From the Vault...


Britney Spears

© Jive Records

Year of Release: 2001

track listing
  • I'm A Slave 4 U
  • Overprotected
  • Lonely
  • I'm Not A Girl
    Not Yet A Woman
  • Boys
  • Anticipating
  • I Love Rock 'N' Roll
  • Cinderella
  • Let Me Be
  • Bombastic Love
  • That's Where
    You Take Me
  • What It's Like To Be Me

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    Britney Spears

    I am not a teenager. I am not a female teenager. I am an "old man" for listening to this week's Album Pick of the Week, as Britney Spears marks her debut on WSVNRadio. Britney Spears back in 2001 was a "teenage girl's favorite." (Just as today, it's Miley Cyrus.) It's not that I really want to listen to today's "hip" music, or the fact that I can say I really really like this kind of music. It's because every album Britney Spears released (until she had "personal problems") reached #1 on the Billboard albums chart. By 2001, she had one #1 song, the infamous "Baby One More Time." She would not have another #1 song until the year 2008. She was all grown up by then, she had kids, and her personal problems had somewhat ceased. (Remember when she shaved her head?) "Womanizer" would be her second #1 song, and you know she really grew up when her third number one hit, "3" -- a song about menage a trois, and how "normal" it was to have one. (If you don't know what this means, look it up.)

    But let's go back in time, as we look at Britney Spears' third release of her career, Britney. Britney was 20 years old when this album was released (2001), and her "innocence" was easily growing away. When she first emerged with ...Baby One More Time, the Mickey Mouse mouseketeer was cute, innocent, and every young girl's role model. Of course, just observing her looks at the tender age of 18 when her first album came out, everyone knew she would blossom into a beautiful young woman, and hoping the innocence would still remain. (Remember Debbie Gibson?)

    I wasn't heavily into her music when she became popular (and still am not today). Other than being "eye candy" in her later years, she did blossom, but with controversial issues, which we all know about. Listening to her Britney album, I can't help but feel that this kind of music does appeal to the younger female teenagers back in 2001. Take for instance, the first three tracks: "I'm A Slave 4 U," "Overprotected," "Lonely." Her voice sounds like helium. I just can't get into this kind of music. However, the ballad "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman" shines brightly, and more songs like this, could easily make Britney Spears a more serious singer. But the music goes back to the upbeat, helium-voice on the next track, "Boys." A typical dance beat, heard on many current Pop and Hip Hop tracks, it's just nice not to hear Britney try to impersonate a hip hop rapper, where that kind of singing just gets a little annoying. "Boys" does sound better than the first three tracks. Even "Anticipating" is hopeful, with its upbeat track, as heard on other female artists songs, such as Jennifer Lopez and Janet Jackson. (At this point, the Britney album is getting much better...)

    There's always at least or two remakes on a Britney Spears release. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts' "I Love Rock 'N' Roll" is on here, and no one comes even close in beating the original version. Britney's version has a more Prince feel (as on most songs on this release), and her voice is still helium inclined. "Cinderella," "Let Me Be," "Bombastic Love" all return with the upbeat rhythms, helium singing. (Nothing to rant and rave about, but most of all the songs are just basically sounding the same here.) "That's Where You Take Me" is not as fast paced, but it has the basic Britney sound heard throughout this release. When she sings the title of this song, it sounds like a faster version of 'NSync's "I Want It That Way." "What's It Like To Be Me" returns once again with the upbeat rhythms.

    This is young teenaged girls music. Before Britney became "more adult," I'm sure her early albums were on Disney radio, where she was being inspired as the perfect role model for young teenagers. (She was a mousketeer, just as her former boyfriend was, Justin Timberlake.)

    But, like other teenaged popular music artists and movie stars of this age, they all grew up. Many of the young teenaged girls who looked up to Britney, were very disappointed. She grew up, leaving behind the innocence, and stripped down to almost nothing to wear on stage, and started hanging out with the wrong crowds. She had her personal problems as well. But looking back at the "innocent age" of Britney, it's just an inspiration to the young American teenage kids, most likely for the teenaged girls, where they looked up to her at the time, and for the young teenaged boys, Britney Spears just made them all drool. Nowadays, Britney Spears makes every male drool, old and young alike, whether they want to admit it or not.

    For the old folks as myself, Britney Spears is basically eye candy. Her singing here is just as listening to this year's constestants on American Idol. Her most serious song on Britney is "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman." The rest is basically teenaged bubblegum music, (Pop Britney), that will only be enjoyed by the teenagers of 2001 and a few years afterwards, and of course, the die hard Britney fans who was young like her starting out, and then proceeded to keep following up on her musical (and maybe her personal) career.

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    Previous Review: #1191
    Luther Vandross--Dance With My Father
    Next Review: #1193
    Mannheim Steamroller--Christmas Extraordinaire