By Jamie Deliz
Published: September 7th, 2016
She has been called a number of things: “Godney,” “Lipsync-ney Spears,” “the industry’s puppet,” and even “crazy,” but one thing is certain. Britney Spears will always hold the title “Princess of Pop.”
With her new comeback album since “Britney Jean” in 2013 (yes, fourth time’s the charm), and her string of shows in Vegas, the pop star returns to the industry she once reigned over a decade ago, making the “old Britney” new and shiny again with “Glory.”
Spears sprinkles tiny remnants of her classic bubblegum, dance-electronica sounds and her signature sensual robotic vocals on her ‘glorious’ ninth-studio album, but there’s so much more to it.
The wounds of her controversial past have healed, and she has come back stronger than ever, while also having fun. Each track is sexy, adventurous, fierce, and chill, as she dabbles into different genres of music, personalities, and even different languages with a very-Britney, “Coupure Électrique” (how do you say “Yasss!” in French?).
Working with writers Chantal Kreviazuk and Simon Wilcock and producers Ian Kirkpatrick and DJ Mustard, Spears made all the right moves. The album portrays the Britney we’ve all been waiting for, since “In The Zone.” “Blackout,” and “Circus,” of course. She has matured, but still keeps her image and gets a little reminiscent.
“Liar,” which is a personal favorite, is a powerful song that isn’t subtle about its rumored jabs and digs towards ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake, whose hit, “Cry Me a River,” centers on Spears’ infidelity. But, after years of his never-ending trash talk, Spears finally speaks up, singing, “You ain’t fooling anyone. You know, I know, that you know, I know that you’re a liar, a liar,” leaving JT alone in the “bridges that he burned.” Oops.
And then there’s “Invitation,” which is the first track on the album, rightfully so. Her soothing voice is, well, inviting. It’s almost choir-like—ethereal—which is ironic because Spears is openly luring her lover to have sex with her. “Here’s my invitation, baby. Come feel my energy. We give emotions to each other. Put your love all over me.” “Slumber Party,” another sexy anthem, is about the sleepover your parents don’t even want to imagine you having. Remember “(I’ve Just Begun) Having My Fun?” Well, Britney proves she still wants to have her fun.
“Make Me…” featuring rapper G-Eazy is the first single released on “Glory,” and is also the second track on the album. It is dubstep-inspired with a little bit of hip-hop, if you consider G-Eazy a credible rapper that is. Either way, the soft bridge builds up to a catchy chorus of “make me oooooh, oooooh, oooooh,” making it an instant radio hit. Similar to the beats on her song “Love Me Down,” which has a Fergie-vibe to it, Spears discovers new territory, explaining in an interview with Ryan Seacrest that “Glory” is the “most hip-hop album” she has done to date, according to Billboard. And it certainly suits her well.
We also hear classic Britney in “Do You Wanna Come Over?” It has 2003 written all over it, especially with the screaming male ‘cheerleader’ in the background. So Britney. We can’t escape it.
Now, Britney’s never been shy to give a little burlesque flair here and there either, and with the songs “Private Show” and “Clumsy,” she succeeded without sounding cliché or corny. “Private Show” is traditionally sexy—a song that you can dance to, well, privately; but it’s “Clumsy” that could really get you and your friends dancing during a night out. Welcome to the “Moulin Spears.”
Her confidence and strength shines in “Just Like Me,” steering away from her usual self-pity and begging for a man’s love. “She looks just like me…She can have you.” We’ve seen that transition with “…Baby One More Time,” when “her loneliness was killing her,” to “Stronger,” when her “loneliness ain’t killing her no more.” Iconic.
This is indeed a new era for Britney.
Although “Britney Spears,” the name, has branded itself in such a way, ultimately creating a legacy based on an entirely different persona, the fans who truly know her know that she is multi-layered. She is the epitome of pop, yes, but she’s also incredibly human. She is an innovator who introduced a special world for listeners who want to feel and be happy, even if she wasn’t.
Through her hits and famous dance moves, we get a sense of happiness and nostalgia, and, sometimes, we need a little bit of that as a way to escape from the world around us. “Toxic,” a somewhat generic song about being addicted to a guy, could start playing in the grocery store, and you might find yourself dancing, pretending you’re “airline stewardess Britney,” just feeling happy. There’s no sentimental meaning behind the song, but it still sparks an emotion of some sort.
This is what makes her a legend, because, even with the “pop-façade,” we’ve all grown up with her. Our parents had Madonna and Cher, and we have Britney.
And, side-note, the amount of comebacks she’s had should mean something. She keeps her fan-base pleased. So, thank you, Britney.
With that said, this comeback may just be her best one yet. “Glory” is a step in the right direction, one that Spears has full control of. Although she remains true to the image she initially constructed during her teens, it’s clear that her vocals have somewhat improved, she’s confident, and she’s not afraid to try new things. Without the drama and the publicity stunts, it’s an album that should make you dance wherever you are, jam out to in the car, and feel young again. Simply put, it’s Britney, bitch. So just enjoy.