by Britney Spears, pop (2001)
BMG/Jive/Nodus/Silvertone, ASIN B00005OM4N

Look, ma, Britney's kitties are showing! Britney goes all Lolita-esque in this album, which comes complete with a set of calender postcards where our Ms Spears wear very little clothing. The whole set-up is sleazy in a bad way, especially considering how little say this young lady seems to have in her music. It smacks of exploitation.

Actually, there are enough credible underground dance sounds in this music to make acid clubbers raving loony. The first single I'm A Slave 4 U is actually very good groove, although predictably it's another "I'm a young sexpot" thing. What seems like the most exploitative track, I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman, is actually a track about a young girl's coming of age that encompasses all aspects, not just sexual. It's a lovely and emotional ballad that's classy and introspective especially from a girl who, only last year, was giggling oops, she did it again.

Predictably, the best tracks are where Britney has little or no hand in writing. There are also some tracks leftover from the Cheiron house before it folded (Overprotected - uurgh). I must admit I like the girlish track Anticipating though. Her (at the time of writing) boyfriend Justin "the bald one from N Sync" Timberlake contributes What It's Like To Be Me, which is surprisingly decent.

I don't want to remember the horrendous massacre of Joan Jetts and the Blackhearts' I Love Rock 'N' Roll.

All in all, Britney is a surprisingly steady, listenable album. Of course, it remains to be seen whether she will alienate all her teenybopper fans with her sexpot image and whether the older crowd - who may ogle at her but sneer at her music - will bite the bait with this harder sound of hers. Say, did Bob Dole buy a copy for his doggie?

Rating: 83

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