Guilty Pleasures – Britney Spears – Piece Of Me.

After running through 20 Albums and 20 Singles I was scratching my head thinking of a new category.

I’ve decided to add a “guilty pleasures” category so I can write about some more stuff. I’m going to continue with “honesty is the best policy” and possibly make myself open to ridicule, but so be it.

Bizarre to nod positively to Jello Biafra, The Motherfuckers From Mars and Britney Spears on the same blog I know, very bizarre – but here goes.

The first time I saw Britney Spears interviewed it was on a BBC2 show hosted by Richard Blackwood. It appeared from her answers and manner that she was quite endearingly affected. She appeared to be living in a bubble, not that I’m knocking her, she just seemed naturally removed from reality. From this impression I questioned if she was perhaps more than a totally manufactured pop star.

Musically she releases mainly pap, but occasionally a single would come along where you could not deny that it was perfect pop. This would usually be added to by it having a, nearly painfully, up to date sound. I know this would be down to a very slick production team and writers, but they needed the performer more than she needed them?

An example of this would be “Toxic”. A great pop single – but it would not have been a global hit single if Cathy Dennis had sung it would it?

The images when Britney Spears shaved her head was one of those “I’m not actually seeing that am I?” moments. It was an odd moment but one where I thought, at least she is real. Mad as a box of frogs, but mad people are always more interesting aren’t they?

Despite not being one of her biggest hits I do rate “Piece Of Me” as a guilty pleasure. I’m not going to get too deep with this – but it’s like she is saying “back-off” on this track. In previous songs and videos it’s like she is being exploited, here, for the first time she turns the tables. This makes it special – it’s a strong comeback. She actually looks like she’s having fun and playing it her way. Lyrically it is quite mature and it’s well-balanced with knowing humour. Musically the electronic pan-pipes instrumentation, towards the end, very weirdly reminds me of the 70’s War Of The Worlds LP. It’s probably as edgy as her record label / management would ever allow, let’s face it – she’s not going to make an “In-Utero” is she?

I’m not saying that she’s a ground breaking artist, or endorsing her general music but the track I felt fitting for the first entry in my “Guilty Pleasures”  category.


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