OOPS!...I DID IT AGAIN
Here's Britney Spears' own review of "Oops!... I Did It Again", her second album, which hits stores this Tuesday (May 16):
"This album is similar in style to my first - a lot of pop music that just makes you feel good and want to get on your feet and dance."
That description, taken from her just-released autobiography "Britney Spears' Heart To Heart", may well be the most accurate "Oops!..." review you'll read.
The teen queen and her fleet of super-producers -- including Max Martin, "Mutt" Lange and Rodney Jerkins -- have definitely stuck with the tried-and-true.
From the first notes of the title track -- with Spears growling "yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah" -- you'll be sucked back into the past. The year: 1999. The place: MTV, MuchMusic, every radio station, every high school dance, every mall, every party, every car full of teenagers driving too fast. The song: "...Baby One More Time".
Yep, Spears has done it again. Or rather, Spears recorded "Baby One More Time" one more time. The title track is so similar to Britney's breakthrough hit, it's eerie.
That's not to say it isn't catchy. Like the other 11 tracks on "Oops!", the single is danceable, hummable and fun.
The album is also everything you'd expect from Spears: light, cute, silly -- and a bit bland.
The low point is her version of The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction". The best part of the song (as far as pure comic relief is concerned) is the chatty introduction, which comes in the form of a phone conversation between two friends. It goes something like this: "...giggle giggle. 'So listen, then he goes, 'No matter what I do for you it never seems to be enough.' I can't believe he said that. You don't think that, do you?"
"Well, you are. It's like, you're never satisfied."
"What, don't tell me you agree with him! Oh my God, oh my God. I know I'm I little picky. I just know what I want ..."
And then she breaks into "Satisfaction".
As far as displaying her vocal abilities, "Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know" -- a ballad written by Shania Twain and husband J"Mutt" Lange -- is the best showcase of Spears' talents. It's also a nice break from the "baby babys", "yeah yeahs" and insistent drum beats that pepper the other songs.
She actually sounds more comfortable singing ballads and is more apt to belt out a note. Her vocal confidence also shines through on "When Your Eyes Say It," another nice, age-appropriate ballad.
The best dance track is "Stronger", which sounds like a future single and is every bit as good as *Nsync's "Bye, Bye, Bye" or The Backstreet Boys' "The One".
But the album's most interesting moment isn't a song. It's several lines in the CD booklet's thank yous that will likely re-ignite gossip about Spears and Justin Timberlake (for those of us who care about that kind of thing way more than we should).
"And lastly, as I sit here twisting my hair - so wishing it was yours! - thinking of if there is any way to thank you for all the lifts, smiles and surprise visits - you will be a part of my heart and soul ALWAYS!!!"
Hmmm. A secret message for a certain *Nsync member perhaps?
"0ops!...I Did It Again" is not a work of art or a shocking departure from "..Baby One More Time", but it is a good pop album that will satisfy Spears' fans until the third one which, she promises in her autobiography, will be "definitely more of a stretch for me creatively".
1. Oops!...I Did It Again (3:31)
2. Stronger (3:23)
3. Don't Go Knockin' On My Door (3:14)
4. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (4:28)
5. Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know (3:50)
6. What U See (Is What U Get) (3:14)
7. Lucky (3:25)
8. One Kiss From You (3:23)
9. Where Are You Now (4:39)
10. Can't Make You Love Me (3:16)
11. When Your Eyes Say It (4:06)
12. Dear Diary (2:46)