http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/f47826b2091c89370862dabb2be383a8dd301bb4.jpg Blackout

Britney Spears


Jive Records
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
November 15, 2007

Well, this is unfortunate. While judges debate her child-visitation rights, Britney Spears has released an album whose title seems to have been inspired by a major flirtini binge. On Blackout, she's singing that she's "so damn high I can't come down," anticipating a night of "dancing tabletop," and issuing a proclamation that's enough to make Sean Preston use Jayden as a protective shield from Mommy: "Maybe I'm a freak, but I don't really give a damn/I'm as crazy as a motherfucker!"

Those words may or may not reflect Britney's true feelings — she didn't write them — but what's notable is that Blackout is the first time in her career that she's voiced any real thoughts about her life. The old provocation game is still afoot, but Britney's stubbornly holding on to her freakness — it's the only form of rebellion she's got left. With a VIP list of puppet masters including Timbaland, Pharrell Williams and Bloodshy, she's all vox-tweaked and ready to bring back the stellar heavy-breathers of her youth, from the Berlin-style New Wave disco of "Heaven on Earth" to the stadium-stomping "Ooh Ooh Baby." It's telling that Blackout's two best tracks — the tabloid-bashing banger "Piece of Me" and the paparazzi-tease "Freakshow" — suggest that she believes playing the part of the cage-dancing bear is the best way to mess with the media. "Wanna see crazy?" she sings on "Freakshow." "We can show 'em!"

When she's not gearing up for a meltdown, Britney's wielding more melting-ice imagery than An Inconvenient Truth: She's gonna "break the ice," "hit defrost on ya," 'cause she's "cold as fire, baby, hot as ice." Fire and ice — Robert Frost said the world will end in one of those two ways, consumed by passion or frozen by rationalism, and it's clear which option Brit will take. But meanwhile, she's gonna crank the best pop booty jams until a social worker cuts off her supply of hits.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Hungry Like the Wolf”

    Duran Duran | 1982

    This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

    More Song Stories entries »