Femme Fatale review


One listen through Britney’s newest release Femme Fatale is all it takes to forget the career- blundering events of 2007 and remember her for what she is: a pop icon… and a damn sexy one, at that.

Femme Fatale is, above all, a testament to Brit’s ability to change with the times and evolve her songs with the ever-changing soundscape that is pop music. Not all that long ago (circa 1999) when our airwaves were filled with sugary, wholesome tunes like “Genie In A Bottle”, “I Want It That Way”, and “If You Had My Love”, Spears pounced on the scene with innocent schoolgirl allure and the unforgettable single “… Baby One More Time”. Fast forward 12 years and six albums later, and we’re listening to dubstep-drenched electro beats and highly worked-over vocal tracks; a complete 180, to say the least.

But it’s important to avoid the temptation to try to discover the underlying reason for Spears’ musical evolution. After all, one could spend days speculating how events such as two marriages, two divorces, the birth of two children, custody battles, religious confusion, and paparazzi nightmares would affect one’s creative energy. Instead, I suggest admiring Britney for her courage to not give up, to try something new, and to do it bigger and better than she’s ever done it before.

Hold It Against Me launched to millions after a month's worth of teasers.

The album’s first two singles come from the album’s first two tracks- both of which seem obvious choices for pre-release hype and curiosity provocation. DJ’s everywhere couldn’t wait to get their hands on “Hold It Against Me” – working it into their mixes within a day’s time. But producer Dr. Luke, whose working relationship with Spears pre-dates Femme Fatale by more than four years, hopes to pull four more singles from the album before it’s run its course. Read on for my predictions on which tracks might make the cut, as well as highlights from the rest of Femme Fatale.

I Wanna Go
Track four, the athematic “I Wanna Go”, is another club-banger with much potential for a single. The song, filled with cheery whistles and suggestive lyrics (Shame on me / to need release / uncontrollably), trains listeners to crave the epic bass drop with every run of the chorus- resulting in the urge for rapid fist-pumps and contagious high energy. 

How I Roll
“How I Roll” is a beautiful mix of classic Brittney saccharinity and contemporary dance characteristics. Her distinct vocals are instantly recognizable while simultaneously presented with an electronic makeover that stretches her voice over light bumps and heaps of popping effects in the background.

(Drop Dead) Beautiful
Another shoe-in for one of the singles-to-be, “(Drop Dead) Beautiful” opens with a dubstep twist before again leveraging the definitive Brittney growl and effortlessly blending traditional Spears with modern techniques. Produced by Benny Blanco and featuring Sabi (one-half of Bangz, an L.A. based girl-rap duo), the track stands out as one of the album’s grimiest. 

Seal It With A Kiss
“Seal It With A Kiss” is also sprinkled with dubstep morsels and maintains the electro mindset with dance-able beats, but steps away from the album’s darker and edgier theme for considerate lyrics and poppy ooo-wee-ooo’s in the chorus.

Big Fat Bass
Admittedly a B.E.P. fan, Britney features will.i.am on “Big Fat Bass”. It’s one of the most-daring tracks on the album, as Britney’s vocals are heavily produced over a strong and intimidating beat. Nonetheless, the celebrity cameo and outside-of-the-box production make this song another one to add to the list of predicted singles.

Additional noteworthy songs rounding out the album include “Gasoline” and two of the four bonus tracks- “He About To Lose Me” and “Selfish”.

Surprise performance at Rain Nightclub in Las Vegas left haters mad.

In addition to physically looking the best she has in years, the recent announcement of a tour with in-demand hip hop princess Nicki Minaj has added much fuel to the fire that Femme Fatale ignited in BRITTnation. Despite these truths, a major artist comeback of this caliber will never see success unless it’s first anchored by a high-quality, buzz-worthy album of good music. Thank goodness she’s done exactly that… because Britney is about to blow up like it’s 1999 all over again.


About the author
Danielle Look (@butterfly_89000)
"I attend concerts & festivals... and then write about them. My taste is eclectic and focused locally, but never sees true boundaries. My musical taste gravitates towards hip hop, electronic dance music, and jam, but I am open to nearly any type of music."

Find her work on Nuvo.net and IndyMojo.com. She also has her own hashtag! Check out The #ButterflyTour on Twitter. Danielle is learning the art of SEO as a social media networker at Slingshot SEO and is also a part-time student at The Kelley School of Business, majoring in marketing.

Follow Friday

Ten rad tweeps to add some sugar and spice to your time line and why you should follow them (in 140 characters or less).

@Ms_C_McGee




is sassy, awesome, and loves pop music.




 

@theAmazingBen




is an incredible web designer, cool geek, and witty.






@RisingSpivey




is a savvy business owner, loving mom, and inspiration leader.






@randyclarktko




is a marketing master, leadership expert, and excellent conversationalist.






@kendra90704




is fabulous, funny, and always up to something awesome.






@mattdantodd




is a rad dad, intelligent, and a Star Wars geek.






@carlajo




is an avid reader, my Public Relations idol, and into craft beer.






@whitekidwasted




is uncensored, uninhibited, and absolutely hilarious.






@thedailyclaire




is into awesome TV shows/movies, blogging, and shopping.






@mariiieclaiiire




is sweet, loves Frenglish, and a pop culture diva.







Previous Follow Friday posts are located in the sidebar. Please follow me on Twitter! I love meeting new (rad) people!

CoolCussing.com

Have you checked out CoolCussing yet, trash slap?

You literally spin two wheels, Vegas Style, to create new swear words.

Some are absolutely ridiculous (meat machine, trash snake); some are offensive (rectum pie, poop dangler). All of them are hilarious. I've been spinning for almost a week (for a few minutes a day) and have yet to see a repeat.

Go ahead and laugh! It's hilarious!

 Check it out for yourself, sissy hat! Share some of your favorite new swear words in the comments below.

Beyond being a hilarious time-waster, CoolCussing is a new idea (from some really cool dudes) that is encouraging ingenuity and cultivating creativity.

Try to use bull brain in a sentence today.

They actually respond to their followers. How refreshing!

I have to give them mad props for their aggressive Social Media strategy. They are constantly engaging their users (no really, they do!) and asking us to spread the word. CoolCussing actually answers questions and asks them, too. Perhaps they've read my post about about Twitter etiquette?

Follow Friday

This week I'm keeping it short and sweet (and no more than 140 characters).

@boozoo


is absolutely hilarious and always contributes to the conversation.




@iTonio


is French and has excellent taste in music!




@ragdollia


is sassy and hilarious.




@BrianneVillano


loves animals, writing, and being helpful.




@oneinamillian


is honest and a pop culture diva.




@xylonkinder


 is hilarious and an internet ninja.




@iarejordan


 is always doing something fabulous and makes me laugh daily.




@themichellebell


is confident and always tweets about awesome stuff.




@meprieb


is one of my new followers who loves dogs as much as me!




@tommabe


is the perfect combo of Social Media and comedian.





Previous Follow Friday posts are located in the sidebar. Please follow me on Twitter! I love meeting new (rad) people!

Podcasts made easy



In reality I’m running with the dog. In real life, I’m quietly eating lunch. I’m sitting on the metro, trying to ignore the obnoxiously drunk 21-year-olds. In reality I’m suffering through another day of monotonous work.

In my head, however, I’m having a conversation with a man who forged multiple documents, which would have connected JFK with the mob and proved his love affair with Marilyn Monroe. In my head, I’m the size of a molecule of oxygen and flowing through a gigantic ear while our tour guide points out the integral anatomy of hearing. I’m sitting in a room with my favorite vegan chef as she reads me a short story by Mark Twain.

I am a podcast enthusiast and it gives me the ability to travel to the ends of the earth, to the insides of organs, and into conversations with the most captivating people. Most importantly, I can do all this while cleaning the house in my sweatpants.

A podcast is like a radio program that is put into MP3 format, and you can download it to your computer or MP3 player. To be clear, Apple products (like iPods and iTunes) are not necessary to listen to podcasts. However, all of my experience is with these products, and I will use them as examples here.

Podcast Made Easy
  1. To become a podcast listener, the first step is having the tools: an MP3 player or smart phone and software (like iTunes). My first iPod was an iPod nano, it was silver, and I thought it was hot shit because it could fit in any pocket. Now I use my iPhone or iPod Shuffle. The software is used as a platform for updating and downloading new episodes.

  2. Next you will need to find podcasts that interest you. Most programs are displayed in the iTunes Store Podcast tab. (Open iTunes, select the iTunes store on the left side of the application, click on Podcasts at the top of the store, peruse.) Once you have located a program you wish to download and listen to regularly, click “Subscribe.” Most programs have new episodes on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, and this step is the key to having this updated without any effort on your part.

  3. Update your MP3 player. When you open iTunes on your computer and plug in your MP3 player, the podcasts which you have subscribed to will be updated automatically! If they do not, you may want to check your settings by selecting your device on the left side of the screen. From there you will see the overview of your MP3 player (what type of product, the version, options, etc.). At the top of the screen, select Podcasts and you will be directed to a screen that shows which, if any, podcasts will be uploaded onto your MP3 player. Ensure the “Sync Podcasts” option at the top is checked!
For iPhone users, you can access the uploaded podcast episodes by opening the iPod application and clicking on “More” on the bottom right. From there you will see an option for accessing your podcasts. (See Photo 1)

Photo 1

When you have listened to an episode, you will have to plug your MP3 player into your computer, delete the old episodes, and upload new ones. You can set up your account to have them deleted automatically when you sync your MP3 player by opening the Podcast menu, clicking on “Settings” at the bottom, and changing the “Episodes to keep:” to “All Unplayed Episodes.” Otherwise, old episodes will have to be deleted manually. You will know a program has been listened to because the blue dot on the left will disappear (See Photo 2). 
Photo 2

If you are feeling daunted by the amount of podcasts to choose from, let me make some suggestions.
  1. RadioLab (WNYC) --Hosts Jad Abumrod and Robert Krulwish introduce a science subject matter and then explore it with sound. It was with them that I traveled to the innards of an ear.
  2. Culturetopia (NPR) -- Half of the episodes are a round up of the week’s best arts and culture stories. From this podcast I learned about Florence and the Machine and have expanded my musical knowledge. The other half of the episodes are Pop Culture Happy Hour, a panel of NPR’s wittiest culture fanatics. Their areas of expertise include comic books, movies and reality TV (among others).
  3. WTF with Marc Maron (Independent) -- Maron is a stand-up comedian, and although I’ve never had an interest in stand-up comedy, he tells a different story about this art. He puts his emotions right there in your ear, as he conducts interviews with people in the field and other entertainers. He draws out some incredible story about their life. Oh yeah, and he’s hilarious!
  4. Selected Shorts (PRI) -- Another public radio program that features short stories read on stage by actors (including Alec Baldwin!).
  5. Onion Radio News (Independent) -- This program is less than a minute and offers a ludicrous news story. For example, “Balloon Delivery Man Forced To Take Bus.” Who wouldn’t love having this visual inserted into your daily commute? 
Oh, I haven’t mentioned it yet but all of this content is FREE!

Additional podcast recommendations
Discovery News Audio Podcast


About the author
Maggie Bailey (@scientistmaggie)
 
"I’m the girl at the party having cuddle time with the host’s dog, while blabbing about lichen hunting and my love of lentils. I gravitate towards science and interject conversations with life’s lessons."

Femme Fatale review

I hope none of you are shocked by the success of Britney Spears' latest album Femme Fatale. Tonight her second MTV exclusive special airs at 9 PM EST; millions of people will watch live and even more will stream the special online.

Femme Fatale is the perfect synthesis of old and new Britney. The lyrics are provocative, the beats are layered, and the tone is somewhat chaotic but still cohesive. Rolling Stone gave it four stars; her surprise Las Vegas performances were a smashing success.

Britney performing 'Big Fat Bass' at Rain Nightclub in Las Vegas.

Yes, the critics and haters are still mad that she isn't the dancing machine she once was; amazing music isn't enough? I have no doubt that she will blow every one's mind during her US Femme Fatale tour that's kicking off soon.


Britney knocks it out of the park Everytime. She is Stronger than ever. Yes, she had a break down awhile ago. Yes she has kids and survived two divorces... is that really that Outrageous these days? No. Move on. She has. Despite the tabloid explosions and sell-outs of family and close friends, she continues to make new (incredible) music. She continues to tour (and sell millions of tickets).

Her seventh studio album is fantastic. What's your favorite track(s)?

Femme Fatale

My favorite five tracks
  1. Seal It With a Kiss
  2. Criminal
  3. He About To Lose Me
  4. Gasoline
  5. Til The World Ends
It was incredibly hard for me to choose only five favorite tracks. There is something appealing about every one of the 16 tracks on the album. Britney showcases complex beats and clever lyrics.

I can be your treble/you can be my bass? 
Spot on, B. Spot on.

I've asked Danielle Look to write a legit review of Femme Fatale. Stay tuned, it's going to be boss.

If you'd like to listen to Femme Fatale, send me a tweet. I invite all the haters to give Femme Fatale five spins. I guarantee you will be toe tappin' and head bobbin' in no time.

Secrets and SEO

A simple principle is demonstrated daily by my team: Together Everyone Achieves More. Get this ... it's actually true.

Seemingly impossible tasks are suddenly manageable. Instead of feeling your way around (blindfolded) you have a support network.

In the words of Tenacious D, that's expletive deleted teamwork.

So why isn't the Search Engine Optimization community working together? I'm talking big scale here, people.

I attended a conference recently that was supposed to be focused on cutting edge tactics; while I did learn plenty of things, my hair wasn't blown back. Nothing new was introduced; it was all stuff I've heard (or researched) before. You can imagine my disappointment. These are supposed to be premiere thought leaders in my field and they aren't inspiring me.

What are we all so afraid of? What is so hush-hush about SEO tactics?

I don't care what kind of 'hat' you are: every tactic can be broken down and reconstructed to fit your needs. Let's figure out why it works and make it work for everyone. The beauty and power of the merging of social and search is the ability to police ourselves. Instant feedback finally gives consumers a voice. And for the first time in history, companies have to listen.

Imagine focusing energy on getting complete relevancy and total quality for clients that deserve to rank without having to do hours/days/weeks/months worth of research. Sounds pretty great doesn't it?

I truly believe that this Utopia does exist and that there is a simple way to get there: speak up! Share your ideas! Let those of us with new ideas and new perspectives start being thought leaders.

I'm tired of having to wait to have my research confirmed. I'm speaking up. Who's with me?



Feedback is always appreciated! Leave a comment below, send me a tweet, or shoot me an email. :)