Britney Spears has faced a range of ups and downs within her professional and personal life, falling victim to the infamous 2007 breakdown, partly due to starting so young and having to face the public glare from a vulnerable age. This is reflected in the twists and turns of her career; however she has remained a perfect representation of mainstream popular culture. Thus, she is this week’s underrated female artist, and here are five handpicked songs to show the range of her talents.
1. Piece of Me – This was Spears’s way of fighting back at the media backlash following her aforementioned breakdown and reads as such. As is the case with many pop artists, Britney has had to deal with relentless media attention since she came onto the scene, and with such pressure, it is remarkable that breakdown didn’t come sooner (‘Leave Britney alone!’) and many are too quick to judge. I wonder how quickly they would crumble in her shoes? That said, this song is a testament to her strength of character. Favourite lyric: ‘I’m Miss bad media karma // Another day another drama’.
2. Perfume – Spears has a great talent for applying herself in many different contexts, and considering the difference between songs like ‘Toxic’ and ‘Perfume’, it’s difficult to believe they are by the same artist – a feat she repeats throughout her career. How many artists can pull off contrasting vibes simultaneously and with such effortlessness? Not many, and that’s why I love Britney. Favourite lyric: ‘I want to believe // It’s just you and me // Sometimes it feels like there’s three // Of us in here baby’.
3. Radar – ‘Radar’ is a perfect example of streamlined pop – the kind of smooth effect the likes of Megan Trainer will never achieve. Favourite lyric: ‘His eyes see right to my soul // I surrender self-control // Catch me looking again // Falling right into my plan’.
4. Don’t Cry – I love to see Britney in vulnerable mode, and this track is very different to her usual style that people are familiar with (see number two). Considering that this is from her later albums, it really reminds me of her earlier stuff. Favourite lyric: ‘This is gonna be our last goodbye // Our love is gone, but I’ll survive // Hide my tears and dry my eyes // You don’t need to see me cry’.
5. Private Show – This is my favourite track from Britney’s latest album and it makes me think of how far we’ve come from ‘Slave 4 U’. Favourite lyric: ‘All my tricks, they’re spectacular, baby // My encore is immaculate, baby’.