Britney Spears is at a strange point in her career, a crossroads if you'd like. (I hope you get that joke.) As with all female pop stars over the age of 30, especially with a long career like Britney, she has two choices ahead of her. She can either continue to play the pop game, battling against the ingenue pop girls such as Ariana Grande and (ugh) Meghan Trainor, or bow out quietly and settle for becoming a "legacy act" who never gets songs on the radio a la Madonna, or Mariah Carey. With new album Glory, it seems that Britney is choosing to make a claim for the pop throne she relinquished years ago.
Britney's last release was the dead on arrival Britney Jean, an album which was half sung by someone else and with music that was dated before it was even mixed and mastered. It spawned the instantly iconic single "Work Bitch", but that's about where all the fun stops. Anyway, on to Glory, which is an ambitious title in itself when coming off the back of one of the worst albums ever...
The album opens with "Invitation", it's spacey, atmospheric and sounds a little bit like something off of Selena Gomez' latest release Revival. Britney coos over a sparse beat, "yes or no but no maybe, ain't gonna beg so don't make me." Following is album standout "Do You Wanna Come Over", which was penned by hit churning duo Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter. It's classic Britney camp, with a dash of her brand of silly sexy sprinkled on top. It's pure pop perfection. "Man On The Moon" is a mid tempo unlike anything Britney has released before, co-written with Phoebe Ryan, it's dreamy and romantic. "Now there's meaning in the saddest songs, all I do is cry and sing along. Drinking alone in my party dress, won't you come back if I look my best?" HEARTBROKEN by B. Next is "Slumber Party", it is a rollercoaster ride of wink wink sexy. It makes me want to slather myself in glitter glue and roll around in confetti. Try not to get that image stuck in your head.
Unfortunately, Glory isn't perfect from start to finish. It has a few missteps in "Private Show", a nasally Ariana Grande-lite affair, and "Love Me Down" which is just about as generic as you can get. Ouch.
However, Britney has truly come for pop gold with this album. She sounds more present on these recordings than she has in years, pushing her vocals past the lazy breathy efforts on her last couple of albums. Bonus: it's actually her singing, I trust these ears, and I can't hear a single note from Myah Marie (Britney Jean's lead vocalist) on this set. Thank God. It's a confident, joyful record packed with personality from the woman that everybody wants to count out. It's Britney Bitch.