Review | Britney Spears, Femme Fatale

Credit: Randee St Nicholas

Out Tuesday 3/29

Us Rating: ****

Britney Spears is always best when she leaves it to the pros. The pop icon's seventh CD has a lot in common with her 2007 professional climax (and coinciding personal meltdown), Blackout. Both are entirely unapologetic, dark, throbbing dance-pop mainly focused on doing the nasty, with nary a true ballad in the mix (only one midtempo end track, "Criminal," comes close).

But this time, she totally surrenders her voice to her top-tier hitmakers (chiefly, Katy Perry's and Kesha's groovemeister Dr. Luke). They obliterate any personal statements (no "Piece of Me" here!) and slice and dice her every breath into awesome yet off-the-wall beats. It's all exemplified by the hypnotic top 10 hits "Hold It Against Me" and "Till the World Ends." (Jive)