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October 10, 2007
No trick: Britney Spears to release new album Oct. 30

MTV Awards Show.jpg
Say what you will about Britney Spears' dismal performance on the MTV Video Music Awards in September (and we have), but the girl still knows how to cut a single.

"Gimme More," which Spears debuted on the VMAs, is catchy, tight and in-your-face. Heck, those qualities came through despite her lackluster appearance (pictured) - thank goodness for lip-syncing, y'know?

Now, with "Gimme More" perched atop both the iTunes digital singles chart and Billboard's Hot Digital Songs, Spears' label, Jive Records, has announced it's moving the release of her album "Blackout" up to Oct. 30. The singer's fifth album was originally scheduled for release on Nov. 13.

A Jive press release cites "numerous unauthorized online leaks" as the reason for the change.

Now, I'm not saying that I know anything about those unauthorized leaks but -and this is totally just speculation, y'all - let's just say I did maybe hear the new album. My guess is that you might actually like it.

(Hey, as a music writer, it wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility for me to know people who know people who, um, know other people who, every now and then, could send a copy of something or other cross my desk. I'm just sayin'.)

That said, if the songs I'm hearing are what actually turn up on "Blackout," well, all I can say is, welcome back Brit-Brit. (This, with news that Spears is reportedly patching up her relationship with her mother - well, it's enough to bring a tear to my normally jaded pop culture eye).

Not every song's a slam-dunk - Spears' thin and breathy voice sometimes has to compete too much with the aggressive dance beats - but the tracks that are good are actually really good.

In addition to "Gimme More," also of note are: "Cold as Fire," with Brit recalling early Madonna (i.e. kind of squeaky, but charmingly so) over guilty pleasure pop hooks and lyrics such as "I'm as cold as fire baby / hot as nice / if you've ever been to heaven baby this is twice as nice."

On "Everybody," Spears samples the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" with sassy aplomb.

But my fave so far is "What Ya Sippin On" - a little drinking tune with guest rapper AC throwing off lines such as "I'm with Brit, while K-Fed is watching the kids."

And OK, maybe she shouldn't let her parenting coach hear that track.

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