Every time Britney Spears drops a new album, the media calls it her “comeback” moment. Just take a look at the following tweets and headlines below.
Britney Spears’ Comeback Album Leaked https://t.co/ujLsPBFzlz
— CelebMix (@CelebMix) August 21, 2016
We’re a week away from Britney Spears’s comeback album Glory – and there’s finally a full tracklist https://t.co/SfVDkwfRqe
— DS Breaking News (@digitalspybrk) August 19, 2016
Britney Spears is turning the MTV VMAs into her own Private Show for the comeback of a lifetime https://t.co/0asngePwkk
— Digital Spy Music (@digitalspymusic) August 16, 2016
— Gayety (@Gayetyco) August 9, 2016
— EW Flashback (@EWFlashback) August 3, 2016
Little do they know; Britney Spears has secured her comeback years ago when she bounced back after shortly after her highly publicized breakdown. Here are some examples as to how the 35-year-old performer made her comeback with each album era since 2008.
Comeback album: Circus
Comeback moment: For The Record MTV special
Circus was the sixth studio album and the follow-up to her 2007 critically-acclaimed album, Blackout. Although her previous work was praised by fans and critics, Spears said that she wanted to make a “light” album by incorporating both electro-pop and dance-pop music. Spears started working on the album shortly after she was placed under a temporary conservatorship after her highly-publicized breakdown.
To document her big return to music, MTV aired a 90-minute documentary, Britney: For the Record, on November 30, 2008. Although she barely addressed what really happened during her turbulent time, it was still hailed as one of the most honest and rawest things that Britney has ever done in her life, aside from her short-lived reality show, Chaotic.
The lead single “Womanizer” was the perfect comeback single for America’s former pop princess. The music video was reminiscent of “Toxic” and even featured a very naked Britney singing and slithering around inside a humid sauna. The song hit the Billboard Hot 100 and became the best-selling song since her smash hit “…Baby One More Time.”
Circus received rave reviews from music critics, even though they were turned off by some of its lyrical content. Fans were also mixed over the album since they wanted something dark and dangerous like Blackout. They were also disappointed that Spears had little input on the album except for the following tracks: “Mmm Papi,” “Mannequin,” and “My Baby.”
Comeback album: Femme Fatale
Comeback moment: “Hold It Against Me”
On March, 25, 2011, Spears released, Femme Fatale. Before the album’s release, she hinted that she wanted to make a “fierce dance album,” which turned into a safe pop album. This album included a long list of songwriters and producers, including Max Martin, Dr. Luke, William Orbit, Bloodshy & Avant, will.i.am., and StarGate.
Femme Fatale received lukewarm reviews from music critics who complimented its flawless production but noted Britney’s lack of involvement and overly auto-tuned vocals. Britney had zero writing credits on the album, aside from the bonus track “Scary,” which was featured on the Japanese release. However, it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in its first week and sold 276,000 copies.
“Hold It Against Me” was the lead single, which was heavily teased and promoted for much of January and February 2011. It finally premiered on Feb. 17, 2011 after a lengthy two-week teaser campaign and featured Spears as an alien who became famous on Earth but became overwhelmed by her celebrity and breaks down. It also included a scene of Spears fighting with herself. Fans assumed that the video mimicked Spears’ waking life in the public eye.
In addition, the video for her third single, “I Wanna Go,” seemed to hint that the singer wanted to go back to her wild ways.
Comeback album: Britney Jean
Comeback moment: Britney: Piece of Me
Britney Jean is the eighth studio album and her “most personal album” to date. However, it kicked off with the lead single “Work B****,” which is more of a nightclub jam rather than a personal ballad. The song debuted and peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. Still, Spears had complete control of the album, in which she co-wrote each track, and collaborated with other songwriters and producers such as Sia and will.i.am.
Upon its release on Nov. 4, 2013, it received mixed reviews from fans and music critics who were disappointed with the dated production and lack of personal material. Fans were hoping that Brit would at least address her breakdown or her high-profile relationships. But, instead, they got a duet with her sister Jamie Lynn on “Chilling With You.” Britney also sang about having freedom on the track “Passenger,” which was contrary to the constant reports about her lifetime conservatorship.
Despite a lackluster release, Spears secured her comeback to announce her two-year residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino called Britney: Piece of Me, which kicked off on December 2013, and has been extended through 2017. The show has been well received by both fans and critics alike and has generated well over $85 million. The newly revamped show opened on Feb. 13, 2016, includes costumes changes and a different setlist.
Both Britney Jean and Piece of Me was heavily promoted during her two-hour documentary, I Am Britney Jean: Britney Spears’ Road to Las Vegas, which premiered on the E! network on Dec. 22.
Comeback album: Glory
Comeback Moment: “Make Me…”
Glory is the highly-anticipated new album that’s set to drop on Friday, Aug. 26. However, the album has already leaked online because of a music store in Mexico that accidentally sold out a week ahead, according to Billboard. Fans who purchased the album from the store posted the tracks on various social media sites, but Britney’s team was quick to remove the links.
So far, Spears has released the first single “Make Me…” on July 15. It debuted at No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and sold 96,000 copies during its first week. But the buzz surrounding the music video for the single is what had everyone talking. The original video was supposed to show Spears having sex with rapper G-Eazy, who’s vocals are heavily featured on the song, but that version was quickly scrapped. Instead, fans got a version of the singer have a private casting call in which her and her gal pals watch men strip and gyrate for her.
She has also since teased the tracks “Invitation,” “Private Show,” “Clumsy,” and “Do You Wanna Come Over,” all of which has received rave reviews from fans and critics alike.
In recent interviews, Spears has said that she has been “more hands-on” with the album and calls it “the best thing I’ve done in a long time,” noting that she was taking her time with it because it’s her “baby.” Since the album’s leak, fans have been pleasantly surprised and love that it sounds like a cross between In The Zone and Blackout.
Amid the album release, Britney is scheduled to appear on Carpool Karaoke with talk show host James Corden. She will also perform live on stage at the 2016 MTV VMAs, eight years after her underwhelming 2007 performance.
No, Britney Spears has not had attempted a comeback several times and failed. She has secured her comeback by proving to anyone that you can pick yourself up after falling down.
[Photo Courtesy of Britney Spears/Instagram]