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Blackout 33 1/3 AMA (ask me anything) with author Natasha Lasky


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7 minutes ago, Joshyworld said:

The irony when you were the one making preconceived notions and shaming me by making labels. You look in the mirror, user Lizard face. But from the sounds of it, you‘re ugly and likely a miserable gay who seems to project their insecurities on others. I rebuke you. Everything about you screams “sassy dramatic gay”. Newsflash: Not everyone has to have the same opinion as you. You’re pushing 40. Grow up. You could have simply ignored my opinion or disagreed with my reasons why but instead you let your emotions get to you and got all defensive by pulling a bunch of nonsensical lies out of your ***. If you’re aggressive towards me, best believe I’ll fight back. 

Oh, can dish out so much judgment but cannot handle it… I see…

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5 minutes ago, Lizardface said:

Oh, can dish out so much judgment but cannot handle it… I see…

Not interested in continuing this petty argument. Act your age. Grow up. If you want to have a mature discussion, take it to a separate thread or PM me. Not everyone has to abide by your opinion of Blackout just like how not everyone may agree with mine. By the end of the day, I’m happy Natasha is doing this thread. Now stay on topic.

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Hi Natasha, thanks for taking the time to answer questions from us!

1. In your opinion, what is Blackout's legacy in pop music, in relation to where it stands today?

2. Considering that Blackout is often regarded as one of the most influential pop albums of the 21st century, does Britney get enough credit for the fact that she was the executive producer of the album and the fact that she took creative control over the project? It's quite poignant that it remains her only album to date that was created in her career while not under the management of Larry Rudolph and her former team, and it's often cited as her greatest work.

3. In your opinion, is it a testament to the quality of the album that it was well received by critics even back in 2007, while Britney was being regularly torn apart by the media and they would have undoubtedly enjoyed being able to declare a new album from her as a disaster? If it was released later would the critical reception have been even stronger?

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1 hour ago, Ghoulia said:

But the point of this thread is to pose questions for the book's author, not just give your opinion! 

 

@NatashaL Thank you for doing this AMA!  I ordered a copy and am eagerly awaiting its arrival.  My apologies if this is discussed in the book - my questions are more about your approach to writing it. 

1 - What inspired you to write this book? I know it's part of a series, but you personally - how did you get involved with the project?

2 - What was the best part of the writing experience?  (Like, did you get to correspond with Britney or the other artists involved?)

3 - There aren't very many female artists on the list of albums covered by this book series.  It's so interesting that Britney was included. Is that discussed in the book?  (the cultural significance of Britney as a female solo artist)?

4 - What is the biggest unanswered question you still have after writing this book?

 

Thank you!!

 

Thank you so much for these questions!! It has been interesting seeing people's opinions on Blackout in this forum... but I'm definitely a huge Blackout fan (duh)

1) One of my best friends texted me and was like "they're accepting proposals for 33 1/3 books, wanna apply with me?" and I thought about it and I was like "hmmmm if I were to write a book about an album, which one would I pick?" and then immediately Blackout came to mind. I listened to it when it came out (I was like 12-ish?) and I was obsessed with "Piece of Me" but I re-discovered it in college. Reading about the album as an adult, I was really frustrated with the way Blackout -- and Britney's music as a whole -- was being written about. (This was also in June 2020, before all the docs came out and the mainstream media was more publicly sympathetic to B)  I also thought it was crazy that there hadn't been any books written about B that weren't either memoirs from family members (ugh) or unauthorized biographies. She's such an important cultural figure -- and she warrants a book-length exploration of her impact! So I thought that a book like this needed to be written, and then I applied to write it, and then Bloomsbury was like "we want to publish this!" so that's the story!

2) I think my favorite part was actually reporting on the Britney fan community. Britney fans were crucial in ensuring this album's eventual critical success -- they were taking her seriously when no one else (or maybe very few people) was. A lot of organizing in the Britney fan community in those days would eventually become commonplace in Stan culture now, so they were pioneers in that department as well. Also so much of the early history of the internet has been lost, so it was interesting to ask people about what that space was like, and learn about all the drama....lol

3) Definitely! I talk about at length the way Britney's version of femininity was both celebrated and decried by music critics and mainstream media alike -- it's a really important part of the story in my opinion. 

4) Hm. I still have a lot of questions about what went on in the recording studio while Blackout was being recorded. There are so many good questions about what Britney's involvement in the album was like -- I would kill to be a fly on the wall! The demos and offhand recordings that have been leaked are so fascinating and say so much 

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1 hour ago, MoodRing3 said:

Is this Book already released? 

I just wanted to order it and it says Jan23?! 

so! idk where in the world you are, but it is releasing later in the UK than in the US. Not exactly sure why. If you want a copy I can try and get one to you! Email or dm me? 

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19 minutes ago, Joshyworld said:

Not interested in continuing this petty argument. Act your age. Grow up. If you want to have a mature discussion, take it to a separate thread or PM me. Not everyone has to abide by your opinion of Blackout just like how not everyone may agree with mine. By the end of the day, I’m happy Natasha is doing this thread. Now stay on topic.

The topic was to ask questions, not give your stupid opinions. You’ve been nothing but ageist and bottom-shaming.

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Just now, Lizardface said:

The topic was to ask questions, not give your stupid opinions. You’ve been nothing but ageist and bottom-shaming.

Stop. I came for you once you shamelessly attacked me by creating a bunch of labels made up in your head. Again, read the room. I gave an opinion but instead you drew more attention to it by steering the topic away from its sole purpose. If you have a problem with my opinion, PM me. I am not here to go back and forth like a dog chasing a cat, especially in a thread like this. Some of you are so immature, I swear. 

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8 minutes ago, NatashaL said:

I realized that what was more important to me was tying together a lot of the information that was already out there about the album, placing it in context, and re-interpreting documents from the time to tell a story of Blackout that feels more true and respectful of B's artistry, weaving together unreleased songs, interviews, etc. 

we’re you able to interview Johnny Wright? He was Brit’s old manager who wasn’t involved in Blackout, but he might have an interesting third party perspective because he worked with Brit through the Greatest Hits album.

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16 minutes ago, NatashaL said:

Hey! I know this isn't a question per se but I thought I'd take this opportunity to talk about the goals of the book and what the reporting process was like. 

So when I started I had planned to do a lot of reporting and interview people who were involved in making the album. I reached out to Danja, Keri Hilson, Bloodshy + Avant, and more to no avail. I also talked to a bunch of journalists who had reported on Brit in the past for advice, and they mentioned that B is among the hardest person (let alone pop star) to report on bc of NDAs, conservatorship, etc. The people who can make it happen are either really experienced investigative journalists with entire publications behind them (Ronan Farrow, Joe Coscarelli, etc) or publications with a lot of connections in the music industry (Rolling Stone, the Fader). And neither of those are me! It also got a lot harder once the NYT doc came out, and every publication was going after anyone who had met brit.....like even the New Yorker was like "here is Britney's hairstylist who worked with her on one tour in 2002" lol

I realized that what was more important to me was tying together a lot of the information that was already out there about the album, placing it in context, and re-interpreting documents from the time to tell a story of Blackout that feels more true and respectful of B's artistry, weaving together unreleased songs, interviews, etc. 

So I wanted to let you guys know before they get the book! If that doesn't sound like the book for you -- that's totally fine. I get it... i feel like a lot of britney media I consume i'm like "ok! well that didn't give me any new info!" bc so much of it has been picked over already. 

I also don't see this as the end of my reporting on Blackout. I'm trying to get the book to the people who were involved in making the album -- I'd love to sit down with any of them and continue to unpack this masterpiece and will let u know when I do!!!

That makes a lot of sense, but regardless I can tell you've worked hard on it! I hope you can reach out to more songwriters/producers though. I'm sure the book will still be an interesting read.

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43 minutes ago, NatashaL said:

lolllll my favorite is actually "Get Naked (I've got a plan)" 

BUT break the ice was robbed!!!! it's hard picking a favorite -- it's like picking a favorite child...

Agree on Get Naked and Break the Ice!

LOL…but sometimes I feel stans overlook Gimme More! GM is THE G.O.A.T. first song of any album of all time. “It’s Britney, BlTCH” sets an amazing tone for the rest of the album.

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