LOS ANGELES (AFP) - has brought forward the release date of her long-awaited comeback album by two weeks after a string of illegal leaks hit the Internet, her record company said Wednesday.
Jive Records said in a statement that Spears' album -- "Blackout" -- would now go on sale on October 30 after songs and demos from the record were distributed online.
"Due to these numerous unauthorized on-line leaks, the label is doing everything possible to prevent and avoid any further illegal distribution of songs including moving up the release date of the album to October 30th," a statement from Jive Records said.
Spears' hopes of relaunching her career may hinge on the success of the new album, which comes after a period of turmoil in the pop princess's private life that last week saw her lose custody of her two children.
It followed a disastrous public performance in September at the MTV Video Music Awards to showcase her new single "Gimme More" which was widely lambasted as "lackluster, bumbling and underwhelming."
Among the collaborators on the album are producers Bloodshy & Avant on "Piece of Me," "Toy Soldier," "Freakshow" and "Radar," Kara DioGuardi on "Heaven and Earth" and Nate "Danjahandz" Hills on "Gimme More," "Get Naked (I Got a Plan)," "Hot As Ice" and "Perfect Lover."
T-Pain is credited as one of three writers on "Hot As Ice," while Pharrell Williams wrote, co-produced (as half of the Neptunes) and sings backup on closer "Why Should I Be Sad."
Here is the track list for "Blackout":
1. "Gimme More"
2. "Piece of Me"
4. "Break the Ice"
5. "Heaven on Earth"
6. "Get Naked (I Got a Plan)"
8. "Toy Soldier"
9. "Hot As Ice"
10. "Ooh Ooh Baby"
11. "Perfect Lover"
12. "Why Should I Be Sad
Britney Spears delivers solid album with 'Blackout'With all her tabloid drama in the past few years (the wobbly marriage and messy divorce, the rehab, the custody battle, the pathetic MTV "comeback" performance), it's easy to forget that Britney Spears once made infectious and sometimes excellent pop music.
The sad details of her chaotic personal life have all but obliterated her success as a performer. But she remains one of the biggest-selling female artists of all time, selling more than 83 million albums since her 1999 debut, "... Baby One More Time."
Four years after her last studio album, 2003's "In the Zone," Spears returns with "Blackout," available Tuesday. And like its predecessor, the CD is sprinkled with irresistible bits of ear candy.
Spears' hit formula -- pulsating club beats overlaid with layers of icy synths and breathy, heavily processed vocals -- is still intact. And apparently there's a demand for it since Jive Records, Spears' label, pushed up the album's release date by three weeks.
Nothing on the CD is as adventurous as her last smash, the Grammy-winning "Toxic." Much of the music maintains a metallic, futuristic sheen, bolstered by Spears' robotic vocals.
The album opens with her current hit, "Gimme More," the throbbing number the pop superstar disastrously performed on the MTV Video Music Awards in September. Afterward, the 11 other songs pulse in the same vein with little tempo variation. Featuring production by Danja, the Neptunes and others, Blackout breezes by in less than 50 minutes, so it's perfectly tailored for continuous club play. Throughout the new album, she still equates maturity with transparent sexuality. The current single, "Get Naked (I Got a Plan)" and "Freakshow" are danceable examples.
But when some of the layers are stripped away and Spears' colorless vocals are pushed up, the results are very bland. "Heaven On Earth," for instance, starts off like a bad imitation of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" before morphing into a cheesy synth concoction.
As it stands, though, "Blackout" is a solid album from Spears, one that shouldn't disappoint her legion of fans. And given all that she's been through since her last CD, it's amazing she was able to pull it off.
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