Album Review: Britney Spears' "Glory"

Britney Spears Takes Back The Throne With Her Ninth Release: "Glory"

            It’s hard to believe, but it’s been nearly three years since Britney Spears released her eighth studio album, Britney Jean. Needless to say, it didn’t succeed as many would have hoped. The album became the worst selling album of her entire career, which isn’t too bad considering having been in the game for nearly fifteen years, at the time. The album as a whole suffered from a huge lack of promotion, and the sales definitely reflected with that. The album, compositionally, was chaotic and didn’t really have any sense of direction. Spears also stated that it would be her “most personal album she’s ever done,” but the final product couldn’t have been further from it. Aside from a few bangers such as “Work Bitch” and “Til It’s Gone,” the album was practically forgettable alongside other much stronger releases of that year. Many thought it was the end of Britney’s career as they knew it.

            They couldn’t have been more wrong. Spears returned last Friday, August 26th, 2016 with the release of her long-awaited, ninth studio album titled Glory. Up until late last year, not much was known about the album (titled by fans as “B9”) or its production, simply only those speculated to be involved. After all, Spears has stated that she had been working on the project for nearly two and a half years, and didn’t want to finalize anything until the time was right. “I’m not in a hurry to release it. It’s my baby, so I want it to be done right,” Spears said. Spears took a different turn in musical direction, steering away from the EDM sound that plagued Britney Jean. With light and airy vocals, Glory shows Spears returning to her Pop roots, while still implementing elements from other genres to create something she’s never done before.

            What’s the most surprising about Glory is the direction that the album takes you. The transitions are seamless and flow exceptionally well as you explore each track of the album, beginning with breathy “Invitation.” Spears worked with several producers including A&R executive Karen Kwak, English DJ Burns, Cashmere Cat, and DJ Mustard. Spears stated she “really explored new things” on this album, and Glory definitely reflects that. Glory doesn’t show any seriously personal side (albeit a few tracks could pertain to previous lovers) of Britney per se, but in all honestly, this isn’t a negative thing. The production on every track showcases Spears’ many different vocal ranges, while still staying true to the dedicated sound of the album. Stand-out tracks include “Invitation,” “Man On the Moon,” and “Love Me Down.” The deluxe edition of the album includes five (yes, five) glorious bonus tracks such as “Liar” and “If I’m Dancing,” which truly complete and finish out the album. The entirety of the album is multi-lingual, with Spears singing in English, French (see ‘Coupure Électrique’), and Spanish. After all, who doesn’t love more Britney?

            Spears recently promoted the album with her live debut performance of “Make Me…” at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, alongside G-Eazy. Spears’ team stated the performance would include elements never seen before in previous performances. Viewers were also treated to a remix of G-Eazy’s “Me, Myself, and I,” which featured Spears’ vocals in place of Bebe Rexha. This marked Spears’ return to the VMA stage after nearly a decade, the same stage that almost demolished her musical career during her very public 2007 meltdown. Spears absolutely redeemed herself, smiling and looking more confident than she has in years.

            Spears will continue to promote Glory when she returns to Las Vegas for her Piece Of Me residency through next year, as well as when she takes the stage at the sold out iHeart Radio Music Festival in Vegas and Apple Music Festival in London this September. Spears’ new album is available in all its Glory on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play now.

 

Words by Curtis Vadnais