To say that 2011 was an outstanding year for pop is a bit of an understatement. Rihanna wanted her fans to Talk That Talk, Lady Gaga was Born This Way, Demi Lovato declared herself Unbroken, and Beyoncé and Adele pledged their allegiance to the numbers 4 and 21.
But no album was as booty-shakingly fun as [artist id="501686"]Britney Spears[/artist]' Femme Fatale. The first time I heard the album, I was hooked. It reminded me why I fell in love with Britney and her music over a decade ago.
Quite possibly the best work of her career, Femme Fatale — which dropped in March — is a cohesive, sonically unwavering piece of dance pop. It makes no grandiose political statements, except Spears' pro stance on hot guys and dance clubs, and it certainly makes no apologies for just being a really, really good time.
It's thumping, sassy, loud and sexy. It's Britney Spears doing what she does best: cooing about dancing and boys over club beats and synths. She rounded up the best of the best on the production end of things (Max Martin, Dr. Luke, Claude Kelly and will.i.am, to name a few) and proved she still has what it takes to kill it from beginning to end. It's heavy on club anthems full of mind-bending beats and samples that add flair but never make it too busy.
At times, it's even self-referential. On "Inside Out," Spears drops lyrics from some of her biggest hits like " ... Baby One More Time" and "(You Drive Me) Crazy." There aren't many relevant artists with a catalogue deep enough or beloved enough to pull that off.
On "I Wanna Go," Spears reminds us that even though everyone is waiting for her to burst, she still wants to cut loose every once in a while. She's one of those people who can poke fun at her public image and be completely endearing while doing it.
You never count out a femme fatale; they're mysterious and wily, foxy and sexy. And 2011 confirmed the lesson pop culture can't seem to learn: You never count out Britney Spears. She is pop's ultimate femme fatale. Now go dance your butt off — it's what Britney would want.
What's your favorite album of 2011? Share your picks in the comments below!
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