‘Glory’ by Britney Spears Album Review: Comeback Lacks Originality But Is A Step Back To The Top
Britney Spears‘ stardom might have been on the down-low over the past couple of years, but her new release the ninth studio album Glory is meant as her glossy return back to the top. The record seems to be a fine example of the pop music today – rooted in EDM or occasionally sprinkled with hip-hop tendencies – but at the same time it remains true to Spears’ old style of extremely danceable pop.
Compared some of her more recent albums, namely Femme Fatale and Blackout, Glory doesn’t quite have the same nocturnal glitz. It is vaguely in the same realm but much more lighthearted, makes it fresh and an easy listen. Even on more serious songs with a great deal of breathy sexual innuendo, the singer doesn’t quite manage to pull it off, making tracks like “Slumber Party” and “Private Show” sounds a bit off. This is perhaps a sign of Spears’ maturation as an artist. She is more than ever in control of her sound and her message, despite the lack of exceptional lyrical originality.
Spears sparks with electricity on energizing tracks like “Clumsy,” “Make Me…” featuring G-Easy and “Do You Wanna Come Over?” Credit should be duly given to Spears’ cast of young collaborators – songwriters and producers such as Justin Tranter, Julia Michaels and Mattman & Robin – who deliver a fresh sound that allows the singer to the freedom to do what she does best vocally, especially on the catchy hooks and choruses. “What You Need” is a surprising Motown-sounding track that stands as a more visionary sonic glimpse in a sexualized sea of innuendo.
That said, the aims of Glory are undeniably too single-layered. The dynamic seduction from her earlier work gives way to relentless come-ons that lead to nothing substantial. The preoccupation is with the physical, which is to no extent condemned in contemporary pop music, but something is still lacking – the complexity of sensual provocation which promises something more. Spears has come a long way from her original fame as a teen pop star, but this current approach seems generic and ultimately unrevealing.