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Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Top Ten Singles By... Britney Spears

Now that Britney's a judge on X-Factor USA (which you should be watching, by the way), I thought it would be a fitting time to look back at her surprisingly extensive catalogue. I'm not sure I'd ever point to her as being a real musical "artist," but that doesn't mean that she hasn't released some excellent pop music in the last thirteen years.

10. Overprotected (2002) - From my personal favorite album of hers (and the most overlooked), this re-calibrated the Max Martin sound just enough to stand out as an edgier, more urban direction for her.

9. Everytime (2004) - My favorite Spears ballad. The spare, haunting piano draws you in even before the melody starts. It's restrained, sad, and very memorable.

8. Born To Make You Happy (1999) - One of the many pure pop moments on her debut, this was only released as a single internationally. It's a pity. Even though the lyrics are cringeworthy, the glossy melody is sonic bliss.

7. I Wanna Go (2011) - It's the damned whistles! I loved this from the moment I heard it. So catchy, yet it doesn't try too hard. This is a producer's showcase, but the production is ace.

6. Piece Of Me (2007) - Released during her... troubled years... this was co-written by none other than Klas Åhlund, famous for his work with Swedish pop legend Robyn. In fact, Robyn even provided backing vocals. That explains why it's so smart and engaging.

5. Oops!... I Did It Again (2000) - After ...Baby One More Time, Britney had to release something just as huge in order to stay relevant. This wasn't quite up to par--being much more novelty in nature--but it still stands as one of her indelible classics, delivering a one two punch when combined with the aforementioned Time.

4. Toxic (2004) - A much needed sonic change for her. At the time, the combination of surf guitars and glossy pop sounded practically revolutionary. It still holds up well today.

3. Sometimes (1999) - So. Freaking. Cheesy. But you know what? You just can't deny that melody. It's pop that doesn't care about being cool or reinventing the wheel. Instead, it focuses on being relentlessly singalong and one of the sweetest, least-calculated moments in her career.

2. I'm A Slave 4 U (2001) - Her first major reinvention, and it was a slam dunk. This time, Britney took inspiration from one of her idols, Janet Jackson, and went for an edgier, more urban sound that was at once more subtle and much more mature. This still sounds amazing in 2012.

1. ...Baby One More Time (1998) - Her first, and still her best. I mean, come on! How can you argue against something like this. It's turned from song to statement to the stuff of cheesy pop legends.

So there you go! But here's the thing, no list is complete without hearing what you think! Leave your top ten Britney Spears songs in the comments!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only thing missing is: It's Britney, bitch.

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here are mine, I really had to sit down and think about this!

10 – Anticipating
Call me old fashioned, but I love me a good modern-day ‘Roller-rink’ song. It’s right up there with Justin Timberlake’s “Rock Your Body” as one of my all-time favourite roller-rink songs. Now to be fair, I’ve never been to a roller-rink but should I ever attend, you have to be damn sure this song will be played. It’s simple pop perfection.

9 - Over To You Now
This super rare b-side was on Japan’s EP for “Someday (I’ll Understand)” which was the make shift single for Britney & Kevin’s Chaotic show. I love the electronic, space voyage sounds. It was just a lot of fun to listen to and extremely different at the time.

8 - Don’t Hang Up
This was a bonus track on my favourite Britney album, “In The Zone.” Again it was different sounding track. It had a somewhat-upbeat, dreamy production. Kind of like the type of song that you would roll around on your bed at 1am listening to. Just me? Maybe.

7 - If U Seek Amy
Britney’s “Circus” album was a HUGE achievement in my eyes. She was on an upswing from her terrible downward spiral of her “Blackout” days and this track was sassy, provocative and marked the return of the pop princess we had all missed. That doesn’t even cover the fact that the track was super infectious and the video was brilliant. Ha-ha- he-he-ha-ha-ho.

6 - Baby One More Time/Oops…I Did It Again/I’m A Slave For You
These three tracks are grouped together because each one was instrumental to creating the icon we all know and love. “Baby” launched the artist, “Oops” proved that she could do it again, and “Slave” proved that she was here to stay. It’s really unfortunate that “Me Against The Music” didn’t continue that trend (though it did have Madonna) but these three hits have not only built a career but began the dynasty.

5 – Stronger
What I loved about Stronger was the how it was the first real DANCE single we got. Sure her other tracks were upbeat-ish, but we really didn’t have a song that you could bust out in the club. But “Stronger” really brought Britney into the clubs without NEEDING a remix to belong. (And if you know me, I love to dance).

4 - Til The World Ends
This hit surprised EVERYONE. “Hold It Against Me” made a big splash but quickly disappeared and I felt that “Til The World Ends” was kind of thrown at us as a distraction as the label tried to figure out what could be done to save this album. But the track stuck, hard. It gained lots of play and the album began to really take off. Without it, I think the album would have fizzled quickly and would’ve been a complete write-off after a third single.

3 – Toxic
This track earned Britney Spears her ONLY Grammy Award. It’s really a shame considering the career she has had but the track is brilliant. I think most fans appreciate the catchy hook, the playful video and the seductive lyrics. It is truly one of her best tracks.

2 - Lucky
It is REALLY hard for me to put into words why I love this track so much. Maybe because it tells a story, maybe it has Britney crying, maybe it was the obvious metaphor to Britney’s own life (hint: she’s Lucky) but whatever it was, I have always loved this track.

1 - Breathe On Me
When I think Britney Spears, I think sex. Even as a gay man, I think sex. Her music is often scandalous and provocative but this track was more sensual and beautiful. It wasn’t about getting your rocks off, but really feeling the sensuality and connection with another person. The airy, breathy lyrics along with the deep, steady beat really just struck a nerve with me and thus became my all-time favourite Britney Spears track.

9:23 PM  
Blogger mondal said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:12 AM  
Blogger mondal said...

I have always wanted a peak into his mind because his lyrics of the song'Hits From Another Planet' make me think so much.
Concert Tickets

12:15 AM  
Blogger Zen said...

10: Womanizer
Loved it when she performed it on the Femme Fatale Tour!

09: Hold It Against Me
Such a different sound from her, and it is quite epic in my opinion

08: Circus
She has to tell you all who is running this town - cause no one else can do it like her!

07: Break The Ice
Pure dance track, very sensual

06: Up 'N' Down
Favourite non-single track, just fell in love with it the moment I heard it

05: Baby One More Time
Can't go wrong with the classic, it holds a special place in my heart :3

04: I'm A Slave 4 U
No matter how she performs it, you can't help feel hot and bothered... in all the right ways

03: Overprotected
My mid-life crisis song... No, but it has helped me through tough times

02: Stronger
Great message, and it proved how amazing she is on her feet

01: (You Drive Me) Crazy
All-time favourite! So catchy, vivid, and those bells in the background makes it keep ringing in my head!

It's hard to just pick 10 d":

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Caleb said...

Im not a huge Britney fan but i grew up on her music so she's just always gonna be apart of me (music wise)... I was really happy to see that "Sometimes" made the list. I remember when it came out and for some reason i loved that song. Like you said, its ridiculously cheesy but the melody sticks in your head.
Great top ten Nick!


5:53 PM  

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