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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprise, it's rather good!
I've never owned any album by Britney Spears, and had downloaded the odd track I liked in the past; "Toxic" and "Slave 4 u", and things would have stayed pretty much that way, if I hadn't read rave reviews from critics whose opinion I respect. I decided to give it a try, and surprise, I quite like it.

Yes, it may be largely down to the assembled team of super...
Published on November 3, 2007 by Nse Ette

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A mere shadow...
So I like Britney. But I like Britney more when she's at least TRYING! I mean really TRYING! When she's believing in what it is she's creating and putting out there for her fans. That was part of her charm. People would put her down for so many things but she would always try and succeed because she loved music and believed in her music. She would go into the studio...
Published on November 11, 2007 by T. Jordan

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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprise, it's rather good!, November 3, 2007
This review is from: Blackout (Audio CD)
I've never owned any album by Britney Spears, and had downloaded the odd track I liked in the past; "Toxic" and "Slave 4 u", and things would have stayed pretty much that way, if I hadn't read rave reviews from critics whose opinion I respect. I decided to give it a try, and surprise, I quite like it.

Yes, it may be largely down to the assembled team of super producers, and their studio trickery (it features quite a bit of vocoder and vocal distortion), rather than Ms Spears' vocal prowess, but the result is rather pleasant, and guaranteed to get your feet moving.

Opening is the smash hit single "Gimme more", a bouncy synth driven song with a technoi-ish sound in the chorus, and those famous opening words, "It's Britney b***". It is so catchy, I keep listening to it over and over.

Other standouts are "Ooh ooh baby" (nice guitars) which is vaguely remniscent of "Toxic", the quirky Pharrell penned/produced "Why should I be sad", which is the closest thing to a ballad, "Get naked (I got a plan)", and the brilliant eurodisco stomper "Heaven on earth" which would make Giorgio Moroder smile.

Some of the lyrics attempt to touch on parts on her life; "Piece of me" deals with the media obsession with her, "I'm Mrs. Lifestyles of the rich and famous / You want a piece of me / I'm Mrs. Oh my God that Britney's Shameless / You want a piece of me / I'm Mrs. Extra! Extra! this just in / You want a piece of me", while on the skeletal marching groove of the Gwen Stefani-ish "Toy soldiers" she seems to diss her ex, stating that "This time she needs a real soldier, and she's sick and tired of toy soldiers" (in a cartoon-ish voice).

If she keeps releasing music this good, she just might succeed in blacking out all the negative press! A fun record which succeeds.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Britney's done it again!, October 30, 2007
This review is from: Blackout (Audio CD)
As a huge Britney fan, I waited a very long time for her to release a new CD, and I have to say that the wait was well worth it. "Blackout" is just as good as any other record by Britney (even when I do think that there will never be a CD as good as "In the Zone").

Every single song has a great beat and amazing lyrics, and I couldn't find a single song in the whole cd that I disliked. All of them are simply great! I specially liked the songs "Piece of Me", "Radar", "Break the Ice" and "Ooh Ooh Baby".

I also noticed, while listening to it, that "Blackout" is pretty much about 'going back like nothing happened'; Britney is trying to show us with this record that she is the same amazing performer she was a few years ago even with all the scandal that has been going around her lately, and that parenthood doesn't stop her from still being sexy and sing about anything she wants to, just like she says in the song "Piece of Me": 'I can't see no harm in working and being a mama'

So I'd just like to recommend this CD to everyone so that you all go and buy it, and please don't listen to anyone who says that this is a bad CD, because that's not true, this is some of Britney's best work and anyone who liked her previous cd's will not be disappointed.

And, well, what else can I say?... (as Britney says herself in the first song of the CD): "It's Britney, b!tch"
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43 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stellar Release From Britney Spears, December 2, 2007
This review is from: Blackout (Audio CD)
It's been 4 years since pop tabloid sensation Britney Spears has released a solo CD. "Blackout" marks Britney's return to the pop music world. The first single released from "Blackout," was the club friendly track "Gimme More." Radio loves the single and it's proof that Britney is definitely back in the music industry. "Blackout" is a mix of electronica, R&B and club tracks. On the song, "Piece of Me," Britney declares that she has been the American Dream since she was 17. The song could easily be a radio single as Britney fights back at the tabloids.

"Break The Ice," is a melodic club friendly song that will strike a chord with Britney's audience. Fans of her third album, "In The Zone," will appreciate this song about meeting a new love interest. "Heaven On Earth," is an electronica inspired fast paced song.

Britney, who is now 25 years old, definitely shows off her adult side on "Blackout." Song's on the songs "Get Naked," and "Freakshow."

The songs on "Blackout," have powerful tracks and Britney's vocals are very melodic and sometimes hypnotic. People who thought Britney might come back with a sad CD because she just went through a divorce are all wrong.

Britney addresses her personal life on the Neptune's produced song "Why Should I Be Sad." Britney is a survivor and isn't letting her personal life or the tabloid drama that follows her from stopping anything.

Britney brought her "A" game to "Blackout." The upbeat tracks will keep people on the dance floor for hours and are sure to be popular with fans both old and new. When listening to "Blackout," you can hear that Britney has been inspired by artists such as Madonna, and Pet Shop Boys.

Production-wise Britney can't lose on "Blackout" as she works with some of the top music producers in the industry. "Blackout" features production from super-hot producer Danja, who has produced for Justin Timberlake, Bloodshy and Avant, and The Neptunes.

Stand out tracks on Blackout include the first single "Gimme More," "Break The Ice," "Piece of Me," "Heaven on Earth," and "Why Should I Be Sad."
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Legendary Ms. Britney Spears, November 2, 2007
♠♥♣♦ (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Blackout (Audio CD)
If this were another time and another era and if Britney Spears weren't "Britney Spears," this album would be selling like Michael Jackson's "Thriller." Because "Blackout" really is her best album. She really is one of the best commercial Pop artists ever. Britney has certainly had some of the more recognizable Pop songs over the past 10 years like "...Baby One More Time" and "Oops!...I Did It Again." As a recording artist and celebrity, she has captured the public's imagination on multiple levels.

Britney Spears has gotten notably better since her debut album. I think the first signs of evolution were with 2003's "In the Zone" and now once again with her 2007 release "Blackout." Where she has succeed and where some of her young peers haven't is that she's been able to stamp her image and persona on every song like Michael Jackson and Madonna have done. Even though slick producers like Timbaland's protégé Nate "Danjahandz" Hills (Gimme More) along with Bloodshy & Avant (Piece of Me) deserve at least half of the credit on the album "Blackout," without Britney Spears on these tracks they just don't sell. She's the secret ingredient on all of these songs. Only she could get away with something called "Get Naked (I Got a Plan)."

After 83 million albums sold WW, Britney knows her game very well and it's most evident on "Blackout." As a recording artist, she gets what works for her and what doesn't. We're not going to hear her trying to warble her way through Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston power ballads. Let's face it, some people try and it just doesn't work. Britney knows what her strengths and weakness are like Madonna does and she plays to them perfectly on "Blackout." She's a Dance/Pop artist and she has never pretended to be otherwise. Britney's never tried to be the next Celine Dion and shouldn't be faulted for that. Most people can't sing that well. You have to put her talent in perspective with the type of music that she's recording. If you do that, then she's A-list without a doubt. She's the best of her age group. If she continues to make albums that are as good as "In the Zone" and "Blackout" then in time she might be a true icon like her idol Madonna is. Her ascent to the top of the Pop world should continue if she can rise above the 24 hour media circus and put her legal problems behind her. Because "Blackout" makes a damn good argument that she should be next in line for queen. And her former Mickey Mouse mate Justin Timberlake might join her as king. Who knows?

But come on folks, Britney Spears deserves some credit. In the midst of probably her darkest moment, she has delivered her best record. Most people in the same situation under the same circumstances wouldn't have come even close. Appreciate her ability and her music for what it is and you won't be disappointed. I hope the Grammys remember her in February of 2009. An album like "Blackout" shouldn't be ignored.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Britney Spears : Fifth Time a Charm, November 5, 2007
This review is from: BLACKOUT (Audio CD)
Listening to the new Britney Spears record is an experience indeed - despite the obvious hooks, the singalong choruses, and the perfectly times beats, there also lies a certain depth and soul that was sorely missing on all her previous albums. Yes, the songs are good (just ask any critic), but what makes this album special is its tremendous replay value (I suggest you buy a physical copy of the CD), and the intricate attention to the production. Unlike other reviewers, I have to give credit for Britney's vocal ability as well - she is not the best singer, but one listen to her on tracks such as "Heaven on Earth", and you realize why it is that she is still so endearing.

Whats even more astonishing is Spears' ability to remain culturally and sociologically relevant in an era that has virtually wiped out all of her classmates from the late 1990s. Though I do respect Christina Aguilera and her recent "Back to Basics" album, I have already played "Blackout" more than I have that other album. That's a testament to what Britney is - it may be disposable, it may be too commercial, but through it all it remains relevant and addictive. You can't deny that, and if you're new to the circus, I would recommend that you pick this album up as soon as possible.

"Blackout"'s strengths (and there are many) - is that every song on this 12-track album could be a successful radio single. I cannot think of another album in the last ten years that I could say this about. Even if you're not a fan of the generic pop genre, you will find something here to love. Primary single "Gimme More" (which rates alongside "Toxic" as Britney's best single ever) is just the beginning of the brilliance. To give you an idea of the multiple genres that Britney has employed on this record, let me compare some of the songs to the artists they most closely resemble. You can base your opinions on this, if you like:

"Piece of Me" : Many call this the standout track of the album. I think its pretty great, but not a Britney classic. The production her is very `Neptunes', and the track itself is very reminiscent of something that came out of the UK Underground club scene. Great repeat value, and the rooster instrumental effects, coupled with the very singable chorus will guarantee that this is a track you will be playing a lot in the days to come.

"Heaven on Earth" - Easily the best track on the record. This is 1980s electro-pop goodness. I would go so far as saying that this one track is better than anything on the new Hilary Duff record ("Dignity" - where Hilary tried to channel the `80s as well). Why is this song special. Well, for starters, it mixes electronic pop with ambient trance, and layers it with a synthesized Eurythmics sensibility. Think an Annie Lennox song done by Kylie Minogue, with DJ Tiesto as the producer. This is that track. I love the vocals on this - frail, tender, vulnerable. The song is undeniably sexy, and one that I will hail as the one of the best of Spears' career. And the line "Waking up, with you next to me" sound eerily like Imogen Heap!

"Toy Soldier" - What production! The opening beats alone deserve to be played loud on your car stereo system. This is the jam she was born to make. The highly digitized vocals only enhance the overall effect of the track. Yet another song that you will have on repeat. The companion track to this is "Freakshow", which to me is not as memorable as this one, but still as good.

"Break The Ice" - Remember how Janet Jackson always brought the best track on her album as the album opener? Well, I only wish they had chosen this song to open the album - it so deserved to be Track 1. Its tailor made for radio - listening to it now, it seems to marry the best of the R&B and Hip-Hop genre, and infuses it with a very pop sound overall. A universally acclaimed track, this is the perfect foil for "Gimme More".

"Why Should I be Sad" - Justin Timberlake could only wish he made such a Timbalandesque jam on his last album. This is the slowest track on the record, but with a very poignant vocal from Britney. Production is stellar, and it's a superb closer to an already superb album. I highly recommend listening to this on headphones to truly appreciate it. It speaks of her marriage, divorce, and relationship issues, but she doesn't position herself as a victim - just as an observer, and I found this very classy.

Standout tracks include "Radar", and of course the much-maligned "Hot As Ice". Many people call the last track the worst on the CD. Granted, its not that great, but if you take it with a sense of humor, you will actually start to like it. The background vocals and singers sound like they're channeling the Oompa Loompas from "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" - listen to it to see what I mean!

The only downside to this album, is that its too short. Some of the best tracks that Britney recorded from the era (And available on the net in various avatars) are missing from this. My absolute favorite from this Era is the unreleased track "Sugarfall", which easily is one of the best songs Spears has ever recorded. Two ballads remain missing - "Baby Boy" and "Let Go" (the latter shows off Spears' vocal training to full effect). Another winner, "Get Back" is possibly the song that should be immediately released as a single (what a chorus!) for for inexplicable reasons was left off the CD entirely. Heres the thing - there are at least 30 songs floating around that Britney made for "Blackout", but only 12 made it here. My guess is that some of these will surface at some point on some foreign editions of the CD. Please do look out for them - they are totally worth it.

So what would I compare this album to. Well, in terms of the groundbreaking genre and production, there are quite a few peers. If you liked this album, you would love "Neon Nights" by Dannii Minogue, "Come and Get it" by Rachel Stevens, "Ray of Light" by Madonna - but the truth is, there hasn't been an album quite like this before. It breaks new ground with every track, and there is literally something for everybody. Just when you think the songs getting repetitive, theres an electronica solo much like Imogen Heap that blows your mind, and traces of Eurythmics, Duran Duran, Modern Talking, A Ha, and even Debbie Gibson are found throughout this album. Is this a good thing? Yes it is! If anything, you cannot possibly be bored by this album.

Britney Spears making a classic album was considered an impossibility a few months or years ago. But with a great team behind her, she has finally achieved what she set out to. I'm no defender of her personal life, nor a huge Britney fan, but I do know likable and essential pop music when I listen to it. This review is for her new album, not her personal life. And that said, this is easily the best pop release of the year, and the finest of Spears' career. I would say - forget the person and concentrate on the music. Even if you remove Spears' persona completely from this record, its still a masterpiece of the pop-electronica genre, and you can't deny that.

Five Stars. Pop Album of the Year, and an instant classic.
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47 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overly packaged and produced, but still a very fun album, November 8, 2007
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This review is from: Blackout (Audio CD)
While it is clear that Britney herself was only a small portion of the making of this CD, the beats, lyrics, and general tone are just what I'd expect from a Britney album - fun, light, and very catchy.

You can hear that Britney's voice has been played with in the studio - it sounds like she came in, did a bit of singing, and left them to perfect the sound. But even with that, the album is a lot of fun to listen to and one that I have been enjoying a lot. I love dance beats and songs that make me want to sing along and move, and this CD is great on both of those.

The best song is easily Gimme More, but the rest are all pretty good as well. Not a whole lot of character, but the songs are all catchy and there aren't any real losers in the bunch, which is more than I can say about most CDs I have bought!

If you are a Britney fan, go ahead and get this latest from her - it isn't as good as B in the Mix or her other top CDs, but it will stick to your player for a good long time!

Two months later: I wanted to add that this CD really has staying power. Most of the songs have really grown on me, and I have found that when I want to listen to something catchy and dancy, which is most days, I reach for this CD over other ones - even mix CD's of my own making! There is only one song I consistently skip past (track six) and the rest are pretty darn good. I have gotten most of the songs on the CD stuck in my head over the past months, and listened to it over sixty times, and I am still not tired of it. So overall I'd say this is a no-brainer purchase for those who like a fun dance beat.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!!, October 30, 2007
This review is from: Blackout (Audio CD)
i was very surprised when i heard the entire album. i was expecting to like it but i never knew i'd love it!! i really do love and miss the old briney in her oop's i did it again thing but this is a great dance album.
1. gimme more 5/5 obviously...
2. piece of me 5/5 wow!!
3. radar 5/5
4. break the ice 5/5
5. heaven on earth 5/5
6. get naked (i got a plan) 3/5 my least favorite track but i like the beat.
7. freakshow 4/5
8. toy soldier 5/5 she must of just realized that kevin wasn't a man.
9. hot as ice 5/5 it's different but sounds really cool.
10. ooh ooh baby 5/5 i really love the chorus.
11. perfect lover 4/5
12. why should i be sad 5/5 sounds like destiny's child would of sang it but britney sounds soooo good!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is Britney Spears best album ever, March 1, 2008
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This review is from: Blackout (Audio CD)
I admit it, I'm a 34 year old and yes, I listen to pop music. I have all of Britney's albums and this is by far the best - proving that yes, Britney can sing and excellent producers are key to a good album.

Along with the rest of the world, I was pleasantly surprised when she revealed her debut track, "Gimme More," which will remain in rotation in the club scene for a long time to come. "Piece of Me" is fascinating, catchy and all of us on Team Britney appreciate the @#$% off to the paps. While most of the songs are bubble gum and fruity, they're all solid and stand on their own.

"Oh, oh Baby" is sexy cool and shows off Britney's talent as a singer (something that she's not even known for these days). "Hot as Ice" is an enjoyable play on words and Britney pulls it off with heaps full of sass. "Toy Soldier" is another that should be given kudos.

It's an all around great album to work out to, dance to, and clean the house to. Upbeat, flirty, and kind of bratty. Besides the "It's Britney Bitch" in the beginning, it's pretty kid friendly - and Brit's matured (as life's been rough) since her freshman album which seems like a hundred years ago now.

I could do without the K-Fed rip, "Why Should I be Sad" but I can't complain when all but one song on the album are what I call repeaters (can listen to more than once in a car trip).

Like Madonna, Britney has proven that she may be down - but she's far from out. This album is awesome.
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38 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Light In the Dark (3.5 Stars), October 29, 2007
This review is from: Blackout (Audio CD)
Few will want to admit it, and even fewer actually will, but Britney Spears' "Blackout" is a scintillating, effervescent slice of post-millenium pop that will be a guilty pleasure for many in the coming months. Say what you will about the circumstances of Spears' personal life, which have certainly exceeded the threshold of outlandish, but those circumstances have no effect on her splashy radio and club-ready formula. Troubles or not, her music remains as sweet and caloric as candy corn, appealing to the hyperactive kid in all pop listeners.

Of course, Spears is not exactly a "force" to be reckoned with in the music industry in terms of legendary musical talent - Tony Bennett or Celine Dion she will never be. This is also not music for thinking people, but then with song titles like "Hot As Ice" and "Ooh Ooh Baby" that is more than implied. However, these facts alone do not invalidate Spears. The star quality that has endeared her to listeners time and time again is strong as ever on "Blackout" - one listen and it's hard to imagine these songs being performed by anyone else. Fitting her racy image to a T and never failing to deliver catchy, breathy pop hooks, they are as devilish as they are listenable.

On the biographical side of things, "Piece of Me" is a cheeky smorgasbord of self-referential (or self-aggrandizing, depending on how you look it) anecdotes smothered in chunky electro beats, while the Pharrell Williams-penned "Why Should I Be Sad?" provides an appropriate closer to a collection of songs otherwise grounded in levity with its bittersweet, resilient attitude set against the by now predictable (though nonetheless enjoyable) production work of the Neptunes.

"Gimme More," the set's lead single and Spears' highest chart feat on the Billboard Hot 100 since 1999, is one of the less notable tracks here compared to the trippy, atypical wordplay that marks "Radar" and the downright infectious "Get Naked (I Got a Plan)," a surefire highlight. Hi-NRG beats pulse throughout selections such as the dancefloor-ready "Heaven On Earth" and "Toy Soldier," which has enough kitschy fun for a cult 80's flick.

Throughout the collection Spears is the ultimate seductress, oozing genuine sex appeal and passion. By the time she coos "you make me feel so hot" throughout the lush "Perfect Lover," the second to last track, it's impossible to doubt her. May she now be a bona fide pop siren in the same league as Kylie Minogue? Possibly.

Jailhouse visits and custody hearings aside, Spears gives listeners reason for hope with "Blackout," easily her best and definitely her most intriguing outing to date, even when factoring in her 2004 hits compilation. Oddly enough, she has never sounded more comfortable in her own skin, making this album feel like a debut. Gone are the artistic pretensions that marred her last two albums (she is a performer, not a songwriter), and her material has taken a major upgrade in class. This music is able to self-sustain without the aid of shock value or infamous MTV kissing scene stunts because in and of itself it is purely entertaining.

All she needs is for her image to correspond and she will have her life as well as her career back on track.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bonus tracks make the album much better than the standard release..., December 17, 2007
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This review is from: Blackout (Audio CD)
Much of Britney's latest CD is more subdued in the dance beat department, not what you'd expect from her. Granted, most of the songs are `danceable', but they don't have that hard hitting feel of some of her biggest past hits, although, it is definitely nice to see her moving into a more mature sound. I love Heaven On Earth, with its retro 80s electronica dance feel, and Get Naked is classic Britney. In fact, the strongest tracks on here for me personally were tracks 5-9...until I heard the bonus tracks. Track 13, "Outta This World", is a mellow jam with a catchy melody, but it's really just a warm up for the stunning tracks that follow. Track 14, "Everybody," is NOT a cover of the Madonna dance classic (now that would have been hot), but this is one of the best dance tracks on here--heavily samples Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics, including Annie's vocals. The whole CD should have been this infectious. Track 15--no, not a cover of the Beatles "Get Back", but ANOTHER standout dance jam in the style of recent Nelly Furtado. How could these tracks NOT have made the original cut of the album??? And finally, track 16 is another HUGE reason to have this pricey import (along with track 14!). The Paul Oakenfold remix of Gimme More is here in its FULL 6 minute plus version!!! This remix was not available on the import CD single and all I can say is WHY NOT??? This hard electro house mix is the BEST remix I've heard, giving added attitude with a driving beat and a hard bassline. Amazing.
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Blackout by Britney Spears (Audio CD - 2007)
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