On “Glory”, Britney Spears offers us some moments of fun but the whole album should remain, or not even, as an ephemeral summer soundtrack dedicated to the older part of the Snapchat generation.
With the first track of “Glory”, Britney invites us to discover her “left turn”. Indeed, the singer slows down the tempo and sets aside the bad club music she offered us on her last albums, like on her orgasmic “Make Me.” Even if the lyrics and the production are quite flat and boring for a lead single, the singer surprised us. The Mississippi-born artist also dabbles in singing in Spanish and in French and delivers the almost fun and light-hearted “Change Your Mind (No Seas Cortes)” or the weirdly hypnotic “Coupure Électrique.” The album, which has a certain Latin-infused spirit, contains the catchy pop track “Man On The Moon”, reminiscent of her golden age, and the experimental and quite interesting “If I’m Dancing.”
Nevertheless, besides some short entertaining moments, the first feeling that comes to mind while listening to “Glory” is the lack of originality. Indeed, even if this is something new for Britney, the deployment of vocal chops, echoes, and other faded effects let a sense of déjà vu in light of everything that was released on the pop market over the last 12 months. She is one of the cool kids, but she lost her position of leader and settles for following the trends. Moreover, some stumbles seriously mess up her efforts: the presence of G-Eazy almost make us regret Pitbull and “Clumsy” is as sexy and deep as Donald Trump’s political agenda.
The fact is that Britney Spears seems to have digested the robots she had swallowed on her previous works. The use of the auto-tune is obviously present, but is more subtly shaped. This is certainly a sign of improvement in her personal development but musically, this is not necessary a good thing. “Private Show” could be described as a peep show track to excite a crowd of Chipmunks as her voice is atrociously nasal and guttural. On “What You Need”, it is impossible not to remind of Christina Aguilera’s “Ain’t No Other Man” and to think how unfair it is that the artist never surpassed “the legendary miss Britney Spears”. Some time ago, the star kid of The Mickey Mouse Club was affirming on a radio interview that she was always singing live (listen to it below, from 3 minutes). A statement that proves that the artist is everything but authentic and real.
This mismatch is also present in the lyrics of “Glory”. It is true that the artist seems more present on this album but still, she sings without any consistency. She is at the same time open to meet guys (“Do You Want To Come Over?” or “ “Change Your Mind (No Seas Cortes)” where she even admits that she is desperate), that she in the middle of an idyll (“Make Me”) while living at some post break-up troubles (“Hard To Forget”)… The album proves that to get back on top, it is necessary to cast a wide net! Probably for the marketing ploy, she even answers to Justin Timberlake‘s “Cry Me A River” on “Liar” but the effect is simply ridiculous: she didn’t write the lyrics and this sentence is released 14 years after the song. A mature person would have already forgiven!
Despite her back catalog and her impressive sales results, Britney seems to have seriously aged a lot. Her influence in the music business drastically faded out in favour of trendy young talents, such as Ariana Grande, whose relevant artistic direction and vocal skills can only leave the former princess of pop on the sidelines. Her only actual success comes from her Vegas residency: a sold-out show where she performs in playback her greatest hits, just like a retired popstar who is not even trying anymore would do it. Even Madonna, who is 58, did not consider this defeatist sedentarism.
Slowly decaying from a cash-cow to a deadweight status, the brand “Britney Spears” is once again over-pushed on the market, just like this exagerated teaser for her upcoming MTV Video Music Awards performance. Despite all the marketing efforts that are set on the table, “Glory” will have a limited impact. It will remain (or not) an ephemeral summer soundtrack dedicated to the older part of the Snapchat generation.
BONUS: her amazing “Carpool Lip Sync” with James Corden