Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Britney/Madonna debate closed

I remember when Chris Rock asked the audience if the remembered that "whose the better artist, Prince or Michael Jackson?" debate. "Prince won!" Rock declared.

I think the same thing can be said about the fleeting hope that Britney Spears was Generation Y's heir to Madonna. I realize some critics have given due props to some of Spears' singles, but it's been almost a decade since "Hit Me Baby One More Time" and Spears has, what - five or so singles that are memorable?

I realize that before you can say "The Emancipation of Mimi," Spears will emerge from her rehab haze, hire a hot producer and begin her third comeback run. Still, when Madonna tanks, she releases a bad movie, comes out with a tasteless book and releases something like "American Life." Still, she almost immediately turns it around keeps herself MUSICALLY relevant by smartly choosing the producers that can play to her strengths.

Side note - news media - doing a story about how the media is obsessing over Britney Spears and using You Tube footage to show people's fascination - is cheap pandering at its best. Bravo -


Blogger David said...

In my mind, there has never been a serious debate about whether Britney Spears could become the next Madonna. It's been said a million times, but it's true: there will never be another Madonna. Never. Ever. Never-ever.

Madonna is exceptionally smart and has talent and puts her vision into everything she creates. I think the work of her producers is often slightly overstated. It's true that Jellybean benitez, Patrick Leonard, Stephen Bray, Andre Betts, William Orbit, Mirwais Ahmadzai and now Stuart Price have given her new direction at crucial points. But I think she actually earns her songwriting and production credits - there's always an element of her sensibility in each album, video and tour she does.

Britney (and just about every other pop star) just seems to be filling a spot. I don't get the sense that she knows anything about anything.

One perfect example of this is Christina Aguilera's video for "Ain't No Other Man," in which she takes on the kind of persona that Madonna did in 1990 and 1991. When Madonna did it, it was convincing, fascinating, glamourous, saucy and astoudning. Christina Aguilera just looks like she's at a good Halloween party.

1:21 PM  
Blogger David said...

Oh, and American Life is a really good album. People just dismiss it because of the flip-flop on her video during the Iraq attack and her 'drinking soy latte' rap, which I find kind of charming.

1:24 PM  
Blogger TransformerGeek said...

Well said -
True - I haven't listened to 'American Life' - I should have said "critically panned" - since look at how many albums were initially critically panned and time proved the critics wrong ...

1:40 PM  

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