Britney Spears has made some bad career moves, but her contributions to the pop music world far outdo anything negative. Sometimes, Spears doesn’t get enough credit for putting out songs that have become soundtracks to many moments in her fans’ lives.
Picking the five best songs from Britney Spears is a daunting task. Surprisingly, Spears is at her best when singing ballads. Here are Spears’ top songs, which aren’t necessarily her biggest hits.
5. “Baby One More Time” (1999)
“Baby One More Time” is Britney’s debut single from her debut studio album of the same name. It was released in late 1998 and topped Billboard’s Hot 100 for several weeks in early 1999. The song was about the aftermath of a teenage love affair but resonated with people of all ages. To this date, it’s Spears’ most popular song.
4. “Toxic” (2004)
“Toxic” was the second release from the album In The Zone and actually saved the album from becoming a flop after the first single, “Me Against The Music” failed to produce sparks. Dance music by pop artists barely charted in 2004, so the fact that “Toxic” was a top-10 hit shows just how good the song was and how well it resonated with audiences.
According to Songfacts, “Toxic” is about a girl being addicted to a guy – not a new topic for a pop song, but the production duo Bloodshy and Avant do such an amazing job of putting the song in your head that the trite lyrics don’t matter much. Britney Spears has performed “Toxic” on almost every tour and it is a highlight of her Piece of Me show in Las Vegas.
3. “Hold It Against Me” (2011)
“Hold It Against Me” was released at the very beginning of 2011 and instantly debuted at No. 1. The Dr. Luke and Max Martin-produced track was a throwback to mid-1990s European dance music such as “Another Night” by Real McCoy.
“Hold It Against Me” received generally favorable reviews upon its release. Rolling Stone gave it four stars.
“‘Hold it Against Me’ is prime Britney, packed with aggressive electro jitters, a Euro-cheese riff that’s strangely close to AC/DC’s ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,’ and a weird breakdown where Brit moans, blows kisses, and snaps her gum.”
Like other Britney songs, some critics thought the lyrics were trite, but – once again – it was the production that made “Hold It Against Me” a massive hit that still gets repeated airplay until this day.
2. “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” (2002)
This song is proof that chart positions don’t mean everything, as it is one of Britney’s most loved songs. It was the third single release from her 2001 album Britney and far more memorable that the album’s most popular single, “I’m a Slave 4 U.”
“I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” goes way beyond just being the theme from Brit’s ill-fated movie Crossroads as it has been played at many Sweet 16 events and high school dances all over the world. The song holds a special place for teenage girls who are dealing with the pressure of becoming women.
1. “Everytime” (2004)
If someone claims that Britney Spears doesn’t have any vocal talent, “Everytime” is the perfect song to play in order to prove them wrong. “Everytime” was the follow-up to “Toxic,” and though it wasn’t as big of a hit, radio stations still played it regularly. It’s not only the best track from In The Zone, it’s the best track of Britney’s career.
According to Songfacts, the song is about Britney wanting a guy to love her unconditionally, despite her flaws and despite the fact she hurt him. Many suspect the song was written about her ex Justin Timberlake. If you think the song is emotional, just watch Britney’s amazing performance in the video, and prepare to cry.
[Photo by David Becker/Getty Images]