Britney Takes Cue From Candidates, Masters Misunderestimation : The Bryant Park Project Music: Britney takes cue from candidates, masters misunderestimation.
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Britney Takes Cue From Candidates, Masters Misunderestimation

Britney Spears recalibrates your hopes. Kevin Winter/Getty Images hide caption

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Political campaigns often try to lower expectations for their candidates before big events, so that even average performances end up looking great. President Bush himself has acknowledged that he has often benefited from this approach, saying, "I am the master of low expectations." (Before the 2000 election he also famously remarked that he had frequently been "misunderestimated.")

Now the line between politics and entertainment grows blurrier still. After breaking new ground in the field of Expectation Diminution, Britney Spears today releases her new album, Blackout. (Listen to the whole record here.) As evidence of how low the bar has gotten, most of the reviews can be summed up with the Houston Chronicle headline, "A surprise from Britney."

Of course, people would probably be surprised if Britney made it from her house to the recording studio without engaging in some form of parental negligence. But can she actually sing? Is this album really any good?

No and not really.

Britney's voice on Blackout is so computer-modulated that she sounds like she's being channeled by HAL. The only worthwhile elements of this album are provided by the production, which consists of several good radio-friendly dance/pop ditties and five songs I could have created on my MacBook by pressing Apple-F2. (Spoiler alert: The song "Get Naked (I Got A Plan)" is about Britney wanting to have sex with someone.)

All that being said, if you're prone to liking dance/pop music and you want something catchy and mindless to listen to at the gym, you could do worse than Britney's new album. But you could also do much better. I give this album a rating of two PopoZaos out of five.