Spears' ninth album turns a new page. It's exciting, different, and shows that the Queen of Pop is well and truly back.
Even from ‘Invitation,’ Glory‘s opening track, it is clear that Britney Spears was going in a different direction from her previous eight albums and just how wise this shift is. Still very much infused with essences of her standard pop, it ventures a little further by incorporating elements of R&B and urban music too, which Spears has said took a while to perfect to a level she was comfortable with.
‘Invitation’ is a perfect intro to the album, even though at times it doesn’t even feel like Britney, and doesn’t even bear the distinctive mark of her usually nasally vocals. It’s slow and mellow, but eases you in towards G-Eazy-bearing lead single ‘Make Me.’ Much like the opener, ‘Make Me’ is not necessarily what you’d expect from her, however it is a fitting single, being stylish and sleek in the way it presents itself, effortlessly rivaling other music on the charts right now. It’s not bringing the classic 90s vibes of her old music, but it’s also far from the style of her last comeback half a decade ago, sounding increasingly relevant and in step with pop music’s progression. It’s catchy and great fun to sing along to – a standard Britney trait, of course – and the same can be said for the majority of Glory. Although a few of its tracks (like ‘Private Show’ and ‘Clumsy’) just aren’t as strong, most show that the risks taken here by Spears and her team have certainly paid off.
She has clearly paid attention to and drawn influences from what other contemporary pop artists have been doing, with some of the tracks being reminiscent of what Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez are currently producing. This is demonstrated both lyrically and musically, thus developing what she was doing before to show her maturity as an artist. She’s been around for 20 years now, and her understanding that the scene changes and you can’t just do the same thing is a key to her continued success. The progression of technology over time has also served her well, with heavy beats and loop pedals being used to her advantage by making track after track that you could comfortably hear in a club setting. Glory is sure to be a success not just because of the name attached to it but because it truly is an inspired piece of work.
Britney Spears has grown up both as a person and a musician, and Glory is evidence of that. This is super exciting, as it showcases her talents in a way that we have previously not seen while proving that she is in fact still worthy of the acclaim and love that she gets. Her development is not just in the music she produces, but also seen in her vocals too, which have become tighter and more tonally refined over the years. The Queen of Pop is truly back, and this new album shows that she is not afraid to try something new to prolong her reign.
Glory is out now via RCA