music / Columns

The Savage Animal 11.21.12 The Album Covers of Britney Spears

November 21, 2012 | Posted by Mikey MiGo

The Survivor Series used to always be one of the biggest Pay Per Views. Some folks will say Summerslam is the second biggest show of the year, but from my perspective it’s always been Survivor Series. It’s the half way mark to WrestleMania. It’s where big things happen that shape what’s been leading up from the last WrestleMania before heading into the next one. It’s where The Rock came back to team with Cena, it’s where the Screw Job happened, it’s where they had a one night tournament that saw Mankind and The Rock further legitimize themselves, the Undertaker debuted at a Survivor Series, and so much more. And I don’t even have to get into the bad ass “Survivor Series” match itself. Two teams square off in an elimination tag match. It used to be a big deal and over the years has had a roller coaster of importance. They seem to be trying to bring it back in at least one big match these days. I’ll take what I can get.

They started the show with a “bonus match” of pretty much everyone on the roster that wasn’t booked. It was a long match, but not a bad one. It could have lived with it being shorter, but all in all the “Traditional Survivor Series Match” is always fun. I felt like it was a little fishy that Justin Gabriel didn’t hit the 450 at the end in favor of Rey’s shitty splash. The good guys minus Brodus Clay won. Eve won her match against Kaitlyn and no one cared. I wanted to like it, but it just did nothing to draw me in. I’m not anti-divas matches at all, but for some reason these two just don’t click or bring anything of interest to the table. Maybe with different opponents and with an actual interesting storyline, but not now. I did enjoy Antonio Cesaro’s victory over R-Truth. It was cool to see Cesaro wrestle someone high up on the card. They had a decent match and I’d like to see them get in a rematch soon.

Sheamus and Big Show was a letdown. This was all my fault. I let myself anticipate a Big Show match and it blew up in my face. I don’t know what happened, but the other match these two had was A LOT better. Sheamus won by disqualification, but Big Show retains his belt? What? A DQ in a Heavyweight Title Match? Wow, what a letdown. The “Team Foley vs. Team Ziggler” match was pretty fun. I fully expected Randy Orton to be the sole survivor. I was close on this, but gladly Dolph got the win. I’m always happy to see Dolph Ziggler get a time to shine after making everyone look like a billion bucks each and every time out there.

The main event was a joke. Ryback no-sold his ass off as Cena and Punk went back and forth as much as they could. You could tell that Cena and Punk were faced with the massive limitations of Ryback. His involvement was a joke. He’d hit a sloppy power move, get beat up, no sell it, and then hit another sloppy power move. His FAKE CHANT is annoying and he has not evolved at all since debuting. He’s a stereotype of a bad wrestler. Fans chant “Goldberg” at him, but I think that’s got a lot to do with his look as much as his style. In reality, Ryback is the new Ultimate Warrior. Think about that shit and tell me I’m wrong. When Cena and Punk put Skip Sheffield through the table it was like they were saying “okay, let the adults do their thing”. Once it was one on one it become a MUCH better match. This was all good and fun and then the weird screwy ending. This wasn’t an ending where the fans are shocked and want to watch tomorrow. This was yet another weak ending to a weak show. I understand the sneaky bad guy stealing the win is nothing new, but this just felt anticlimactic and cheap. It doesn’t make me look forward to the day CM Punk finally “gets his”. It just makes me want to the turn the channel. Since the late 90′s Survivor Series has always been about “screw jobs”. This year, it was the paying fans who got screwed. It’s really hard to keep watching this. I went into this with an open mind and optimism. My mistake.



THE ALBUM COVERS OF BRITNEY SPEARS

It’s K-Fed’s Ex!
Britney Spears is a household name. She has had huge hits and big moments and some lows and some bad moments. She seems to have come full circle and has herself together. Her focus and talent is being channeled and she seems to be doing okay. I think we’re all fans of that. I’ve never really gotten into her music. I can appreciate her appeal, but I’ve never owned any of her CDs or went to any of her shows. Her singles and videos are hard to avoid though. I’ve pretty much grown up with her on TV and on the radio. When I was in high school, she was the new teenage pop star. When I was going nuts in my early-20s so was she. When I was going nuts in my mid-20s so was she. She’s still older than me by a year or so, so I don’t feel too bad. It was one of the biggest “right place at the right time” types of things ever. Would TRL have been as big as it was without her or would she have been as big without TRL?

Her image is a huge part of it all. She definitely has vocal talents and dance skills that should be celebrated, but since day one her “image” has been a huge part of it all. Her videos are big events, her hair color and length (or lack thereof) is important to folks, and she is a full on American celebrity.

Sadly, I don’t think the same effort is put into her album covers…


Album: …Baby One More Time
Release: 1999

For such a huge hit, the album cover is lame. It’s a photo of a teenage Britney, on her knees, looking up and smiling at the camera. It’s a pretty generic photo with a generic pink background with a really cheap looking font. It does not measure up to all of the other Britney content that was coming out at the time. I remember when the album and the huge “school girl” video came out. It blew up huge. And before you get too creepy, you have to remember that Britney was only sixteen or seventeen when this album was released. She instantly became a pop culture hit with this album and her “slightly too naughty, but still wholesome” image.
Rating: 4.5



Album: Oops!… I Did It Again
Release: 2000

There isn’t a whole lot going on here, but it’s put together really well. The cover was shot by photographer Mark Seliger. The yellow background with the hanging strips of glowing glass beads (diamonds?) really helps make the subject of the photo, Britney, really stand out. Her clothing is simple, but revealing in a flattering way. It’s not gaudy or cheap, but it’s not as over the top as you’d almost expect from one of the biggest pop albums ever. This is where she really started figuring out who she was. She was interviewed and said “When I did the first album, I had just turned 16. I mean, when I look at the album cover, I’m like, ‘Oh, my lordy.’” Indeed.
Rating: 7.5



Album: Britney
Release: 2001

I don’t know what was going on here. Britney sits on what appears to be a porch with a mattress and randomness on it. She sits on the edge of the porch, looks forward, and has a distant look on her face. It’s not so much the photography is bad. Steven Klein definitely took an interesting photo, but the coloring and text is what doesn’t work. The faded out/over saturated look could have worked on its own, but the yellow glow of Britney, the blue-ish background, and the weird “dash” of purple is just lame. On top of all of that, the font is hard to read. There is nothing welcoming about this cover. Who let this slide?
Rating: 6.0



Album: In the Zone
Release: 2003

Do YOU like the color blue? Apparently Britney does, or at least did in 2003. This album cover is interesting, but still a bit lackluster. She has a really alluring look on her face, but that’s about all there is too this. It’s a really tight and almost symmetrical look at her face. The pinkish font is pretty generic as well. I don’t understand this cover either. It does nothing to draw me to it. It looks like a lame early 90′s pop/house music cover. I’m pretty sure this cover might have gotten mixed up with an insert of one of the Ace of Base albums without “I Saw The Sign” on it. If anything, I’m a bit off-put by it.
Rating: 5.5



Album: Blackout
Release: 2007

This cover seems like it may have been the most talked about. At the time this came out it was kind of a big deal because her hair was black. It’s a picture shot by Ellen von Unwerth. She wears a white fedora, has the “shocking black hair”, a pink top, and is in front of a background straight out of a “Saved By The Bell” commercial. The rest of the album art was controversial and hated on by the Catholic League. The cover isn’t that fun. The colors pop, but the font is lame once again. It’s a thin font that gets no favors from the loud background.
Rating: 6.5



Album: Circus
Release: 2008

I think this is Britney Spears’ best album cover by far. It’s not just because she looks great on the cover, and she does, it’s because it’s just really well done. The photography is great and the simple border and star combo just works. It doesn’t go too over the top with a theme, but it has the retro “circus” feel that actually works. And the fonts are finally clear, bold, and makes sense. It’s just casual enough to not be campy.
Rating: 8.0



Album: Femme Fatale
Release: 2011

The most recent Britney Spears album has a modern take on disco, but still keeps it a little too casual. This cover is definitely above-par in the world of Britney albums. It’s a shot of her being seductive and straight forward looking at the camera. It’s bright and mainly white outside of her pale yellow hair and soft skin tones. The only things of real darkness are her eyes and the half-decent font. It’s nothing I’d call “inspired”, but it at least looks like something on the level of her fame and accolade.
Rating: 7.0

What is YOUR favorite Britney Spears album cover?



“THE COMEDY”

I am fickle. I think we all are in certain areas and should just admit it. For me, one of the things I’m fickle about is “Tim and Eric” comedy. When “Tom Goes to the Mayor” was on, I can’t think of any of my friends who were into it. I loved the hell out of it. That show didn’t last too long, but before it was over I wasn’t watching adult swim anymore and didn’t give these guys much more of a thought. I know they have a new show that seems to have more “cred” with folks and I know they’ve started to get into putting out film projects. It’s not that I’m not a fan or supportive. I’m just fickle. So when the opportunity of watching “The Comedy” was presented I went into it with a blank optimism. I’ve read vague things about it from Sundance. It’s getting a lot of positive attention so that’s cool. I quickly find out that despite both “Tim and Eric” being involved it’s not specifically their thing. It’s at least as much or even more a Rick Alverson joint. This movie is not much of a “comedy” at all. The movie revolves around a quiet douche guy played by Tim Heidecker. His father is dying and leaving him what are assumable millions in his estate. He hangs out with his rich loser friends, middle age hipsters. They just do random shit and say random shit pretty much just to do random shit and say random shit. It’s not a sense of creativity or spontaneity. It’s like they’re mindlessly being ironic. There is no line to cross because lines just don’t matter anymore. You can see the pain in these dudes and the sense that they’re all defeated and worn out. Still they keep up the wall of tiring snark. I don’t want to get into specific scenes. This isn’t a popcorn flick where you can say “Dude! Wait until the sand monster fights the dragon!” It’s all about moments and tone. Tim’s performance is great. You instantly see people you know in him and just hope you don’t recognize any of your own traits in him. It’s a really alarming movie. Despite his privileged existence, he still has some serious problems. The problem is in the coping and how he is programmed to emphasize, or not for that matter. Needless to say, I can analyze this movie for a while. That’s something of real value in film these days. It is on the abrasive side. People who don’t actually pay attention or aren’t capable of are going to see a vulgar movie that wonders aimlessly. There is going to sadly be a lot of those people out there. I just hope folks get a chance to decide for themselves and get what they can out of it on their own. The interviews I’ve heard and read, some news items, and even their Wikipedia page brings up them attempting to make a stand against anti-piracy. These days if you want to see something, you can pop online and “get it” for free. I see no problem in “sticking it to the man”, but projects like this isn’t made by “the man”. These are passion projects with artistic depth. Snatching a superhero movie is questionable, but these are the movies that need the love. Independent film is starting to become a mirror to the whole “Wall Street” fiasco. There is a 99% and there is a 1%. The 99% is putting out the blockbusters like formulaic clockwork and seeing A-list actors put out 100 million dollar movies under the guise of “indie”. Meanwhile, the “outsider art” of film is being buried in the internet. Get this movie on PPV/On Demand or go see it if that’s possible. Tell your friends. This movie isn’t perfect, but it’ll linger on your brain for longer than you’d expect. It needs to be seen. B+



“Worst Case Scenario” is a new take on the concept of “fantasy booking”. For years professional wrestling fans would spend endless hours of thinking up the coolest things that could happen. Why waste the energy? This only leads to high expectations. “Worst Case Scenario” flips that. Instead of looking through rose colored glasses, let’s take a bi-weekly look at the worst possible scenarios in professional wrestling. I’m not going to be malicious or anything too mean, but I will not refrain from letting my brain come up with the worst possible shit I can. Sadly, it seems the writers and producers of mainstream TV wrestling and the mainstream iPPV level indies are doing the same thing but charging us for it. And now…

“John Cena’s Heel Turn”

For years John Cena has been the poster boy of professional wrestling. He is in movies, television shows, talk shows, has done more charity than the pope, and is much a household name a professional wrestler can be in the 2010′s. He’s said to be “the Hulk Hogan of this era” and you really can’t argue that.

With that responsibility you’re stuck in the superhero role for a really long time. The company is making so much money on that image and has so much invested in it that it seems they’ll cling on to things sometimes longer than they should. Who can blame them? I’m sure if Hogan’s era had the internet then he’d be shat on and his long run as the top face in the world wouldn’t have been the same.

Like Hogan, Cena will eventually have to cross over to the dark side. Eventually the fans will get what they’ve asked and begged for. John Cena will become a bad guy. Here’s the hard part. It has to be HUGE and blow the minds of everyone. When Hogan went evil his thing was to take down WCW. When John Cena goes heel he takes down the entire business.

He turns on who ever and sides with Paul Heyman. He cuts the most controversial promo of all time. I’m not even sure if it would be “allowed”, but Cena would openly say “why are you booing me? This is all fake! We’re all fake fighters! It’s all a work! There is padding under my feet! We know how to fall! It’s all fake!”

From there Cena is just gone. Obviously they’d never mention it again and pretend it never happened. Cena would then be “blacklisted” from the WWE and become the number one enemy of some and the cult hero to most.

John Cena, who still would have Paul Heyman with him; shows up to UFC. Being a huge name, Dana White would be crazy not to have the guy who just outted wrestling fight “for real” on his show. Cena even gets Brock Lesnar to be in his corner and with that the UFC gets it first “stable”.

Of course John Cena would get his ass kicked. During his post-fight interview he remarks, “I’m a fake fighter. What did you expect?”

At least he’d finally be heel, right? …Right?




“PRICE CHECK”
If you want a good independent comedy then you need a good independent comedy cast. The best place to start is Parker Posey. Posey continues to pile on awesome work on top of awesome work with each year that passes. She’s got to be one of the best actresses out there today. She’s one of those few people who can do a mainstream movie or a mainstream TV show and then turn around and do something more “indie” like a Christopher Guest movie or a great story arch on “Louie”. So obviously, I love me some Parker Posey. She’s the star of this quaint indie. She’s the hyper boss of a grocery store. Her new employee, Eric Mabius (of “Ugly Betty” fame), is a down on his luck family guy who is stuck to get a job as a price checker at Posey’s store. He and Posey’s work relationship grows in that “weird” way that screws up the dude’s life. The rest of the cast seems cool, but I’m especially interested in seeing the hilarious Amy Schumer get some camera time. These kinds of movies never end clean, but typically deliver a deep message. The trailer gives a good vibe. It seems interesting, funny, awkward, and just honest. I’m optimistic there is something to be gained from this movie.



That’s all for this week. Thanksgiving kind of snuck up on us. For some reason I thought it would be next week. I wanted to put out a “Videography of Eazy-E” for Thanksgiving, but sadly got my timing wrong. This week I rambled about Britney Spears. Next week is Eazy-E and then a crazy look at John Mayer’s love interests and their talents. There’s lots of random stuff on the horizon. Don’t eat too much turkey. Until next time… Have a Great Week!

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Mikey MiGo

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