Picks and Pans Review: Britney Spears

updated 11/05/2007 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/05/2007 AT 01:00 AM EST

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Her personal life may be a hot mess, but there is plenty of hot music for dancing one's troubles away on Britney Spears's new album, her first studio CD since 2003's pre-K-Fed In the Zone. (Hey, maybe she was actually researching beats on the party-girl circuit.) "Gimme More," the panting first single, was just a tease, because there are better—if not exactly bolder—tracks, like "Toy Soldier," with its fun simulated snare drums, and the cool, T-Pain-assisted "Hot as Ice" (one of five cuts produced by Timbaland protégé Nate "Danja" Hills). Only two songs, though, really offer any insight into her well-documented struggles: the media-blasting "Piece of Me" and the K-Fed kiss-off "Why Should I Be Sad," which, after 11 cuts of nonstop partying, leaves you facing the melancholy morning after.

DOWNLOAD THIS: "Heaven on Earth," a slice of dance-floor nirvana where Donna Summer meets Kylie Minogue.

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