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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

September 24, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Life & Culture

Review: Spears’ signature sound cannot appeal to modern listeners

Britney Spears

"Glory"

Pop icon Britney Spears is hitting the music scene again with her ninth studio album, “Glory,” released Aug. 26. The 12-song album is reminiscent of Spears’ early hits, which may be nostalgic for some, but it is a total mistake for the resurgence of Spears’ “Glory.”

This highly synthesized pop album debuts nearly two decades after her first hit single, “… Baby One More Time,” lit up the charts in 1998. Certainly one of the greatest pop icons of her generation, Spears provided the background music of many 20-something-year-olds’ lives, but few anticipated her return to the music scene.

Despite Spears’ past success, her latest release does not measure up to her prior style. Her signature ’90s sound — the peppy synth beats, generic bass drops and basic lyrics — feels stale compared to her contemporaries, like Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé. Each song may have topped the charts in Spears’ heyday, but now the tracks feel forced and inauthentic. Her album may have been better received had she made more of an effort to stay current.

“Glory” includes Spears’ hit single released prior to the full album, “Make Me…,” which features rapper G-Eazy. This track is the highlight of the album, since it is one of the rare songs that sounds refined and thoughtfully put together. G-Eazy’s contribution smoothly elevates the track, making it a real hit. With this sound, Spears’ could fit into 2016’s music trends Unfortunately, the rest of the album contains lyrics and repetitive beats that sound extremely generic and, again, outdated.

This isn’t to say that the entire album is completely toxic, however. “Just Luv Me” and “Slumber Party” also show off a more mature tone for Spears and give fans hope that this famed pop star is still on a roll. But as a whole, the music on “Glory” sounds sloppy and unimpressive. For all the hype surrounding Spears, her album was a real letdown.

As much as Spears fans may hate to admit it, Spears is outdated, and “Glory” bluntly shows it. Although the album provides an amusing blast from the past for listeners and long time Spears fans, although it’s not worth a second listen.