In As Many Zones As She Can Be
Britney Spears’ newest release, In The Zone, might be better titled In As Many Zones as I Can Be. Spears runs the gamut from hip-hop, to ultra-pop, to trance. Her claim that this album is “a pure reflection of where [she is] right now” might lead one to believe that she is in many places at once.Breathe On Me is a trance-y track on which Spear’s voice flows more naturally than any other song. It sounds eerily like a Kylie Minogue single, not surprising considering it’s a Mark Taylor production, whose credits include Minogue, Cher, and many others.
The hip-hop flavored tracks, however, feel forced and slightly out of place with the style she (or her producers) have established. Take the inane track “I Got That (Boom Boom)” featuring the Ying-Yang Twins, grunting as if on a bad hip-hop demo tape. The R. Kelly-contributed “Outrageous” is a ghetto-style track that it’s hard to imagine Britney on, bubblegum blonde in mind. The same goes for “The Hook Up,” a street-flavored Rastafarian song.
Most notable is that Spears co-wrote 7 of the 12 tracks, her most yet. These include the first single “Me Against the Music,” on which Madonna guest stars as Spears’ seductive counterpart, and the Moby collaboration “Early Mornin’.”
This album is a tough one for Spears, considering it’s her first as a supposed full-grown woman. Going from the bubblegum pop princess to an equally successful woman who is sexually empowered, yet not a skank, is a difficult transition…but as yet, she hasn’t succeeded. Perhaps her next effort will reveal only one place she feels musically comfortable rather than many in which she experiments.