for me was "I Got That (Boom Boom)", it was just really bad I need say no more. The single "Toxic" is a racy and solid pop track that I do like, Everytime is also a list-enable track which Britney does not sound annoying on and I like it, although I wasn't sure whether I'd keep it or not as it really is not THAT good, just pleasant (she doesn't have a voice for ballads).
To me Britney generally only sounds list-enable when she does unashamedly pop tunes that have to be very catchy, she is not someone who can experiment (although she doesn't experiment too drastically here) and succeed based on this album. "Brave New Girl" was good and real catchy and I have decided to keep it for now, but its overdose on autotune lessens its appeal, although it's obvious it was used to disguise weak vocals. "The Hook Up" and "Showdown" where the only other tracks I even remotely considered keeping as they are quite catchy but neither of them were good enough pop tracks for me.
So it seems Britney's music is just not for me, she leaves me cold for the most part.
Keepers (in order of best):
#3 Brave New Girl