Thursday, March 04, 2004

ONE MORE TIME: Threesomes, PVC catsuits, masturbation, bondage, bisexuality... all staples of the big tour, but not usually onstage. Of course there's been something of 'who's the most in touch with their sexuality' battle between Britney and Christina raging for a little while now. Christina has always looked to us about as comfortable as Laura Ingils-Wilder at a wife-swapping evening, but Britney? She comes across like she could well live it, given half the chance, judging by her Onyx Hotel set. Of course, doing all the sweaty on stage leaves you with just a glass of warm milk and a quick flick through the latest Vogue before bedtime for when it's over. She even had had a good line written for her: "There's a lot of cute guys here. Who knows, maybe if you're really lucky I might marry you."

oh, my

The tour's first date hasn't been welcomed much, though. USA Today reports the San Diego Tribune as suggesting the opener featured "contrived attempts at tawdry sensationalism that suggested what might happen if Penthouse magazine was edited by Beavis & Butt-head." MTV pointed out the problems of performing in skintight catsuits - although not everyone is going to consider the large monitors showing Spears sweating like Niagara a minus point. We're not sure if the choice of verb to describe the crowd's reaction when she revealed a flesh coloured body suit was ill-judged or spot on, but they decided to go with "the crowd erupted." Of course, though, the generally approving tone of MTV's review may or may not be connected to the MTV sponsorship of the tour.

The Arizona Republic was less than delighted with the jazzy version of I Did It Again and One More Time: "Things got worse when she subjected two of her biggest hits, "Oops! … I Did It Again" and "… Baby One More Time" to lounge-lizard treatment as part of the "Onyx Hotel" shtick." You can hear the paper tutting and being slightly thrilled at the same time: "By parading around in lingerie at length in the show, Spears crossed a line that existed in years gone by when she teased concertgoers but left more to the imagination" - and it might be this desire to not seem like it's being all hormonal while feeling the need to fan itself with its concert programme that leads it suggest that Britney isn't sure which side of the innocent/kinda slutty side she wants to come down on. (Which seems odd to us, because we can't really see any evidence of her trying to palm herself off as Milly Molly Mandy at all).

The Glasgow Daily Record suggested that she'd shocked America by singing in front of giant monitors in a rubber outfit - which seems to have slightly overstated America's reaction.

Missing the point somewhat, the New York Times compares support act Kelis' slightly out-of-breath delivery with Spear's unerring ability to hit the right note every time, even when she knocked her microphone off, before ending on a sniffy-but-accurate observation that "at least she's already prepared for her future in the casinos."


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