Britney Spears, BRITNEY JEAN (deluxe version)

Britney Spears had states that her latest album would be her most personal -- but that must have been before the producers decided to go in a more club-oriented direction.  Britney Jean (deluxe version) feel like more of the same standard pop that Spears had been delivering for years.
Britney Jean seems to start off more personally, as the song "Alien" has Spears talking about her isolation ("there was a time/I was one of a kind/lost in the world of me, myself and I") and finding companionship.  But then the electronics and beats kick in, whether making working hard a club anthem ("Work B**ch") or synthesizing her voice until it's almost unrecognizable ("It Should Be Easy").  After that, the songs fall into the usual Spears topics: sex ("Tik Tik Boom"0, partying ("Body Ache," "Chillin'"), breakups ("'Til It's Gone," "Don't Cry") and romance ("Brightest Morning Star").  The overproduction removes most of the emotion or uniqueness from the songs; and as for the lyrics, well, did we really need Britney Spears telling us "I'm gonna mark my territory"?  It's with perfume, but still...

The bonus track "Now That I Found You" has a fun, bouncy guitar riff that didn't get overdone, and "Work B**ch" is a catchy guilty pleasure.  Overall, though, Britney Jean (deluxe version) feels like it lost Spears' appeal in far too much studio production, getting away from letting her do her thing.

Overall grade: C-
Reviewed by James Lynch

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