In my roundup of this week’s new releases, I inadvertently left off Britney Spears’ “The Singles Collection”. As advertised, this compilation rounds up Ms. Spears’ numerous hit singles and adds the new single “3”, which made history when it became the first single this decade not by an “American Idol” finalist to debut at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart.

I really didn’t mean to leave this off, but I can’t help but think this collection is completely unnecessary. After all, Britney’s LAST greatest hits collection appeared just five years ago, in 2004. Since then, Britney’s released a grand total of two studio albums. Is it really time for another Britney anthology, or is this being put out knowing that her extremely gullible fans will purchase anything with her name on it?

Let me say for the record, I’m not a Britney hater. She has a couple of good songs and is fairly harmless as far as pop singers go, but enjoying her music isn’t the same as saying she’s talented. Because she isn’t. And I’m not a pop music basher, as anyone who regularly reads this site is well aware of. But…I guess I don’t understand the Britney fixation. How has someone like this lasted for a decade? I mean, let’s face facts. She’s not especially attractive (and her public exploits have completely destroyed any residual cuteness from her early days), she can’t sing a lick, and her dancing and public persona are both on loan from Madonna. Granted, these same arguments have been used against Madonna and Janet Jackson, but there’s really no comparison. While neither of them have Patti LaBelle-style vocals, they can both carry a tune. They generally write and co-produce their own music (although considering neither of them has released a great album this decade, that may not be saying much), and they also both sing live at their shows, with the exception of the odd major production number. I’ve never seen Britney in concert, but I can’t recall the woman singing live in any of the myriad TV performances she’s done, and it’s widely stated that she doesn’t sing live during her shows. I would love for someone to isolate her mic at a show, put it on Youtube and see if anything actually comes out of her mouth.

‘Cause I’m sorry, if I’m spending money to see someone in concert, I don’t want the record to be playing in the background. For that, I could have easily just stayed my ass home.

But perhaps the last laugh is on her fans, those people who’ve paid hundreds of dollars to see her show. As noted social critic John Mayer tweeted not too long ago: ““If you’re shocked that Britney was lip-syncing at her concert and want your money back, life may continue to be hard for you.”