Britney Spears
Britney Jean
(RCA)
This is the lowest-selling record Britney has released, but it has also been her least-promoted. I really like Britney, so this review is biased. This album isn’t her best one, but I still like it for what it is: a dance and techno-heavy collection with the occasional simpler pop song. Britney’s die-hard fans won’t be disappointed, of course, but even non-fans won’t be steered in the opposite direction. The songs are catchy, though a bit repetitive, and they are made for a dance floor covered in sexy, sweaty bodies. Dance lovers shouldn’t let it pass them by. My favorites are “Body Ache,” “Til It’s Gone,” and “Hold on Tight.”
John Newman
Tribute
(Universal/Island Records)
You have probably heard John Newman’s voice from this debut album if you’ve had the radio on at all in the last couple of months. His hit single, “Love Me Again,” is super catchy and really showcases his uniquely soulful voice. Most of the songs on the album are similar in style. The horns add a slight funk tinge that makes many of the songs bouncy and celebratory. The slower songs, like “Easy” and “Out of My Head,” usually have a lovely mix of piano and violin, and they quickly became some of my favorites. I wasn’t a big fan of a couple of songs, but otherwise, this album is fantastic. If you like the single, you will definitely enjoy the rest of the CD. Some other favorites of mine are “Gold Dust” and “Nothing.”
Beyoncé
Beyoncé
(Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records)
The one and only Beyoncé dropped a surprise album that caught everyone off-guard. All the instant raving on social media made me want to see what all the fuss is about. The R&B CD accompanies a visual album with a video for every song. The songs, though great on their own, are definitely accentuated by the videos. This strong album goes through radical genre changes. It starts off on a somber note with incredible honesty in the song “Pretty Hurts.” It reveals a different side of fame, and she shows the awards alongside the scars. I cannot stress enough the brutality of this album’s untamed strength. My favorite albums are ones that provide a unique experience, and this one does that and much more. Beyoncé definitely shows her strengths and admits her weaknesses, and even those are fierce. My favorites are “Superpower (featuring Frank Ocean)”, “No Angel” and “Partition.”

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