On Tuesday (March 29), [artist id="501686"]Britney Spears[/artist] released her latest album, Femme Fatale, to much [article id="1660793"]fanfare[/article] and critical praise.
Femme Fatale is a dark, churning, cohesive 12-track record that will have fans on the dance floor from beginning to end. From the opening track and current single, the [article id="1659174"]Ke$ha-penned "Till the World Ends,"[/article] to the last, the slower "Criminal," the momentum never stops.
Peppered in the mix are dance tunes complete with dubsteps, feisty breakdowns, NSFW lyrics and thumping beats. Spears hooked up with a number of chart-topping producers and songwriters, including Dr. Luke, Max Martin, will.i.am and [article id="1660755"]Claude Kelly[/article].
The Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am also lent his vocals to their "Big Fat Bass" single, while pop newbie Sabi lent hers to the song "(Drop Dead) Beautiful." And Blink-182 drummer [article id="1659085"]Travis Barker[/article] shows up on one of the deluxe-edition tracks, "Don't Keep Me Waiting."
"Femme Fatale is definitely Britney's strongest album overall," Ian Drew, senior music editor at Us magazine, told MTV News. Drew, who gave the album four stars, added, "The songs speak for themselves; it's unapologetically a great dance pop album."
Adam Markowitz, an Entertainment Weekly correspondent, gave the album a solid B+.
"It works for her because it shows that she can continue to produce really solid material," Markowitz told us. "This is a totally strong, cohesive album."
While her manager, Larry Rudolph, recently compared the new album to [article id="1658301"]Madonna's Ray of Light[/article], Drew had a different Madge comparison in mind.
"It reminds me of Madonna's Confessions on a Dance Floor, which is a similar album," he said. "You put it on as you're getting ready all night and going out on the town and you can keep it going. So this is one of those records you can put on and there isn't a weak track, which is great."
Femme Fatale easily stands up to one of Brit's strongest releases, Drew said. "I would say up until this point Blackout was her best album, and that's what this album really compares to because Blackout was nothing but great dance pop."
Markowitz agreed, noting that her latest album shows off the many sides of Spears. "There's no looking at this album and not seeing a lot of craftsmanship on it. I think it's a great showcase for her personality and her vocal styles. She sounds really lively on the album," he said. "It's about as good as Blackout, which I think surprised everyone as being a pretty strong album."
For more on the making of the album, fans can check out the upcoming MTV special, [article id="1660830"]"Britney Spears: I Am the Femme Fatale."[/article] A trailer with more details premieres Tuesday night at 7:58 p.m. ET on MTV.
Share your reviews of Femme Fatale in the comments section below!