"She comes off like some machine that bleeps and bloops out an airy array of oohs, ahhs and groans," Jim Farber writes in the New York Daily News. "If a blowup sex doll could sing, this is what she'd sound like."
Farber adds: "In terms of studio trickery, Paris Hilton's album was practically Unplugged compared to this."
Thumbs-Up for the AlbumStill, maybe that's not completely a bad thing. Farber says the album, Blackout, which hits stores Oct. 30, certainly has its fun moments.
"She may no longer dance with flair, lip-sync on cue, keep her dress down, or even be judged a suitable mom, but Britney Spears can still turn up on some slammin' new songs," he writes.
The album is comprised of "wall-to-wall electro-fueled club cuts," Farber writes, and Spears "spends most of the CD in a state of erotic mania." And she does, as PEOPLE reported last week, use ex-husband Kevin Federline for lyrical inspiration on the track "Why Should I Be Sad."
The lyrics on that song include: "My friends said you would play me/but I just said they're crazy/while I was crying frantic/was it true?"
Despite his misgivings, Farber offers what sounds like a qualified endorsement of the record: "Think about this: How wonderful it is that, in the world of slick pop, even if stars can't deliver, the machine behind them still can."