Posts Tagged ‘Britney Spears’


Written by James Christopher Sheppard

As a music critic and reviewer, I tend to write a review as soon as I have an album in my possession or have some way of listening to it in it’s entirety. Therefore, what I write tends to be based on an intense listen or two to each track. Now that I have reviewed around thirty albums, I now sometimes reconsider my reviews. Of course, the reviews I have written represent my first impression and most of the time, that opinion sticks, but sometimes an album grows and grows on me, and other times I don’t listen to them after reviewing them.

The main album that springs to mind that I would now give a hands down 10/10 rating is Charlie Simpson‘s debut Young Pilgrim. The more I have listened to it, the more I enjoy it. Having given ‘I Need a Friend Tonight’ 7/10, it would now easily get a 10. The album words together so coherently, it really deserves to be heard. If you haven’t yet given it a listen, I would strongly recommend that you do.

An album that I would potentially give a less favourable rating to now is Lady Gaga‘s Born This Way. On first listen, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the album, but I have only revisited it a handful of times since its release back in May. In reflection the album is instantly likeable, but does little to keep you wanting to return for more. I will admit to having a love/hate relationship with this album. I have struggled to appreciate ‘Born This Way’, ‘Judas’, ‘Hair’ and ‘You and I’ at all. To me, they are not a patch on anything on The Fame or The Fame Monster. Gaga’s recent car crash appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards as her alter ego Jo Calderone has not helped to re-instate my desire for more. Poor Britney Spears looked petrified as Gaga presented her with the ‘Michael Jackson Vanguard Award’.

Albums I am listening to at the moment that will be reviewed soon include The Sea by Melanie C, the new self titled Evanescence album and Torches by Foster the People.

 

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James Christopher Sheppard
on his Top Ten musical highlights of 2011

As we hit the mid-point of the year 2011, James Christopher Sheppard takes a look back and charts his top ten musical highlights of the year so far. With stellar performances, standout single releases and albums that will be listened to for years to come, here’s how James’ top ten shapes up, in descending order, starting with the tenth best highlight.

10

P!nk ‘Fuckin’ Perfect’

New Mum, P!nk, released the second single from her Greatest Hits… So Far!!! album in March, to much critical acclaim. The video portrays a girl with self-confidence issues, who dabbles in self-harm, but ultimately grows into a beautiful women and mother. As corny as it sounds, it really is a moving song and video and incredibly apt for P!nk at this time in her life. I can not wait for the follow-up to the incredible Funhouse album.

 

 

 

9

Britney Spears ‘Hold it Against Me’

Britney smashed back onto the scene after a short break at the beginning of the year with the dub-step tinged monster hit ‘Hold it Against Me’. The song is a new direction for Britney, and while the album Femme Fatale may not live up to the standard set here, ‘Hold it Against Me’ is one of the best Britney singles ever.

 

 

 

 

 

8

Lady GaGa ‘The Edge of Glory’ performance at Radio One’s Big Weekend.

Lady Gaga had run into all sorts of critical indifference at the beginning of the year as the response to the first two singles from her album Born This Way were not met with the same ecstatic reception in the UK that she was used to. While ‘Born This Way’ slowly built on people and sold steadily, it still was the least original single she had put out, and ‘Judas’ didn’t do a great deal to help matters. Cut to May and Gaga headlined Radio One’s Big Weekend in Carlisle and performed a piano only version of third single ‘The Edge of Glory’. With no gimmicks, no crazy outfit or political message, ‘The Edge of Glory’ proved Lady Gaga’s musical talent was still as evident as ever and stands as one of her most emotional and powerful performances to date.

 

7

Blondie Panic of Girls

Returning with their ninth studio album, Blondie proved on their stunning new album that they are still a force to be reckoned with. The band sound younger and fresher than they have done in years, with Panic of Girls being innovative and full of energy. Stand out tracks include ‘Mother’, ‘What I Heard’, ‘Girlie Girlie’ and ‘Wipe off my Sweat’. Get the limited edition collector’s pack if you haven’t already, featuring an exclusive magazine, prints, a poster and bonus tracks.

 

 

 

6

Lower Than Atlantis World Record

The second full-length album from melodic hardcore band, Lower Than Atlantis, arrived in April and saw Mike Duce and his band-mates establish themselves as one of the leading alternative rock bands in the UK, getting air-play from Radio One and Kerrang, amongst others. World Record managed to outshine their outstanding debut, Far Q, with killer tracks like ‘Beech Like a Tree’, ‘(Motor) Way of Life’, ‘Another Sad Song’ and ‘Deadliest Catch’. World Record is only the beginning for these guys, which makes them so exciting to watch. Definitely a band and an album to check out if you haven’t already.

 

 

5

Adele 21 and that Brit Awards Performance

You must have been in a coma for the past six months if you’ve failed to notice to phenomenal success of English singer/songwriter Adele’s second album, 21. The album is now established as the longest running UK number one album since Saturday Night Fever in 1978, that’s sixteen weeks so far, and as it stands 21 is still #2. First single, ‘Rolling In The Deep’, was a huge success pretty much everywhere, and has just spent its seventh week at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, while ‘Someone Like You’ rocketed to number one in the UK following the heart-wrenching acoustic performance at the Brit Awards in February. There’s even more to 21 that the massive hits however, with gems such as ‘Turning Tables’, a cover of The Cure’s ‘Lovesong’ and ‘Set Fire To The Rain’. 21 is a record-shattering album, with over seven million sales since its release in January, and its obvious why- just seriously good music.

 

4

Incubus If Not Now, When?

Following a five year gap since their last studio album, Incubus finally ventured back into the limelight over the past few months to announce the forthcoming release of their seventh studio album. If Not Now, When? is delicate and mellow, yet mesmerising and powerful, with new Incubus classics such as ‘Adolescents’, ‘Isadore’, ‘ Defiance’ and ‘In the Company of Wolves’ to add to our already lengthy Incubus playlists.

 

 

 

Complete the Top Ten and see the final top three highlights, including Kylie Minogue, Patrick Wolf and Within Temptation, at Eyewear.

 


Cover of the new Britney Spears album 'Femme Fatale'

James Christopher Sheppard reviews
Femme Fatale
by Britney Spears

It’s Britney Bitch. Yes, the former teen queen of pop is back with her seventh studio albumFemme Fatale. Following the rather pointless Singles Collection from 2009 that was released only five years and seven singles later than Greatest Hits: My Prerogative, new album Femme Fatale shows a new side to Ms Spears; all out dub-dance diva. At least that is what first singles Hold it Against Me and ‘Till the World End would have you believe. Combining the sounds of Ke$ha, Britney’s own Blackout album and the current club crave of bass-heavy dub-step, this should be Britney’s edgiest album to date. Here’s the lowdown, track by track.

Read the rest of the review at Todd Swift’s Eyewear