As an entertainment news writer, I often find that my love of celebrity culture and adhering to the rules of journalism occasionally clash. None more so has this action occurred than with Britney Spears, a musician I’ve been a dedicated fan of for 17 years. Throughout the good, the bad, and 2007 — an infamous year that the “Oops!… I Did It Again” singer and her fans would like to forget (minus the awesome Blackout album, which was released during that time) — I have steadfastly been by her side, even when it seemed to most that I probably wasn’t.
Two weeks ago via the Inquisitr, I reported on the debut Billboard charting of “Make Me,” the first offering from Britney’s upcoming album, Glory. Almost immediately after sharing it, I received anger-filled comments from her fans on social media who claimed that I was being “too harsh” in relaying that the song was a “flop,” a term used for something that fails right out the gate. Interestingly, I had never actually stated such a thing — what I said was that others might perceive the news of the song’s entrance on the Hot 100 chart at No. 17 as being a flop.
Truth be told, I couldn’t care less where the song made its mark that week or any other week on the Billboard chart, because for starters, I think it’s one of the best singles that Spears has ever released — which, ironically, is something I actually mentioned in another Inquisitr post. The fact that she chose to boldly stray from her common, upbeat musical re-introductions (“Work B**ch!” from Britney Jean, “Hold It Against Me” from Femme Fatale, etc.) is pretty darn stellar, and it proves that for the first time in her career, she truly doesn’t care what anyone outside of her fan base has to say about her work.
Secondly, who in their right mind would actually allow a chart to define for them what is good, and what is not? Yes, it would’ve been excellent if “Make Me” impacted stronger than it did from a business/money-making standpoint — even if, according to Money Nation, she doesn’t need the help — but what sells well never equates to what actually does well, and “Make Me” is doing extremely well when it comes to the Britney Army (the collective name of Spears’ fan base). As long as they, or better yet, we, like it, then, that’s all that should matter when it comes to enjoying her music. Now, if she would just release the video already, we’d be good.
Now, with that being said, allow me to touch base on her latest offering, “Private Show.” Initially teased in a commercial for a similarly-named fragrance, Spears released the complete version on Wednesday night as a pre-order perk for Glory (the song can be listened to in full on Apple Music or Spotify).
Similar to “Make Me” in tempo, “Private Show” slows things down and allows Spears to be a lot more sultry with her vocal prowess, which is displayed without immense alteration (or “auto-tune,” if you must) for the first time in years. Furthermore, the old-school, doo-wop feel of “Private Show” adds a layer of originality that the singer was once known and praised for on previous offerings, such as the 2-step garage influence of “That’s Where You Take Me” from 2001’s Britney and the straight-up R&B jam “I’m a Slave 4 U” from the same disc.
“Private Show” fully embodies the aspect that transformed Britney from a common pop singer in the late 90s to a full-blown pop powerhouse in the double-aughts, but yet, some have chosen to note the song as being “boring.”
I completely disagree with that declaration, and in retaliation, point out two artists who have also been lambasted by the public for not re-entering the music world with dance-ready songs and club-banging beats: Rihanna and Beyoncé. Although their styles are in no way similar to Spears or “Private Show,” both of their recent LP releases, Anti and Lemonade, have been celebrated for going against the grain of radio-friendly singles. The official premiere offerings from those discs, “Work” and “Sorry,” are somewhat upbeat, but just barely (it should also be noted that both artists have worked with Britney on past projects, but I digress). Why should they be the only ones to get away with such a switch-up?
Despite what most music listeners have had to say about her since 1998’s “…Baby One More Time,” Britney Spears has never been a one-trick pony. “Make Me” and “Private Show” prove that point without fail, and the songs solidify her as one of the best pop stars to ever step out of that genre. If those two songs are what we have to look forward to when it comes to Glory, then consider me well past the edge of it, while waiting for a smooth, seductive, and sensual landing. I’ve been hoping that she would gimme, gimme so much more than she did on the mess known as 2013’s Britney Jean, and it seems like she’s definitely on the right path to do that.
[Photo by Handout/Getty Images]