I try not to be overtly mean, but this video of Britney Spears in concert, which is suddenly going viral again after two years being on the web – is downright painful.  The video shows her performing, but isolates her microphone feed – not the autotuning, not the recorded track that you’re used to hearing.

I understand it’s hard to dance and sing - but if you listen on, it’s not just the dance numbers that sound strained. I’m almost speechless.

Let’s be clear: I’m not a hater. I like Britney Spears … my iPod has more Spears that any grown man should admit to. Perhaps this is more an argument for artists getting a little help during the stresses of performance. Or maybe she’s more about great marketing than vocal prowess – which in of itself is pretty remarkable. Either way, this is out there… and now you know.