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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    CD Reviews

    Welcome back, Britney, welcome back.

    Spears’s latest album, the dance-tastic Blackout, might re-throne the pop star and current disaster. The record is overtly sexual in nature, with booming beats to please any club hopper, and highlights Brit-Brit’s signature alto drawl.

    “”Gimme More,”” now infamous for the often quoted “”Its Britney, bitch,”” kicks off the album into party mode.

    The following track, “”Piece of Me”” is awkward due to a chorus of singular male and female voices that don’t mesh with Britney’s over-enhanced spoken lyrics. Fortunately, about two minutes into the dance track, she magically transforms into Imogen Heap and the song becomes amazing; her simple-minded, egotistical lyrics (“”I’m Miss American Dream since I was 17″”) actually sound interestingly complex.

    Blackout
    Britney Spears – Jive Records
    3.5 stars

    The downside to Blackout is that regardless of how well produced it is, it’s only good because Spears can afford the best producers in the business. It almost seems pointless to purchase the album when it’s doubtful that she will be in the physical state to tour.

    I doubt that anyone likes Britney Spears as a deep, thoughtful artist; her appeal was mostly due to her fantastic stage presence. Spears is a performer, and even though this is arguably her strongest album, her disastrous MTV Video Music Awards performance made it obvious that she isn’t at the top of her game.

    “”Radar”” and “”Break the Ice”” conjure up the artistic genius of In the Zone’s “”Toxic.”” “”Radar”” doesn’t sound like Britney due to the enhanced vocals, but the initially catchy lyrics will make this a sure-fire hit: “”I get the tingle, I want to mingle, that’s what I want.”” “”Break the Ice,”” spoken intro aside, doesn’t come off as a four-minute sexual innuendo until you really listen to what Britney sings with a raspy whisper: “”Like an 808/ Can you rise to the occasion?””

    The album closes with “”Why Should I Be Sad,”” the closest song to a ballad. From her previous lackluster slow songs, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Britney’s lack of vocal abilities explains why the song features the occasional rap interjection from her and a male vocal.

    Is this album worth buying? Do you really want to support Spears’s drug habit? Eh, with tracks this danceable, don’t let your conscience get to you.

    Jamie Ross


    Backstreet’s back – well, sort of.

    Four of the five members of the original band have returned with Unbreakable, their first album since 2005.

    The Backstreet Boys first came on the music scene in 1996 and were an immediate phenomenon with teenage girls everywhere. Their hits, including “”Quit Playing Games with My Heart,”” “”Larger than Life,”” “”I Want it that Way”” and the illustrious “”Everybody (Backstreet’s Back),”” have put them in the hall of fame of successful boy bands.

    Unbreakable
    Backstreet Boys ð – Jive Records
    3.5 stars

    Since then, members have tried to pull a Justin Timberlake by going solo, but they have not been successful. They have now reunited, minus Kevin Richardson, to create a new album with an old sound.

    Unbreakable represents the Backstreet Boys in their typical fashion – singing upbeat pop dance songs and sappy love ballads.

    The first single, “”Inconsolable,”” is a catchy ballad about lost love, heartache and words unsaid.

    The chorus of track two, “”Something I Already Know,”” sounds exactly the same as “”Inconsolable,”” leaving listeners wondering if they accidentally hit the repeat button.

    ‘N Sync fans will appreciate track 11, “”Treat Me Right”” – it was co-written by member JC Chasez.

    Boy band fans will love this album, mostly because it allows them to reminisce about the “”good old days”” of teenage insanity.

    Allison Warren


    The new album by Saves the Day is nothing short of a disappointment compared to its previous releases, sounding somewhat like nails on a chalkboard reeking out of my stereo system.

    With the preconceived notion that the album would sound similar to Stay What You Are and Can’t Slow Down, I couldn’t help but skip through the majority of the tracks and roll up my car windows so no one would hear.

    Under the Boards is really a change in the wrong direction. Chris Conley sounds as if he has the flu in some of the songs, most notably “”Get Fucked Up.”” The lyrics have a strong meaning behind them, and the music itself is upbeat and would definitely sound great live, but Conley fell flat in vocals and sounds almost whiny. When you compare the vocals of “”At Your Funeral”” from Stay What You Are and “”Radio”” from Under the Boards, the latter sounds like a mimic of the former.

    Under the Boards
    Saves the Day – Vagrant Records
    1.5 stars

    “”Lonely Nights”” is the only track that appears to have any potential of being a hit. Conley’s voice actually sounds relatively pleasant and carries a small, strange similarity to John Lennon’s voice from Magical Mystery Tour. The song sounds highly manufactured, so maybe that explains why it’s good.

    If Conley is unable to illuminate his voice the way he did in Stay What You Are, the band needs to find a new sonic niche.

    Nicky Hamila

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