I'm a big fan of Britney Spears since HMBOMT hit the air waves when I was in High School. Since that moment I became a super fan and loved everything she did in the follow up albums. I remember when Britney was the coolest star out there and when cutting edge moments on albums including Breathe on Me were the norm. Britney was a trend setter and a game changer. Nothing could stop her.
Then Blackout happened and I declared from that moment on that nothing Britney ever did would stop me being a die hard eternal fan because with music that good, that innovative, that contemporary... She had released a album that would possibly be my all time favourite album ever. I recall just being amazed by Break The Ice, Get Naked (I got a Plan) and Heaven on Earth. Oh and don't even get me started on how insanely good Get Back was.
Britney's team were desperate to get her star power and image back after Blackout so invested heavily in CIRCUS. A huge album that spawned over 500,000 US sales in its first week (difficult to imagine in 2018). But her team wanted her to get those number 1 hits. Womanizer was the most expensive video of that year and Circus had an empowering theme that connected to old and new fans. Britney was essentially something other than a *** kitten and it paid off. A fantastic ballad also featured in Out from Under and the fan favourite Unusual You (coupled with Danja's Kill The Lights) meant this was a Britney Classic.
Then Femme Fetale hit, and with over 500,000 sales of the lead single HIAM who cared if the album felt a little generic or impersonal, it did not matter because the huge monster hits were there, TTWE and of course IWGo all spawned huge international hits that fit perfectly in Britney's legacy. Oh and throw in classic moments such as Inside Out, Criminal and the innovative How I Roll and the fans and public were happy. As a die hard fan I couldn't help but reflect that Britney's team were getting a little complacent from the art work/ concept of FF and the general depth of the album that seemed distinctly impersonal compared to Circus, but hey, this is an abstract view, but I sensed after FF we desperately needed a more urban and thoughtful album that focused on Britney's overall image that could connect meaningfully with its fan base but more importantly, the younger generation.
Then came Scream and Shout, and Britney's team were clearly blown away, a HUGE international hit with Britney at the heart of it! Yes, lets get the medicare and lacklustre William to create and produce the iconic star's album. I was so shocked when this album released and how grotesque it appeared that Larry had the audacity to say this was Britney's most... 'personal to date'. It was so incongruent and that album sounded so dated, as in early 2000's material for Z-lister stars. I couldn't understand why her team didn't seem to give a damn about keeping her relevant, cool and offering her gold hits? Then perfume was released with a very mundane video because the original video (the creative and interesting video had been scalped) had been kept aside due to fear of damaging Britney's appeal (and Vegas tickets I am sure). I can never forgive William and Britney's team for destroying her legacy in one terrible move. Two singles, one that charted outside the top ten the other didn't even make a dent. Sigh. And this is all after FF. What happened? William happened. And Britney'e team allowed it to happen. Britney can only ever be as good the team around her, she can shine so brightly, but only if she has worthy people around her. Work ***** was okay, but after FF I think it was a poor choice due to needing to connect with a fan base and public that want more than hard beats and **** images. Times have changed and are changing fast. Work ***** was okay. Its an anthem. But did nothing to grow Britney's fan base or make her appear cool and contemporary.
Then I remembered Blackout. Its okay told myself, her team would eventually get get back on top in a huge return to the music scene, with a killer video, amazing remixes, right? I mean why not? This is a huge star with huge star power, why not invest in that star power? Strangely, we then get Glory. For me personally, I never now listen to this album. Im not hating here, but I am stating clearly that there are no classic Brtiney hits in my mind. The sounds were following trends. It sounded liken a B-side to FF. I want more How I Roll's, more Breathe on Me's, heck I want a new Toxic. Im not in the past here, but I know what Britney is capable of, and Make Me just did not cut it. Perhaps if the music video was even a 4/10 I might have been more kindly, but that video was the WORST video of Britney's career. And to top it off, she looks once again like a middle aged *** kitten hooking up with the cast of her video, not the right image in 2018 where woman and girls are far more aware of standing up for empowerment, having a strong mind set and generally having depth. I hated the released video, it was generic, uncool, dated, bland, boring... and this is Britney freaking Spears. What the heck happened?
Oh yeah, Vegas. Why bother investing in her when her team and everyone around her are making a ton of $$$. Whats the point? Well in my mind a star even as big as Britney can only thrive on legacy and star power for so long. The new Vegas Domination advert is using TTWE and thats for a reason. There are no hits to use following FF that could be used (regardless of what you think about the music). Without the music, without the team around Brtiney, without the newsworthy music videos, without the stylists, without the care and dedication, without the innovative producers and writers, then Britney will forever be a star of the past. What good are endless Vegas shows if the music never matches the investment in her gigs?
In my humble opinion Britney needs a break to reflect and to drive for a number one smash hit with an incredible cutting edge video (can you even imagine that in 2018?) and a concept album that for once veers away from **** facial imagery, **** moves, and actually incorporates *** appeal with some kind of awesomeness, whatever that might be (whether it be concept, lyrics, video, visuals, depth, personal investment, current producers/ anything...)
To be honest, at this stage I have to expect nothing and to be disappointed and to reach for Blackout and ITZone and remind myself why I will always be a huge fan of this legendary and iconic super star. But what good is a legendary superstar with no current hits? Sure it makes people a ton of $$$ but is that enough? Is it fair to Britney or her fans?
Thanks for listening, this post has been building up for so many years!