Has Britney Spears' Star Light Dimmed?

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Britney Spears

It seems like pop icon Britney Spears has made a few comebacks since her public meltdown in 2007. But she's apparently on the warpath, blazing a trail across the world with Harajuku rapper Nicki Minaj in tow for her Femme Fatale tour. But there's something different about Britney these days. If you've seen footage of her concerts and various appearances, you've probably spotted it. She looks---for lack of a better word---tired. Though she's toned and slimmed her fluctuating physique, it's all in the eyes. There is something missing from the Britney Spears that millions of her fans are accustomed to. And while anyone can make a comeback something just isn't the same.

The Showgirl Returns

Femme Fatale's elaborate routines have all the requisite bells and whistles. The dancers are hot. The stage sets are phenomenal. In fact, Britney's Femme Fatale tour appears to have everything it needs to entice fans to buy concert tickets. But even the critics have noticed the awkwardness.

One critic calls Brit Brit a "vessel through which various producers present their vision." This might have been a compliment; but more than a few have observed the timid manner in which the "Baby One More Time" singer approaches her dance steps.

Making a Comeback (Again)

Even still, there are few artists who can return to the music scene full throttle---under the eye of a brutal public---and thrive. Britney found a way to meander back into the limelight. And indeed, she is making a name for herself on tour. But that she seems to be dancing at the choreography instead of breathing life into it makes all those bells and whistles seem more like strategic distractions. The bright lights of the tour may be overshadowing the pop princess. But perhaps therein lies the key to the ultimate comeback.

Brit's saucy spark is far from dead. It's in there, but appears to be buried beneath a lot that the rest of the world doesn't see. Underneath that happy grin is a great deal of personal drama that doesn't automatically disappear just because the tabloids are no longer interested.

Shifting Gears

Even more than that, we shouldn't necessarily assume that a change in demeanor is a bad thing per se. Perhaps Britney at age 29, is simply growing into another phase of her life. The hopping dance numbers that her fans are accustomed to may be stuffed with fanfare. But maybe Brit would be better suited to follow her fans as they grow---expanding her sound and exploring more of what her real voice can do. Perhaps all that's needed to brighten a dim light is a bit of reinvention.

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