Culture Shock is the best Britney Spears album in recent years. Or ever, come to think of it.
One could leave it at that. But then one could also go on to elaborate that Culture Shock (out for a few months now) is the first mashup album by Titus Jones, a mashup artist with an undeniable preference for one Britney Jean Spears. But fear not, you can enjoy this album even if Miss Spears isn’t your usual musical diet. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about here.
The ingredients of this album reads like this: 3oh!3, Nicki Minaj, Christina Aguilera, Tom Ashbrook, Sue Teller, Cutting Crew & Resource, Pink, David Guetta, Akon, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Asher Roth, Gnarls Barkley, Cascada, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, Bon Jovi, Backstreet Boys, Muse, Carrie Underwood, Foreigner, MGMT, Timbaland, Keri Hilson, D.O.E., Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Shop Boyz, Pokémon, Scorpions, Dev, Usher, Will.i.am, Ludacris, Shawna, Taio Cruz, Dolly Parton, Funtains Of Wayne, Weezer, Rick Ross, Ke$ha, Afroman, Aqua, Rick Astley, Madonna, Leslie Hall, Destiny’s Child, Kings Of Leon, New York Outlaw, Belinda Carlisle, Bruno Mars, Leona Lewis and a healthy dash of Britney Spears*. In other words, there is a lot of plastic pop in there. The question is what is done with it and how those components work with the rest.
Frankly quite some of those ingredients I wouldn’t listen to on their own. But as so often is the case, bastard pop is more than the sum of its parts. At least when the mashup artist knows what they are doing. And Titus Jones knows. The plastic pop elements are set off perfectly with the other elements, creating 14 splendid tracks, with not a single one dropping off in terms of quality. There is a reason why in 2011 he appeared six times in the eight A+D Best of Bootie top lists – four appearances taken from this very album (Hold Your Sexy Arms Against Me, College Is Crazy, We Love Hustlin’ Drugs, Don’t Stop Believin’ In This Love On Earth). Titus Jones isn’t just one of the fastest rising stars in the mashup scene, already now you can count him to one of the best multi-track-mashup artists. Personally, I prefer his multitracks over pretty much any other example of this discipline.
Culture Shock isn’t following a concept like other famed mashup albums do (think American Edit, The Grey Album, A Night At The Hip Hopera), which doesn’t make it less enjoyable. And, in fact, you have to put it on a list with these legendary albums. Am I putting it before American Edit or A Night At …? No. But as far as listening enjoyability goes, I definitely put it before The Grey Album. And it is certainly a lot more in tune with the bastard pop spirit than the works of Girl Talk. As far as a consistent style and a consistently high quality goes, I have not seen another mashup album as convincing as Culture Shock in quite a while.
There is only once complaint I have about this album: My personal favourite on this one – other than the whispered “Titussss Jonessss” bit – is the intro track … and that needs to be made into a full fledged mash of its own. I’ve said it again and you can expect me keep mentioning until it has been done.
- Hold Your Sexy Arms Against Me
- College Is Crazy
- Touchin’ On A Firework Sucks
- Cold Woman Uprising
- Teenage Kids
- Rock Your S&M Fantasy Down Low
- Oops, I Shot Jolene’s Mom
- We Love Hustlin’ Drugs
- Never Givin’ Up My Only Barbie
- How We Go Out (The Stomp! Remix)
- Unfaithful Sex
- Don’t Stop Believin’ In This Love On Earth
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(Listening to while finishing this blog entry: Don’t Stop Believin’ In This Love On Earth by Titus Jones)
* Although I’m not too sure about the healthy part.