On Friday, the Pop Princess Britney Spears, dropped her ninth studio album titled simply “Glory”. An effort that might seem uneventful at first–given the mixed response for the album cover and of course the songs she dropped leading up to the day of the release. But as we sit down and take a listen from start to finish, we’ll find that Britney with this massive form of return, successfully delivers a smooth and evolved sound to our hopeful ears.
The first few seconds might seem confusing, which is comprehensible knowing that this picks off where Britney’s last album left off. But as the song progresses, we find that it’s the perfect if not excellent album opener. The breathy quality of Britney’s unmistakable voice almost lends to the song’s calm and welcoming atmosphere. It prepares the listeners, easing them into the album’s identity, stimulating the ears for what’s coming next.
Make Me… (feat. G-Eazy)
As for the album’s lead single, it’s far from being anything new or innovative. Although not a favorite; the snare, the well-defined synths and the backbone of the track: the raw guitar riffs, coupled with Britney’s voice softly cooing the lyrics against a massive dubstep drop, swoons a listener after a few plays. The only thing that doesn’t provide any progression to the track is G-Eazy’s mediocre rap verse. It almost makes the track confusing.Penelope Cruz plays the wife of a Drug Lord in Blow, so that reference along with the free shout-out to Ariana Grande, falls absurdly flat. But thankfully, Britney comes in at the last second to save the song with her ad-libs and an inevitable fade out.
Spears taps in on her fun side with this track. Right of the bat what’s noticeable about this song are her vocals. But the cartoon-ish timbre of her voice overshadows what’s really great about the track: the production, the very thin and what may some find “annoying” texture of her voice almost dominates the entire track. Over the years, Britney’s voice has no doubt become the subject of a gag. But she proves everyone wrong,showcasing some really interesting vocals on this song, vocals we haven’t heard from her in a long while. Couple that with the playful and inviting lyrical content and you get an incredible song.
Man On The Moon
After one mildly disappointing track and two arguably good ones, Man On The Moon proves to be a fresh breath of air. The romantic and hopeful atmosphere of the track lends very incredibly well to its mellow and controlled production. The cautious decision to not burden the track with heavy production and allow the pleasing harmonies do all the work, was obviously the right one.The almost floating-like ambience of the song given the theme of it’s lyrical content keeps it’s listener very well entertained throughout the track. As Spears decides to recycle her hook from a previous track, only to add an ‘n’ at the end, the most exciting thing on this track, among other things is when she counts down in French, possibly hinting at something to come further down the album..
Just Luv Me
The vague substitute for the word ‘love’ in it’s title might throw you off at first, added with the fact that this track is the only one on the album with a fresh name on its credits: Cashmere Cat. “I’ma keep it simple, real simple” sings Miss Spears and her words couldn’t be more accurate enough. The production is very sleek and very well mastered. Perhaps, one of the most obvious R&B influenced tracks on this album so far, Just Luv Me is a club banger boiled down to a concentrated, well-balanced Britney Spears song.
An obvious club-banger. Not much can be said about this track other than the fact, how doctored and auto-tuned her vocals sound–which has become a standard for her particular sound. Britney is obviously trying to persuade the listener onto to the dancefloor with this track, she sounds like she’s having fun, which ultimately adds to the carelessness and amusing nature of the song. However, it’s repetitive lyrics and lack of any progression makes you wonder if it’s just an unfinished demo track or just another unforgettable filler.
Do You Wanna Come Over?
This track brings it all home, we know where the album is going now, the mood is set, and this song does exactly that. The production is a massive build-up that relieves for a moment at the hook before leading into an orgasmic breakdown. The controlled strumming of the guitar comes at the right moments in the song.. “Nobody should be alone if they don’t have to be” declares Spears, her vocals are accompanied with background vocals that sound insane and ultimately add life to the song’s fanatical nature. With a suggestive title like that, who wouldn’t want to press play?
When Spears sings about having a Slumber Party, you should know she’s not talking about an actual slumber party, but something else… The wording of the sultry and inviting lyrics furnish a very nicely cushioned base for the synths and exemplary percussion to do it’s part. This might be one of the most sexual tracks we’ve seen from Spears in a long time, with the clear f-bomb taken into account of course. An obvious candidate for a future-single, Slumber Party is one of best we’ve heard so far.
Just Like Me
This is perhaps the most interesting tracks we’ve heard on the album so far. Spears sings about a cheating lover which compliments the country-like nature of the song with its guitar-based melody. Given Britney’s country background, it’s something we’ve not seen her do much in the past. Although this song does dip its toes in different waters, it remains true to it’s collective theme of electronic music when the chorus hits. Britney’s inability to accept the fact that the other woman looks exactly like her, provides us with some interesting and entertaining material.
Love Me Down
One of the best on the album. The song starts with a quivering bassline with Spears introducing us to the theme and softly gliding our ears into the song. This track is very different in comparison to what we’ve heard so far, yet it fits perfectly. Glory so far has borrowed from straight up Electronic Pop to dipping it’s toes in Country and then this track experimenting with a bit of Reggae, without sounding all over the place and dismantled. With Love Me Down, Glory evolves and impresses.
Hard To Forget Ya
What Britney achieves with some of the good tracks on this album, she completely loses on this one. The metamorphic aspect of Glory is lost on this track. It’s a cute track but the electr0-rock production overshadows Britney’s voice. It sounds lost and out of place. “It’s just so hard to forget ya” she repeats throughout the song, with the help of automated harmonies behind her. Would someone let Britney know that this song is actually very easily forgettable.
What You Need
Britney dips into her more cabaret-esque side with this track. Although we’ve already heard a similar track on this album so far–Private Show–What You Need manages to capture a listener’s attention just as equally as it’s predecessor. The obvious highlight of this track are her vocals. Equipped with quick vocal runs and little glimpses of her head register, Britney sounds more vocally confident on this track since perhaps her debut days. She yet again proves that with this album she intends to let everyone know, just how much fun she’s really having, ending the track with a simple, “That was fun.”
Opening with a smoky trap layered bassline, Britney softly cooes the words of the song that ultimately lead to an explosive dubstep flavoured chorus. The only negative thing about this track is it’s exclusion from the Standard version of the album.
Change Your Mind (No Seas Cortés)
Glory’s genius shape-shifting ability takes form of an incredible song with this spicy flavoured track. Starting off with Spanish guitar licks, Britney’s voice delights the listener as she takes you on a ride, only to ultimately boil it all down to a mid-tempo spanish speaking Middle-eight part. With Change Your Mind, Britney schools you on how to mold unique genres into a perfect fit for your pop album.
A fan favorite and we can definitely see why. Like all the other tracks we’ve seen on Glory so far, the melody on this song is also carried by an incredible guitar licks, which is also enhanced by massive drum work and an orchestral sounding voilin that comes in at just the right moments. The song is also decorated with soft harmonized coos by Miss Spears herself. With lyrics like “Baby cry, cry, cry, You ain’t fooling anyone” Britney leaves us wondering whether if this is just a really aggressive Feminist track or something more…
If I’m Dancing
Understandably a bonus track, we hear Spears’s vocals heavily autotuned, which isn’t anything new from her, however unlike other tracks, it doesn’t do much or add to it. The track almost sounds like a really long mid-section of another song, or perhaps an interlude? We’re not sure. The only interesting thing about this song is the chirping EDM notes that pop up throughout the track. It is a fun track. However, not incredibly impressive material. This song becoming a meme only contents it’s near non-existent potential.
An excellent way to end the album. Britney schools the listener in the basic functionality of the French Language. The title translates to “Blackout”, not a very subtle way to let us know that Glory is the matured older sister of Blackout.
FINAL SCORE: A-
Glory is definitely one of the best and one of the strongest efforts we’ve seen from Britney thus far. Long gone are the days when the media counted her out. Britney is back, stronger than ever and with this album she proves that she’s here to stay for a long, long time.. Go to get GLORY NOW!!