Friday, December 3, 2010

Britney Spears: A Look Back At Her Singles ... So Far

With her new album due in March, we revisit some of the pop princess' many hits.
By Jocelyn Vena


Britney Spears
Photo: Jive

Now that Britney Spears has announced that she will be releasing a new album in March 2011, fans must be wondering what her latest musical endeavor will sound like. The as-yet-untitled effort is a follow-up to 2008's well-received Circus, which helped resurrect the singer's career after a dark time in her life. No information regarding the upcoming album has emerged, but Britney's faithful followers have watched her change up her look and sound with each single over the span of her decade-plus career, as she evolved from a bubblegum-pop princess to a sexy dance-club siren. Let's trace Spears' musical journey by taking a look at some of her most memorable tunes.

In 1999, a fresh-faced Spears released " ...Baby One More Time" (produced by Max Martin), the title track off her massive debut album. She got the conversation about her sexuality started thanks to a provocative video in which she danced around in a Catholic school uniform, as well as the song's equally provocative lyrics, where she longingly sang, "My loneliness is killing me/ I must confess, I still believe/ When I'm not with you I lose my mind/ Give me a sign/ Hit me baby one more time." It's to be noted that the song originally was intended for TLC.

In the video for "Oops! ... I Did It Again" (produced by Martin and Rami Yacoub), Spears' smash from the 2000 album of the same name, the pigtails and skirt were gone, replaced by a red catsuit. That visual, as well as the song's lyrical content, reflected Spears' evolution from naughty schoolgirl to intergalactic sex kitten, both in her video and on the song's lyrical content.

For "I'm a Slave 4 U" (produced by the Neptunes) off 2001's Britney, Spears declared her sexual independence. No longer was she just teasing about the idea that she loved the beat of dance music and how sexy it made her feel, instead she was explicitly sharing it with the world. Plus, who could forget all the sweat in that video.

In 2003, Spears teamed up with the Queen of Pop, Madonna, for "Me Against the Music" (produced by Christopher Stewart and Penelope Magnet), the sexy lead single from In the Zone. While the darker, more synth-heavy "Toxic" would become the album's defining tune, "Me Against the Music" picked up where "Slave" left off: Spears battling the demon she has inside of her that just loves to come out on the dance floor.

After a few years of not putting out any music, Spears hit the club again with 2007's "Gimme More" (produced by Danja) off the aptly titled Blackout. Between the release of In the Zone and Blackout, Spears had married, divorced and become a mother — she also had started to act erratically. The track, which relied more heavily on underground dance and electro than most of Spears' previous singles, was a highly sexualized tune about getting it on.

After the darkness of Blackout, Spears got back to her fun and frolicking old ways on the 2008 Circus single "Womanizer" (produced by the Outsyders). The track was a return to form for Spears after the lackluster response to Blackout, and it brought the discussion back around to her music and away from her sometimes topsy-turvy personal life. In the song's video, Spears gets back at a player, and really has the last laugh. The clip also features ffotage of a completely nude Britney in a steamy sauna.

In 2009, Spears shot to the top of the charts with the danceable track "Three" (produced by Martin and Shellback) off The Singles Collection. The tune was an instant smash, and featured Spears robotically singing about a ménage à trois over a club beat.

As for what's next for the singer, very little is known about her forthcoming album, although a couple of her producers have dropped some hints. Dr. Luke said that the music will "be a departure from what you've heard," while Danja called it "hard-hitting, uptempo [and] high-energy." Spears, meanwhile, is very clear about how she thinks the record is sounding. "I AM IN L-O-V-E WITH IT!" she tweeted.

Are you looking forward to Britney's new album? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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