Criticism | With confident and measured production, ‘Glory’ is Britney Spears’ best album since ‘Blackout’

Seventeen years and eight albums later, Britney Spears will deliver the last work of her career (at least for now). After the critical and commercial failure of ‘Britney Jean’, an attack that attempted to channel EDM into complex and excessive experimentalism, the Princess of Pop decided to return to the late 1990s and early 2000s. to start thinking about your neighbor. Having started working on another compilation of originals early on, it took the singer-songwriter three years to pick the right names to accompany him on this new journey – which would become known as “Glory “.

It was only natural that audiences walked away after being disappointed with the frustrating outcome of the previous album – which, despite having their hearts in the right place, failed to create an identity reminiscent of the style. Britney from the past decade. Still, things seemed to be going well: the performer was renewing his contract with RCA Records and not working under the pressure of a deadline, which could take the time needed to concentrate on the music. With the release of the fun single “Make Me …” in July 2016, in collaboration with rapper G-Eazy and acclaimed producer and songwriter Burns, fans went wild when they realized the iconic pop star was ready to bounce back. in shape. . . .

The magazine in question decided to choose the luxury edition to analyze, on the grounds of bringing no less than eight additional tracks which were excluded from the standard version and which deserve our attention. And, as one takes the time to pay attention to the unfolding narratives and the exquisite care of the phonographic construction, one realizes that ‘Glory’ is awe-inspiring in the messages it intends to evoke, guided by a simplicity. passionate who never despairs at any time and it reveals a more intimate and personal side to Spears (something we haven’t seen since the justifiable angry and cynical rant of ‘Blackout’, which came out as a poignant response to the media narcissism of the paparazzi). Indeed, it is there that the artist shows an enviable confidence and a maturity which goes back to the time of ‘In The Zone’, remaining faithful to an enveloping sensuality and a lyrical ambiguity that makes us ask for more.

There is a solid amount of really good tracks in the measured spectrum of the album: “Make Me …” flirts with mid-tempo electro-pop and R&B and uses every known formula to its advantage, including including the romantic plot, the beats. and a chorus accompanied only by the words of the title. However, it is “Slumber Party” that steals the show; produced by Swedish duo Mattman & Robin, the track moves away from the explored elements of neither ‘Glory’ and allows a different kind of reggae-pop to surface, brushed with the dizzying chemistry between Britney and Tinashe and the unexpected presence of marimbas and trumpets.

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In addition to the instrumental forays, it’s Spears ‘vocal performances that grab our attention, mainly because they move away from the excessive use of autotune seen in’ Britney Jean ‘and even in’ Femme Fatale ‘and’ Circus’. The assignments are handpicked and with an interesting purpose that takes the conceptual attempts of the early 2010s and invests categorical time to make them work – as seen in the dreamlike, dreamlike opening of “Invitation” and in the deep-pop of the memorable “Do you want to come?” ”(Whose mix of styles is fun and meets premeditated expectations). In a similar scope, we find the reverberating modulations of “Clumsy”, “Change Your Mind (No Seas Cortes)” and “Hard To Forget Ya”, the latter picking up very familiar elements raised to the tenth power.

Not all iterations work, as with the tedious repetition of “Just Like Me”. The song, set in the transition from act one to act two, may have been misplaced: it begins with finger snaps and the recognizable guitar melody, with both keys being pushed aside in favor of a pre-chorus and an exhausting chorus that keeps repeating the title (something that doesn’t work because it’s reminiscent of the first single, for example). “Private Show” also stumbles over the same obstacles, having no idea what to do with the doo-wop he uses or how to ally himself with Spears’ excessive theatricality. Meanwhile, “If I’m Dancing” works like an R&B scam absorbed by Beyoncé in “4”, and “Electric Cut”, though straight into sonic experimentalism, wrong to choose to pose inside. a French pseudo-Inexplicable.

It’s almost ironic that it’s the bonuses of the deluxe version that boost production – and we can only thank the performer for giving them to us. “Liar” fuels an electro-country-pop filled with very thoughtful verses; “Mood Ring”, directed by Dijon McFarlane, is an electro-R & B which makes great use of the aspects at its disposal; and finally, we have the candid and thoughtful exuberance of “Swimming in the Stars” (one of the best songs of Britney’s career) and the addicting collaboration of “Matches”, performed with the legendary band Backstreet Boys.

“Glory” marks the princess of pop’s return to form – and we couldn’t be happier. Although it has been five years since her last artistic breath in the music industry, we know that she has faced a long process of liberation from her family and her producers, but when she decides to return, we hope she takes a path similar to this one. (which Britney managed to show off as Britney like never before).

Rating per track:

1. Invitation – 3.5 / 5
2. Do you want to come? – 3.5 / 5
3. Make me… (feat. G-Eazy) – 3.5 / 5
4. Private show – 2/5
5. The man on the moon – 4/5
6. Just love me – 3.5 / 5
7. Clumsy – 3.5 / 5
8. Pajama party – 4.5 / 5
9. Just like me – 2.5 / 5
10. Love me down – 3/5
11. Hard to forget Ya – 3.5 / 5
12. What you need – 3/5
13. Better – 3.5 / 5
14. Change Your Mind (No Seas Cortes) – 4/5
15. Liar – 4/5
16. If I dance – 2/5
17. Electrical Cutout – 3/5
18. Mood ring (on demand) – 3.5 / 5
19. Swimming in the stars – 5/5
20. Matches (with Backstreet Boys) – 4/5

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