Archive for October, 2007

Preview The "Blackout" Bonus Tracks

Written by admin. Posted in Blackout

Here is an exclusive preview of two of the “Blackout” bonus tracks. So far they have only been confirmed to appear on the Japanese edition of the album, but they are also available on the iTunes download edition in Ireland.

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Britney & Kevin Due In Court Today

Written by admin. Posted in Custody Battle

Britney and Kevin will be attending a custody hearing today by order of the judge. In the last official hearing, the judge demanded that both parties appear at the next date.

Sources say that it will be taking place in the morning, local time, and the security within the building is going to be extremely tight.

Today’s hearing will decide whether Britney should regain 50/50 custody of her sons.

Stay tuned to for all the updates as they happen…

Jive Records Confident About "Blackout" Sales

Written by admin. Posted in Blackout

bphotoshoot2.jpgBritney Spears’s every move is documented by paparazzi and celebrity blogs, but there is one area where she is keeping a low profile: promotional efforts for her fifth album, “Blackout,” set for release Tuesday.

That’s remarkable, given the make-or-break moment that appears to be at hand for the 25-year-old singer. Her career represents one of the biggest ascents — and biggest flameouts — of the past decade. After exploding into the cultural consciousness in 1998 with “…Baby One More Time,” the former TV Mouseketeer blazed a hit-making trail that defined the teen-pop era of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Ms. Spears seemed positioned to become her generation’s Madonna: a tireless professional with an ear for timely pop hooks and a flair for reinvention. Instead, the wheels came off, and she started careening down a slide that had more in common with Michael Jackson’s carnival-ride lifestyle than Madonna’s focused careerism.

Shearing Her Hair

Not long after the singer released her fourth album, in late 2003, Ms. Spears’s music career all but ground to a halt as she became a full-blown tabloid fixture. Highlights included two failed marriages, a stint in rehab and a bizarre episode earlier this year in which she commandeered a razor at a suburban Los Angeles hair salon and sheared off her blond hair, with photographers capturing it all through the window. For months, Ms. Spears has led L.A.’s paparazzi around like a pied piper, her movements tracked in minute detail from Starbucks to Taco Bell to child-custody hearings.

Now comes “Blackout,” her chance to move the spotlight back onto her singing and away from cringe-inducing parenting mishaps and run-ins with photographers. Yet apart from last month’s MTV Video Music Awards, at which the pop star performed an infamously sloppy rendition of the album’s first single, “Gimme More,” Ms. Spears has had little to do with the kinds of efforts traditionally staged by a music label to kick off a major release.

Nonetheless, Ms. Spears’s label, Sony BMG’s Jive Records, is betting that the album is strong enough to release now, even with its star largely unavailable. Sony BMG paid her a hefty cash advance of nearly $4 million for the album, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Ms. Spears is spending much of her time in a custody fight with ex-husband Kevin Federline over their two young sons; he has been temporarily granted sole custody of the boys. As a result of that and other competing priorities, the singer hasn’t committed to appearances on television or radio, interviews with print media or other typical promotional opportunities. She cut short a shoot for the video for “Gimme More.” And she has recently parted ways with her manager, her music-business and divorce lawyers, and her publicist, leaving her effectively without direct representation or guidance. For several months Ms. Spears was even estranged from her mother, Lynne, who had long been a key adviser. According to people around Ms. Spears, her mother is now back in the picture.

Early Signs Promising

Even so, executives at Jive Records are confident about the commercial potential of “Blackout.” The company is shipping 750,000 to one million copies of the CD to retailers before its on-sale date, according to people close to the label. By standard industry reckoning, that would imply they expect first-week sales of roughly 400,000 to 500,000 copies. In a market that has seen album sales plummet 14% from a year ago, that would be a strong showing — though still less than Sony BMG executives are apparently forecasting for some other artists on their roster. Carrie Underwood’s latest CD shipped around 1.4 million copies before its release this week, while Alicia Keys’s new album, planned for next month, is expected to ship more than one million copies.

Some early signs for “Blackout” are promising. “Gimme More” has remained in the top 10 songs on Apple’s iTunes Stores for more than six weeks, helping it reach a peak position of No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart — her highest position on that chart since her very first single, the No. 1 “…Baby One More Time.” But “Gimme More” quickly lost momentum in radio airplay, a key driver for album sales, sliding to No. 50 last week on the chart before inching up to No. 48.

After shooting some footage for the “Gimme More” video, Ms. Spears backed out of the rest of the taping, resulting in a video that relies on some shots of a dancer whose face can’t be seen.

Teresa LaBarbera Whites, senior vice president for A&R at Jive’s corporate parent, Zomba Label Group, says that when it comes to promoting the album, Ms. Spears will be involved in “certain key things,” but declined to elaborate. She says the singer has been reviewing concepts for a followup video to “Gimme More.” (Ms. LaBarbera Whites declines to name the followup single involved.) “I don’t think of her as out-of-pocket because I talk to her two or three times a day,” the executive says.

Ms. LaBarbera Whites adds that during the 14 months it took to record the album in Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta, Ms. Spears’s professionalism “never wavered.” The label set up nurseries for her sons at the various recording studios. “She’d work, take a break and play with the babies,” then get back to work, the executive says.

Recently, some magazines have found themselves waiting for Ms. Spears. Before a Los Angeles judge’s ruling that temporarily removed the children from Ms. Spears’s custody, the editors of Us Weekly and People magazines received calls from young women who identified themselves as assistants to the singer and offered to bring Ms. Spears and her sons to the magazines’ offices for photo shoots. The singer never turned up. Us Weekly Editor in Chief Janice Min says the call “was from [Ms. Spears’s] assistant at the time, and not surprisingly the call was returned” but ultimately no shoot was arranged. A spokeswoman for People says, “We just can’t talk about our story subjects.”

Whether Ms. Spears cooperates with traditional promotions for “Blackout” may end up a nonissue. When a music label sets up interviews and televised performances, the goal is to gain visibility for the singer ahead of the CD’s release. When it comes to typical promotional gambits such as appearances on late-night talk shows, there is little Jive could do to boost Ms. Spears’s profile significantly higher than it already is. “What’s she going to do?” asks a person close to the label. “Play Kimmel?”

Source: Wall Street Journal

The Associated Press Reviews "Blackout"

Written by admin. Posted in Blackout

Britney Spears, “Blackout” (Jive Records): Just when it seemed safe to write off Britney Spears as a punch line only capable of entertaining people through tabloid escapades, she goes and gets all musically relevant on us.

“Blackout,” her first studio album in four years, is not only a very good album, it’s her best work ever — a triumph, with not a bad song to be found on the 12 tracks.

Granted, a Spears rave should be put in its proper context — it’s not like we’re talking Bob Dylan here. Spears is a lightweight singer who only flourishes when she has great songs and great producers to supplement her minimal vocal talent.

But when she has that help, she’s fierce. And she gets that boost on every single track on “Blackout,” a sizzling, well-crafted, electro-pop dancefest that should return her to pop’s elite.

This is a shocker, given all the lowlights Spears has given us this year. From her embarrassing MTV Video Music Awards performance to her bizarre public antics to allegations that she’s an irresponsible parent, Spears has been a walking disaster. It seems amazing that she even found her way to a recording studio, let alone did anything of value while in it.

But Spears emerges on “Blackout” as the antithesis of her tabloid persona — confident, sensual, and in control.

“I got my eye on you,” she coos on one of the album’s best tracks, “Radar,” a sexy techno groove that you can’t help but bounce to — a feeling that permeates all of “Blackout’s” tracks. You won’t find any saccharine ballads or fluffy pop on this disc — it’s all about generating heat on the dance floor (and if Spears has shown us anything in the last year, it’s that she knows how to party).

On the aptly titled “Freakshow,” produced by Danja (who worked on Justin Timberlake’s “FutureSex/LoveSounds”), Spears gets voyeuristic with a tantalizing promise to get wild in the club. The hypnotic “Get Naked (I Got A Plan),” also produced by Danja, features Spears breathlessly asking, “What I gotta do to make you move my body” before demanding, “take it off, take it off, take it off.”

It’s not all about grinding to the music, though. On rock-tinged “Piece of Me,” produced by Bloodshy & Avant, she defiantly address her critics: “I’m Mrs. Bad Media Karma, another day another drama … I’m Mrs. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, I’m Mrs. ‘Oh My God That Britney’s Shameless.'” And on the slow-burn, Neptunes-produced “Why Should I Be Sad,” the album’s last track, she cops to heartbreak but refuses to let it get her down, a rare vulnerable moment.

Listening to “Blackout” is not only an energetic release, it’s also a relief: No, Spears hasn’t completely lost it, and yes, her career has a flicker of fire left — actually much, much more. But with all the damage Spears has done and continues to do to her public image, will anyone outside her core fan base (and who knows what that consists of these days) care anymore?

This album is the first, great step in making that happen.

Source: AP
Credit: Tony

Lynne Spears To Write Autobiography

Written by admin. Posted in Rumours

Lynne Spears will publish an autobiography detailing the trials and tribulations of raising superstar children, OK! can exclusively confirm.

Set for a spring 2008 release, mama Spears’ memoir will give readers and fans a revealing look into her “personal story” of grooming Britney, 25, and Jamie Lynn, 16, into big-time celebs “while coming from a low-profile Louisiana community,” a source tells OK!

The tome will be published by Thomas Nelson, a well-known Christian publisher.

This isn’t Lynne’s first foray into writing. In better mother-daughter days, the former grade-school teacher collaborated with Britney to publish Heart to Heart in 2000 and A Mother’s Gift in 2003.

Get your reading glasses ready!

Source: OK! Magazine

Britney Off The Hook In Misdemeanour Case

Written by admin. Posted in Legal Matters

Britney Spears has dodged a bullet.

The L.A. City Attorney has dismissed hit and run charges against the popwreck, who struck a car last August and drove off without leaving a note. The charge was dismissed in court today, after the judge was informed Britney settled the dispute with the car owner. TMZ first reported Brit paid around a grand, plus car rental fees.

As for the other criminal charge — driving without a California license — Britney plead not guilty. Her next appearance is set for November 26. The judge ordered her to appear. But guess what? Britney’s dance card is full. There’s a hearing in her custody case that same day. It’s hard juggling all that legal stuff, y’all.

Source: TMZ

Britney & Kevin Attend Their First Co-Parenting Class

Written by admin. Posted in Custody Battle

Sources tell TMZ Britney and K-Fed are about to attend their first co-parenting class.

We’re told Brit just arrived and K-Fed is on his way. The class will last a couple of hours. They will meet with a parenting coach, who will give them advice on how a divorced couple should raise their children.

The kids are not present.

Sources say Britney is actually looking forward to discussing parenting with her ex.

It’s only the third time Brit and K-Fed have been in the same room since they separated. The other two occasions involved settlement conferences at a lawyer’s office.

Source: TMZ

Entertainment Weekly Reviews "Blackout"

Written by admin. Posted in Blackout, Comeback

britney-blackout.jpgThe nasty custody battle. The hair-razing meltdown. The trips to rehab. The abysmal VMAs performance. Shall we go on? All of 25-year-old Britney Spears’ recent setbacks suggest that her fifth CD, ominously titled Blackout, would fan the flames of her hot mess of a year. Well, brace yourself for the biggest shock yet: Blackout — a collection of well-produced, thoroughly enjoyable dance songs — may just put this once-celebrated pop star back on top.

Spears has always been a performer who’s valued image over creative output. It’s interesting, then, that periods of introspection — albeit those penned primarily by hired hands — yield Blackout‘s finest moments. ”Piece of Me,” produced by Bloodshy & Avant (”Toxic”), is a rump shaker that finds Spears venting: ”I’m Mrs. most likely to get on the TV for slippin’ on the street when getting the groceries/Now, for real, are you kidding me?” Later, on ”Toy Soldier” — another fiery B&A creation, which echoes the sass and substance of ”Soldier” by Destiny’s Child — she blasts ”weak” tomcats (like K-Fed?) to the beat of a lively military drumroll.

For the most part, Spears puts up a brave front by relishing her newfound independence. That is, until a chink in her armor appears on the heavy-hearted closer, ”Why Should I Be Sad.” Produced by the Neptunes and written by Pharrell Williams for Spears, it’s a deeply personal, midtempo groove — the closest thing to a ballad on Blackout — that unfolds like an open letter to her babies’ daddy. ”I sent you to Vegas with a pocket full of paper and with no ultimatums on you/I thought, What could separate us,” she sings. ”But it just seemed that Vegas only brought the playa out of you.”

Of course, we know all too well that Spears has a little playa in her, too. So it’s no surprise that she flaunts her fondness for late-night carousing on fluffy dance tracks. Take the ubiquitous ”Gimme More” or the shameless ”Freakshow” (co-written by Spears), where she coos, ”I’m bout to shake my ass/Snatch that boy so fast/Make dem other bitches mad.” Her seemingly insatiable libido is likewise the driving force behind Blackout‘s preponderance of breathy come-ons, such as ”Get Naked (I Got a Plan),” ”Perfect Lover,” and ”Ooh Ooh Baby,” which she also helped to write.

Poetry it’s not. Still, there is something delightfully escapist about Blackout, a perfectly serviceable dance album abundant in the kind of bouncy electro elements that buttressed her hottest hits (”I’m a Slave 4 U,” ”Toxic”). Say what you will about Spears’ personal life, but there’s no denying that the girl knows how to have a good time. B+

Source: EW