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Decent early reviews of new Britney tracks

People, Entertainment Weekly critics both cite trademark breathy vocals

Access Hollywood
updated 3:55 p.m. ET Sept. 12, 2007

LOS ANGELES - Both People magazine and Entertainment Weekly have been granted sneak peek listens of tracks from Britney Spears’ new album (due Nov. 13 on Jive Records), and the reviews so far are decent.

People heard at least five tracks and critic Chuck Arnold writes, “Britney Spears sounds like she’s looking back to the ’80s as she moves forward toward the release of her fifth studio album.”

In addition to the lead single, “Gimme More,” Arnold heard “Piece of Me,” “Break the Ice,” “Radar” and “Heaven on Earth,” the latter of which he calls, “an early fave,” and “a throbbing throwback to ‘I Feel Love’-era Donna Summer.”

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He also points out “Spears’ heavily processed voice” on “Piece of Me,” and “trademark breathy vocals” on “Break the Ice.”

Entertainment Weekly’s Leah Greenblatt also points out Spears’ “standard breathy-sexy growl over a thumping hook” on “Piece of Me,” singling out the song’s insightful lyrics:

“ ‘I’m Mrs. American dream/ Since I was 17/ I’m Mrs. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous/ I’m Mrs. ‘Oh my God, that Britney’s shameless’/ I’m Mrs. ‘Extra, extra, this just in’ / I’m Mrs. ‘She’s too fat, now she’s too thin.’ ”

Later in the song, Spears refers to herself as ‘‘bad media karma” and sings, ‘‘Another day, another drama/ I can’t see the harm in working hard and being a mama.”

Brit’s reps tell EW that the song may very well be her second single after ‘‘Gimme More.”

EW continues that “Radar” is “accompanied by Vocoder da da da’s and what sounds not unlike a real live Doppler radar machine (how method!).”

The mag likens “Break the Ice” to Nelly Furtado’s 2007 hit, “Say It Right” — after all, it’s written by the same scribe, Timbaland-protégé Nate ‘‘Danjahandz” Hills, who also did “Gimme More.”

They end by pointing out that ‘‘Heaven on Earth” is “an airy disco-queen come-on in the vein of Gwen Stefani’s ‘Sweet Escape,’ penned by songwriter Kara DioGuardi (she co-wrote both Ashlee Simpson’s ‘Pieces of Me’ and Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Walk Away,’ as well as Stefani’s ’Rich Girl’).”

Brit’s as-yet-untitled album is seen by many fans and critics alike as her last shot at redeeming her career.

It is her first release of original material since 2003’s “In The Zone.”

The label previewed the album for critics in response to unfinished versions of songs being leaked on the Internet.

Copyright 2007 by NBC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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