Femme Fatale - Britney Spears
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. Mar 28, 2011
    70
    Sonically, it has everything except hooks, either in the rhythm or the melody; it's all surface style, driven by sound and given shape by hypersexual lyrics Britney sings listlessly.
  2. Mar 29, 2011
    50
    Good lyrics or no, we still know Femme Fatale will be a blockbuster regardless, which is perhaps why there still remains room for Spears to try a few different things musically, and when Spears' producers are given room to stretch, they manage to pull of a few pop music miracles.
  3. Mar 18, 2011
    80
    Femme Fatale may be Britney's best album; certainly it's her strangest. Conceptually it's straightforward: a party record packed with sex and sadness.
  4. The whole album brims with the laidback confidence of someone who knows she's back on top. Britney claims it's her best work yet. She's not wrong.
  5. Mar 29, 2011
    83
    While Spears' vocals are inevitably the least impressive element of any given song, she doesn't exactly disappear into the production on Femme Fatale; she settles into it, game for whatever and confident in the hands of trusted professionals who know how to best utilize her.
  6. Mar 23, 2011
    70
    Ignore the lyrics, Spears sounds even more like a programmed Britbot than on 2007's Blackout.
  7. Mar 24, 2011
    60
    At its best, it sounds like a party, with a cutting-edge pop soundtrack. The question of precisely what Britney Spears brings to said party remains as imponderable as ever.
  8. 83
    Judging by these songs, she's a childless man-eater who could drink Ke$ha under the table. That disconnect, added to the fact that Spears doesn't claim so much as a co-writing credit on a single track, can make the album feel like an autopilot affair.
  9. 70
    It's engaging, and, in pulling the best elements from her past two efforts, Spears and her production crew built a purely blissful account of currently-trending tunes.
  10. Mar 25, 2011
    80
    Less adventurous is her sex-on-the-dance-floor lyrical fixation, so it's those playful touches that set Femme Fatale apart from most cornball dance pop on the radio these days.
  11. Mar 18, 2011
    60
    The success of a Britney song rests almost entirely on the quality of other people's songwriting and production, and almost every track on Femme Fatale succeeds or fails on that basis. Longtime collaborator Max Martin and his partner in auricle-crime, Dr. Luke, produced the bulk of Femme Fatale, and their contributions are mixed-to-shoddy.
  12. Mar 28, 2011
    50
    As it turns out, Spears' seventh studio album is part-success and part astounding failure, mixing some of her very best songs with hideous black holes.
  13. Apr 5, 2011
    70
    Femme Fatale equips Britney with material which is strong enough to enable the original all-American Pop Princess to hold her own in such an overcrowded context.
  14. Mar 28, 2011
    40
    More than any of her previous releases Femme Fatale is blank. Ms. Spears isn't much more than a celebrity spokeswoman for the work of the producers Max Martin, Dr. Luke and others, who need artists like Ms. Spears as calling cards.
  15. Mar 29, 2011
    70
    Femme Fatale is also unevenly paced, overlong (16 tracks in its deluxe version) and burdened with filler like the generic 'I Wanna Go', which tries to find a shortcut to the dancefloor but gets lost en route. But the weaker material is outweighed by the fantastic, from the slamming, techno-tinged 'Trouble For Me' to the glorious bubblegum house of 'Up N' Down'.
  16. Mar 21, 2011
    70
    Femme Fatale, after all, is a flawed album, with lyrics that barely clear the level of a Ke$ha and a maturity level to match. But it's a pop album that's supposed to make you dance, and when it comes to that, there's not a star out there that can match Ms. Spears.
  17. Mar 29, 2011
    75
    On Femme Fatale, her seventh studio album and plainly one of her best, the erstwhile teen-pop princess is less the center of sonic attention than the occasion and enabler for a dozen of the age's most accomplished record producers to show off their wildest moves from behind a plastic Britney mask.
  18. Mar 31, 2011
    88
    As long as Brit keeps the ballads to a minimum and plays to her strength as a willing pop renegade (which she does here more than on any of her previous albums), she will continue to make exciting, groundbreaking modern music.
  19. 40
    Gaga's music, let's be frank, is not that much better than, or even different to, that on Femme Fatale, but she knows the lingering appeal of playing dress-up.
  20. Max Martin, Mr "Baby One More Time", has been roped in again along with scores of interchangeable Scandinavians to create an album of autotuned landfill chartpop which you will scour in vain for anything on a par with "Womanizer".
  21. Mar 31, 2011
    40
    Even more telling is her frequently blank-eyed delivery: She's never been a great vocal interpreter, but on Fatale she sounds about as present as she did on Blackout.
  22. May 24, 2011
    80
    Despite a slew of hit singles and eye-popping sales figures, Britney Spears has never released an album as coherent from start to finish as her latest, Femme Fatale.
  23. Mar 25, 2011
    80
    Despite her weak voice and empty lyrics, the troubled Disney graduate has placed herself at the avant-garde of pop with this masterful mixture of über-cool dubstep and sugary pop.
  24. Mar 25, 2011
    50
    Over a clipped backdrop that at times sounds like white-noise static, bell-like notes accent an airy, almost vaporous vocal. The voice belongs to Spears, but it could be anyone's – an anonymous ghost in the dance machine.
  25. The poppers keep on coming right through the bonus tracks of porn-lite funk-lite that's quirky and clever front to back.
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 313 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 81 out of 111
  2. Negative: 24 out of 111
  1. Apr 4, 2011
    9
    Femme Fatale, in my opinion, is possibly the best album Britney Spears has released. Now granted In the Zone gave us "Toxic" and Circus, well it gave us "Womanizer" and "Circus"! But Femme Fatale is definitely up-to-date with the latest genres of music including, techno, electropop, synthpop, and even a touch of dubstep, which is new to the States (thankfully its Britney who is introducing dubstep to us!). Some of the hallmarks of the albums has to be:
    I Wanna Go: a very upbeat, catchy tune with lots of autotune and bounce! This song is definitely radio worthy and I feel it has potential to be the popular song of Summer 2011! When the song starts it just makes you want to get up and dance and sing along to it! It's a great song and is probably the best song on the album!

    Trip To Your Heart: Very dancy tune, with lots of catchy beats and an awesome chorus melody! Trip to Your Heart is probably one of the sweetest songs on "Femme Fatale" and, in my opinion, sounds like something that Britney would've sung on "...Baby One More Time" or "Oops I Did It Again" if both of the albums were released in 2011! How I Roll: When you first hear this, you'll immediately think that this song is sexy (heavy breathing at the beginning of the song)! Like most of the songs on "Femme Fatale" it has a catchy chorus ("Because I got 9 lives like a kitty cat!") which makes it very sexy and alluring for Britney to sing! Gasoline: This song is shockingly perfect for the age in which we live in (ahem! gas prices). Gasoline is a very sexy song that fits perfectly for Spears and might I add, make gasoline sexy again!

    Criminal: This song is a more ballad like song which features Britney falling in love with a criminal. Definitely, puts you in the shoes of Britney's mama! And how she would feel if Britney really were in love with a criminal. Although slow, it's a great addition to "Femme Fatale"'s lineup of nightclub dance worthy tracks

    Up N Down (only available on the deluxe version): I love this song! The beats are perfect, vocals are perfect, melody is perfect, everything in this song is perfect! Definitely a song you would hum in your head! Some of the other songs with honors would include:
    Inside Out,
    Drop Dead (Beautiful),
    Seal It With A Kiss,

    Now I can say the whole album is great, but there is one song that I don't particularly like, and most people can agree with me on this one, Big Fat Bass! It sounds... OK... but too much autotune and heavy beats. Will.I.Am is not at his best in this song and doesn't do a great job as he did in "The E.N.D." but despite it all, Britney's vocal are outstanding and fills the void of the not-so-great beats and "vocals" (if you would like to call them that) of Will.I.Am! Overall the album is fantastic, but leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to Big Fat Bass. Other than that, well worth every single penny. Great addition to any Britney fan's collection!
    I also suggest the Deluxe version, all of the bonus tracks are awesome, even though I didn't mention them, they're great!
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 29, 2011
    10
    Britney returns to the pop spectrum right where she left off with Blackout, continuing to be an advocate for Electro Pop's continual explosion. With hard hitting dubstep beats and an exploration of European dance music, we are treated with one excellent Dance album in Femme Fatale that is sure to leave listeners begging for more. Dare we say, the bar has been elevated? Bravo Ms. Spears, BRAVO!!! Full Review »
  3. Apr 3, 2011
    3
    I used to love Britney so much, but she has honestly gone so downhill. She doesn't write her songs, make her music, and now she doesn't even sing her own songs. Her voice is so extremely edited, and the songs are so plain. The album is nothing special, and, in my opinion, has to be her worst to date. Song by song review: Till The World Ends: 4/10 The moment I heard it, I knew it was either written by Kesha, or a clear rip off of Kesha. As I believe Kesha has terrible songs, well, I'd obviously hate this.
    Hold It Against Me: 2/10 Sounds like a bad attempt at a dance song, and the lyrics are a bad attempt at sounding flirty.
    Inside Out: 4/10 Again, terrible lyrics. Got annoying after a few listens.
    I Wanna Go: 6.5/10 This song is REALLY close to being a decent song, but there's something about that just irks me. Clearly the next single.
    How I Roll: 6/10 Different, which is nice. The beginning turns you off, though. The first 5 seconds made me annoyed, but after I listened to the entire thing, I actually kinda liked it.
    (Drop Dead) Beautiful: 4/10 So, Till The World Ends sounded like a Kesha song, and in this song there's some chick who seems to be trying to pretend to be Kesha. If the featured girl wasn't in this, it would be an okay song, but she really turns me off.
    Seal It With a Kiss: 5/10 Once again, has potential but fails. Something about it just ... no.
    Big Fat Bass: 0/10 Dear God, what was she thinking.
    Trouble For Me: 5.5/10 First few listens, I liked it. Got boring really quickly.
    Trip To Your Heart: 6/10 One of the better songs on here. The music gets annoying after a bit, but still one of the more decent songs.
    Gasoline: 6.5/10 I hated it at first, but it's really catchy. Like other songs, it has potential to be good, but ... it just isn't.
    Criminal: 8.5/10 Hands down the best on the album. The melody is amazing, the flute is beautiful and ahh. This is the only song I keep going back to. The only song you should bother listening to.

    I seriously don't know why people are still in love with her. She has done nothing creative recently, hardly making her worthy of any "Queen and/or Princess of Pop" titles. She needs to settle down and focus on her family life, because her heart's just not into her music anymore.
    Full Review »