MUSE: Britney Spears’ “Britney Jean”

By Olivia Shur, Staff Writer

When thinking of artists that pour their heart into their music, Britney Spears is usually not at the top of the list. However, with the release of her newest album, “Britney Jean,” that is soon to change.

Regardless of her rocky roller-coaster ride through the past 14 years, Spears has never failed to release catchy, bass-pumping, roll-all-the-windows-down pop bangers. However, that’s all they really were: formulaic pop songs sure to rake in the millions. Add some controversial music videos with intense dance numbers and lavish sets, and the sell is guaranteed.

“Britney Jean,” however, reveals a more emotional, personal side of Spears that listeners haven’t really heard before.

For the first time, Spears co-wrote every single track on the album, as opposed to 2011’s “Femme Fatale” in which she contributed to a whopping total of zero tracks.

Spears’ newfound voice is evident in songs like the ballad, “Perfume,” in which Spears sings of still longing for a lover that is now in-love with someone else. Spears adds bitterness to the song, making it more personal but still with her trademark sassiness.

Spears also shows some sisterly love on the track, “Chillin’ With You,” in which she collaborated for the first time with her younger sister, Jamie Lynn.

Other collaborations on the album include “It Should Be Easy,” with pop guru will.i.am. The song itself has more of a dance vibe than classic pop, while the song’s lyrics are simple and sweet, and not as vulgar as some of Spears’ lyrics usually are.

On the opposite side of the spectrum is “Tik Tik Boom” featuring rapper T.I. The song, with a slow back-beat and blatantly sexual lyrics, will have listeners turning it down whenever their parents are slightly in earshot.

The fierceness that is expected out of a pop queen like Spears is also evident in the album’s smash hit, “Work B**ch.” The song is an ode to Spears’ long journey as a pop sensation.

If fans are disappointed with the lack of lavish sets and dance-heavy videos, then no fear. With sharks, hot cars and tributes to many of Spears’ former dance numbers, the video for “Work B**ch” makes up for it.

For Spears’ first time co-writing each and every track, the album isn’t necessarily bad. While it’s lovely to get a glimpse into Spears’ personal thoughts and feelings, the songs do fall a bit flat. One possibility is Spears simply does not have the vocal strength that rival pop-stars, like Beyonce and Christina Aguilera, possess; both of whom have the ability to bring audiences to tears with their ballads. Both have also released songs that are more stripped-down, like Aguilera’s classic tear-jerker “Hurt” and Beyonce’s “If I Were a Boy.”

Though Spears’ vocal abilities have a reputation for being everywhere from non-existent to barely acceptable, no one truly knows if the superstar has the ability to hit the notes – and this album could’ve been Spears’ opportunity to do so.

Watch Britney Spears’ “Work B**ch” below:

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