Just Another Pop Discourse: Britney Spears

Mixed Feelings, Music, Random Musings

So much to talk about, so little time.

Let’s get the biggies out-of-the-way. This is going to be a series of posts, so I’m starting with the closest to my pop-cultured heart.

Britney

Ok, girl. I’m going to break it down right now for you. Anyone who knows me knows I have nothing but unwavering, unadulterated love for Britney Spears. A long-time fan, I’ve followed her through her highest highs and lowest lows. I empathized with her maternal and mental health issues, and celebrated her when she reclaimed the pole position on music charts around the world.  Her dancing is once again on point, and the lavish praises for her Vegas show are unanimous. I believed in the ‘Holy Spear-It” through and through.

But things have changed. For starters, her team seems to have decided to move into a more urban, hip-hop feel for her newest album “Glory”. Now, I don’t know how to make this more abundantly clear, but I will try. Britney rose to fame because of her fun, cheesy, and catchy pop songs. Her growls when enunciating the words “baby” and “me” were catchy and endearing, and sort of funny. People liked it. So when the corny “Make Me” was released, I thought to myself, why are these label execs trying to make Britney compete with the vapid Justin Bieber’s and bland Selena Gomez’s of the world? People don’t look to Britney to keep up with the current musical trends of the time. They just want a hard, sing-along-y, entertaining pop song. Why is this so hard to understand? Why can’t people just be allowed to keep doing what they’re good at? I sincerely doubt that Britney is holding business meetings to veer into different facets of the music industry. The woman is singing her greatest hits night after night, for Pete’s sake. If she wanted to re-invent herself, wouldn’t she be playing more new music in her set?

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Secondly…and I know this is a hard one to reconcile, but Britney has got to start singing. I mean, I know her vocals aren’t the strongest, but they’re certainly unique, and people like them. So why does she still lip sync to the high heavens? It was acceptable for a time because who could refute  the “I can’t sing live when I’m dancing so hard” argument, but come on, her dancing isn’t even that intense these days. Throw them vocals in is what I say.

Lastly, I’ve read this whole “Britney gets really anxious and nervous before a show” notion. Ok, I could totally appreciate that performing for the crowds of ‘famous’ people that consist of silicone and stupidity could indeed be nerve-wracking. But here’s an idea…don’t do it. Don’t put yourself into a situation that is uncomfortable, but also don’t say you get really anxious and nervous when you’re performing with reckless abandon night after night in Las Vegas. It’s insulting to your fans, Ms. Spears.

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I like the “Glory” album. It’s fun, if not a bit incoherent. She’s singing again. I don’t know though if Britney is lazy, tired, or mentally unwell. It’s really none of my business. I do know that she’s capable, but not producing. If she’s tired, then take some time off. Money’s not an issue.

I may sound like a bitter, old crone, but I expect more. Yes, she’s sweet, and kind, and innocent. Yes she’s just a mom who loves her kids. But, girl, if you love your fans so much (and the Britney Army is certainly loyal), give them what they want, even if it’s just one really good video. It’s the least you could do.

 

 

 

 

 

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A Lesson in Frustration: Reviewing Goodnight Mommy

Mixed Feelings, Movie Reviews

I’m a lover of all things thriller and mystery, with a dash of horror thrown in for good measure. That is why I was super excited to check out “Goodnight Mommy,” a 2014 Austrian horror film only now  being seen in North America. The trailer alone is chills inducing, reminiscent of the creepy twins in “The Shining” and Pedro Almodovar’s “The Skin I Live In.” But like with what seems to be the tendency of most trailers these days, the best parts of the film are already shown to the viewer, taking away from the eeriness of the film.

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Sony orders a remake of 1996 horror film The Craft

Mixed Feelings

Consequence of Sound

Remember when witches were supposed to be the next zombies? Ryan Murphy did that whole New Orleans-set season of American Horror Story. A couple of those fantasy horror films popped up in theaters. It seemed logical. Well, looks like Sony is gonna try and keep the spell alive with a remake of their 1996 supernatural teen thriller, The Craft.

If you recall, the original film starred Neve Campbell, Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, and Rachel True as social outcasts in high school. The four dabble in black magic, Balk goes nutso, walks on water, kills sea life, and Skeet Ulrich gets really, really weird and eerily abusive — you know, back when Skeet Ulrich was still a thing.

Well, that’s all going down again. Gone is director Andrew Fleming and writer Peter Filardi and in is director and writer Leigh Janiak, who should give the story a necessary female perspective. Janiak co-wrote the…

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