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Nine Lives

By Alyssa Rosenberg on March 29, 2011 at 10:29 am

"Nine Lives"

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I hope there never comes a day when a new Britney Spears album makes me feel anything less than happy. It’s not that Britney is anything close to a great musician, but she’s well-engineered, and sometimes you need music that’s emotionally uncomplicated, where the emotional crescendo is never ecstatic, but the lows aren’t too bad either. To my mind, the standout song on Femme Fatale, which drops today, is the pleasantly eccentric, low-key “How I Roll”:

It took me a couple of listens to decide that, and now I sort of can’t stop listening to it. The song’s profoundly silly: its got these bubbly, poppy sounds setting the pace. Britney actually declares at one point that she’s got “nine lives, like a kitty cat.” But it’s playful without being outrageously, desperately sexy, exactly the right tempo to bop your head along to in the car on a sunny day. Which is of course what it’s intended for. Sometimes there’s virtue in just hitting the hell out of your mark, however modest that mark might be. The whole album’s streaming here.

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