Britney Spears – In the Zone

The latest release from this former Mouseketeer tries to sex it up, and to move Spears into the world of global dance electronica.

For this CD, Spears enlisted a who’s who of dance super producers, including Moby, R Kelly, and The Matrix. The question is, can a gang of superproducers turn Britney into a dance diva?

Unfortunately, no. Even though her superproducers do a bang up job, Britney manages to blow it. In the Zone isn’t a coherent CD, but just sounds like a bunch of mediocre club tracks thrown together. Spear’s voice is nondescript enough that it isn’t even clear at times who’s singing.

The first cut “Me Against the Music” is about Britney Spears having sex with Madonna. Two babes kissing on TV wasn’t enough:

[B&M:] We’re almost there
[B:] I’m feelin’ it bad and I can’t explain
[B&M:] My soul is bare
[B:] My hips are movin’ at a rapid pace
[B&M:] Baby feel it burn
[B:] From the tip of my toes, runnin’ through my veins
[B&M:] And now’s your turn

Sure, it’s supposed to be about grabbing your partner and taking it down, but c’mon – we know better. This might have been a good idea for a song, but even Madonna can’t steam this one up.

The next cut, “I got that Boom Boom”, is about Britney Spears shaking her ass to turn on a couple of guys, the Ying Yang Twins:

“I see you lookin my way
And I know that
You have something to say

Watching every inch of my body
Like you wanted to play
(So here we go)

Boom Boom Boom, why you look so sexy (yeah)
Boom Boom Boom, why you look so sexy

I begin to dance just a little bit (uh)
To turn you on

(Yeah I got that)
I got that boom boom, That you want
Watchin me all night long
Hurry up before it’s gone
I got that boom boom, That you want (yeah)
I don’t think you should wait
One minute might be to late”

Starting to see a pattern? Spears is trying hard to make sexy dance music, but doesn’t seem to have the attitude to pull it off.

“Breathe on Me” starts to warm things up a bit. This song is about anticipation, and sexual tension:

“Baby just, breathe on me
Baby just, breathe on me
We don’t need to touch
Just breathe

Monogamy is the way to go
Just put your lips together and blow
Breathe on me”

It’s not a great song, but it’s classier than all the talk about shaking her ass. But wait! The next song, “Early Morning”, is about Britney shaking her ass and hooking up for a series of one-night stands:

“When he walked, talked
Somebody grabbed him
But I liked him
I told him “come here
Kinda cool
Baby, we can make plans
Where’d you live?
Do ya mamma live there?
We can hook up at the hotel”
He was down so I told him “let’s go”
what happened – guess what, you don’t wanna know

I was shakin my ass in the street til mornin
Just got in n it’s early mornin
Bump bump to the break of dawn
And it don’t stop til the early mornin”

The next song, “Toxic” comes out of nowhere. It’s a great dance cut, that throws in a Bhangra vibe to add a little spice.

“With a taste of your lips
I’m on a ride
You’re toxic
I’m slipping under
With a taste of a poison paradise
I’m addicted to you
Don’t you know that you’re toxic?”

The exotic sounds of Indian strings, together with a synthesized groove, veers Spears into uncharted territory. It’s about the intoxication of love, naked emotion, and love being complicated, things which people can relate to. Finally, by being a little vulnerable and open, she sounds sexy.

After that, it’s downhill. “Touch of my hand” has been generating a little interest because of the subject matter, Britney enjoying a little self-love:

“I don’t want to explain tonight
All the things I’ve tried to hide
I shut myself out from the world so I
Can draw the blinds and I’ll teach myself to fly

Cause I just discovered
Imagination’s taking over
Another day without a lover
The more I come to understand
The touch of my hand”

While the subject matter may be xxx, the delivery is zzz! Wake me up before you go-go, Britney!

Unfortunately, that sums up In the Zone. Spears seems out of her element. All the fake sex talk doesn’t make things hot; it just sound like she’s working really hard to make it sound hot.

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