Riffs: Our top five Britney Spears dream collaborators
By Allison Stewart
If Christina Aguilera is a voice, and Lady Gaga is an aesthetic, Britney Spears is pretty much just an idea. With Spears, there is no there there, nothing that defines her: She's an empty vessel, waiting to be filled up with the right beats from the right producer. She can be anything, which can be good ("Circus") or bad ("Blackout," an album from which Britney seemed so absent, we're not even sure she knows it exists).
For Spears more than any of her peers, it's essential to choose the right production team, the right combination of still-underground beatmakers and Dr. Luke-like seasoned hitmakers. (But not too seasoned: if we never hear from the Neptunes and Timbaland again, it will be too soon.) In a Gaga world, anything less would be deadly.
So far, the news leaking out about Spears' possibly-in-the-making disc isn't good: Reports have indicated that it will be piloted by usual suspects Pharrell, Rodney Jerkins and Kara DioGuardi.
Run, Britney, run! And take this easily printable list of Click Track's Top Five Britney Dream Collaborators with you:
Who: Producer/DJ Rusko
Why: He's an innovator who rarely disappoints, and, unlike, say, Dr. Luke, never makes the same song twice.
Could this happen? According to Rusko, it is happening. "It's Britney, she's got money," he explained to a reporter.
What to expect if it did: Some un-Britney-like electro/dubstep/pop.
Who: LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy
Why: Because she would look forward-minded, and he would look game.
Could this happen? Very unlikely. A potential early '00s collaboration between Murphy's DFA label and Spears didn't pan out. Murphy later told an interviewer the two couldn't relate to each other musically.
What to expect if it did: Elegant, impeccable electronica with elements of house, soul and new wave thrown in. Lots and lots of synths in every conceivable permutation.
(Britney loses extensions, finds soul? Find out after the jump.)
Who: Sleigh Bells auteur Derek Miller
Why: He excels at making schoolyard pop sound rough, earworm-y.
Could this happen? It's Britney. She's got money. If Miller was busy, maybe Dave Longstreth from the Dirty Projectors (who is similarly amazing at both beatmaking and novel female vocal arrangements) could do it.
What it might sound like: A sludge-y, dance-y Britney record that's been messed up, shorn of its hair extensions and ground into the dirt. In a good way.
Who: Producer Stuart Price (Madonna, the Killers, Kylie Minogue)
Why: He's great at making effortlessly catchy pop songs with heart. And his work on Brandon Flowers' upcoming "Flamingo" is impressive.
Could this happen? Absolutely.
What it might sound like: Poppy and danceable, but not soulless. The opposite of anything on "Blackout."
Who: A modern-day, Lilith Fair-type singer-songwriter
Why: To perform the same role Sia and Le Tigre did on Aguilera's "Bionic" (which was terrible, but not their fault) - to create smart, edgy, humanizing ballads. We'd love to see Metric's Emily Haines or the Weepies Deb Talan step in, or Lily Allen.
Could this happen? Depends on how high she reaches. Beth Orton (our ultimate dream pick) would likely never do it. Frankly, we'd settle for Colbie Caillat.
What it might sound like: Grown-up, Starbucks versions of "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman."
August 18, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
Categories: Riffs | Tags: Beth Orton, Brandon Flowers, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Colbie Caillat, Dave Longstreth, Derek Miller, Dirty Projectors, Dr. Luke, Drake, Emily Haines, James Murphy, Kara DioGuardi, Kylie Minogue, LCD Soundsystem, Lady Gaga, Le Tigre, Lily Allen, M.I.A., Madonna, Metric, Pharrell, Rodney Jerkins, Rusko, Sia, Sleigh Bells, Stuart Price, Timbaland, the Neptunes, the Weepies
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