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Britney Spears

Release Date: 
11/06/2001
Artist: 
Britney Spears
Star Rating: 
6 out of 10
Britney, light of my life, fire of my loins. Not so long ago she was bouncing around in her bobbysocks belting out “…Baby One More Time”; now she’s a knowing nymphet who’s reduced the last two VMAs to slobbering burlesques. You’ve already heard the single “I’m a Slave 4 U,” with its relentless bump-and-grind beat and “kitty kitty” catcalls, primed for the Top 40 and your local strip club. Well, that’s the best that, like, Britney has to offer: Beneath tantalizing titles like “Anticipating” and “Overprotected” lurk the high school composition-book lyrics, the merciless electronic handclaps, and the glockenspiels—my God, the glockenspiels. There’s a shout-along cover of “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll” that goes to places Joan Jett could never take you, but otherwise it’s a tease. “I dare you to play with me,” Britney may coo on “Lonely,” but all she’ll be straddling are two groups of fans who appreciate her for drastically different reasons. And so what? If you’ve even glanced at that picture to your left, you understand what makes this record utterly unassailable. You’ve ruined me, Britney. Look at this tangle of thorns.