I'll say straight away that I'm not really a Britney Spears fan. At least, not anymore. She kind of lost me around the Circus album when it started to become evident she wasn't really interested in maturing as an artist or evolving beyond the "lets dance and party and pick up boys in the clubs even though I'm almost 30" mindset, which of course EVERYONE is doing these days anyway, which is very unfortunate. Being a fan of dance music in general I'll admit I love my share of mindless pop, but over the last few years it seems even Ms. Spears has been off her game. However, I'm also a remix whore (lol) so when I heard she was releasing a second "In the Mix" volume my curiosity got the best of me. As a collector in an age when the CD single is virtually defunct, releases like this can come as a real treat sometimes.
So, putting my prior personal disappointments aside and looking at things objectively, is this a decent remix album? Yes, it is actually. Containing most of her major single releases since the 2007 Blackout era - though shockingly no version of her recent mega hit "Hold it Against Me" - I'd have to make the case that these remixes actually have improved upon most of the original songs. A lot of people say they don't care for remixes because of their repetitive nature and lack of structure, but considering her last two albums were basically nothing but looped vocals and random button mashing to begin with, the majority of these mixes almost have the opposite effect and strive to turn them into the sing-along pop ditties they were meant to be. Weird but true. Highlights for me include the Tiesto Club Mix of "Piece of Me," which ventures into trance territory, and the Alex Suarez mix of "Till the World Ends," which does the song a huge favor by giving it the distinctive melody line the original lacked. And "If U Seek Amy," which I absolutely loathe in its original form, has been amazingly transformed into a pumping, 1980's roller disco anthem. The only two tracks I didn't much care for were "Radar," because not only was the music itself generic and unmemorable, but the vocals were very quiet as if a true acapella wasn't available to work with, thus giving the impression of a bootleg mix; and "Criminal," because it simply isn't different enough from the original to warrant being on this compilation. Plus it's almost too cheesy to bear anyway, lol. Otherwise, it's a solid collection that clocks in at just under 60 minutes.
I realize this review, which is just my opinion of course, might come off as a kind of backhanded compliment, but in the end I really do favor this CD and definitely consider it worth repeat listening, hence 4 stars. I may be a little harsh on Britney herself sometimes, but I mean no harm. All I can say is, to sum it up, it might be in her best interest to recruit some of the producers who have contributed to these remix albums of hers and collaborate with them on her next studio album if she's interested in recapturing some of the fans, like myself, that have strayed along the way.