Question: does Britney Spear know what “prerogative” means?
In case you are wondering why there is a compilation of the hits of everyone’s favorite blow-up doll so early in her career, no, it’s not because she died or anything. She and her manager recently parted ways and with the increasingly bizarre rate our charming Ms Spears is behaving in public, chances are the sun isn’t going to be shining any longer so Jive has better make more hay while they can. Chop chop, darlings!
They have the necessary mercenary interests that I admire, those Jive darlings, but they made a crucial mistake. Britney’s greatest hits aren’t her music, it’s her… well, those things that rhyme with “hits”, let’s just say. I don’t think the Average Joe on the street can name any Britney song apart from …Baby, One More Time at the drop of the hat.
So what Jive should have done is to release a series of softporn video starring our charming coquette herself. This compilation is evidence of that: it is an overproduced, robotic collection of songs so mechanical that it is a wonder that Britney isn’t singing in binary numbers. There is some charm to … Baby, One More Time but the charm dies a putrid death when the same chorus and hooks and what-not are blatantly repeated in clones like Stronger, (You Drive Me) Crazy, and Overprotected. The last two are present here in the form of remixes, by the way. The Darkchild remix of Overprotected is untenable unless people are getting stoned to the music but the original isn’t any better so I don’t know what else they could have done. The ballads Born to Make You Happy, Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman, and Everytime are actually lovely ear-candy but these songs require someone with a stronger voice to make them work.
It is only when Britney’s handlers start giving her songs produced by the Neptunes to sing that she starts making music that is halfway listenable. I’m a Slave 4 U is really good for a Britney track. The music sounds better when it comes to later hits like the fabulous Toxic. It also seems appropriate that R Kelly would write a song about slutty bimbos shopping and sleeping around with older men for Britney (Outrageous). I mean, he should know what he is writing about while she should know what she is singing about… right?
So what does the future hold for Britney Spears? Judging from the previously unreleased tracks on this compilation like the utterly unpalatable cover of Bobby Brown’s hit single My Prerogative, maybe it’s time for Britney to branch out to some acting opportunities on pay-per-view cable.