Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Britney in the Black Lodge (Damn Fine Album)


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Fascinating new "Poptimist" column from Tom Ewing over at the 'fork, which (believe it or not) picks up the thread between Twin Peaks' Laura Palmer and Britney Spears, de-constructing the themes and inherent strangeness of the series and paralleling it with the public persona of America's former sweetheart. I have no desire to listen to Blackout, but this article has certainly peaked my interest. Here's and excerpt:
"David Lynch and Mark Frost's "Twin Peaks" begins with the discovery of a body and spends 30-odd episodes on the trail of a soul, both belonging to Laura Palmer, a prom queen of dazzling smile and doubtful habits. The show's most intense moments happen in a strange spirit-world, a red-draped room where a dwarf converses and dances with a pallid, marble-eyed eidolon of Palmer. Their voices are backwards-looped and treated, their dances a jerky shuffle, all adding to a sense of mocking evil that the rest of the show never tries hard to shake."

He continues:

" Meanwhile I was genuinely surprised, even shocked, by Blackout. Not because it's Britney, or because of its innovation, but because of its creepiness, its black hole heart. The crux of "Freakshow" isn't the wobbler, it's the unnerving moment when Britney suddenly starts repeating her lines in sick, flat vocals pitched down so low it's like she's turned mid-song into a man. This dramatic, near-random identity switch is what suddenly made me think about "Twin Peaks", and if there's one song that takes Britney right into the Black Lodge it's the album's centrepiece, "Get Naked (I Got a Plan)". This is a song about sex, nothing else, but the level of studio tricknology applied to it turns it claustrophobic, as frightening as it's exhilarating."

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