“Blackout” – While mostly being seen as a simple dance album as the catchy backdrop follows through, is one of Britney’s most exciting albums. Released around Britney’s most struggling times, where several instances of eccentric behaviour and her divorce from Kevin Federline overshadowed her professional endeavours. Yet, her music came out on top as her finest work to date, appearing on multiple year-end lists with Rolling Stone describing it as one of the most influential albums in modern pop.
After “In The Zone,” Britney Spears opened her new record with the iconic line now known as, “It’s Britney bitch!” For the first time, listeners hear about her life struggles with the media and how they are ruining her personal life. In other tracks, Britney once again talks about how she is acting the way she is, simply for the media and the high amount of coverage that is put on here. The two tracks introducing listeners into “Blackout” show a breakthrough on Britney’s part on understanding and embracing the flaws and struggles she has had to deal with since her career blew up. Having a strong attitude towards recording and getting her point through, this was shown as a breakthrough album and enhanced the definition of pop that Britney wished to follow. Songs such as “Radar”, focused on following the image of Britney Spears, but songs like “Heaven On Earth” transformed her career due to the emotional lyrics it held, as she recorded this track just after her divorce.
Throughout the album, many tracks follow a disco and R&B influenced kick and tempo. Celebrating the idea of womanhood throughout the album, the upbeat and seemingly fun and catchy instrumental stem from the use of the punchy synths that were seen as a new sound for Britney after iconic hits such as “Baby One More Time,” and “Oops, I Did It Again.” We also see a production not cut to be as clean as most pop releases, as the noticeably glitchy instrumentals follow the themes of sex and broken love. The individuality of this record made critics call “Blackout” Britney’s strongest work of all time.
Britney’s individuality in the music industry is very much present, as she also shows an interesting side of showing love in a different aspect. “I’m not ashamed of my beauty,” proclaims Britney, showing an eager and seemingly confident side of the worldwide pop star. Tracks may not seem extremely deep compared to other pop acts, but tracks such as “Heaven On Earth” create a new semi-genre in the sound of what “Blackout” is. Layering complex lyrics on the disco inspired track makes it out to be an instant fan favourite, blending the best of the both aspects of pop and disco. This album really does see the best of both worlds though, as listeners are able to hear tracks that satisfy the ears of pop fanatics, but also extremely technical tracks with complexly layered production and personal lyrics,on top of the key themes of being in the media which Britney explains in 15 songs. That is what the album “Blackout” was all about.