‘Private Show': Britney Spears Lets Her Freak Flag Fly Again (Review)
Britney Spears is f–kin’ weird. Wonderfully, wonderfully weird.
She might eat the same caesar salad every day, post inspirational memes on Instagram and lead an otherwise boring Momney life (that is, when she isn’t jumping from giant trees at her Piece Of Me residency every night in Las Vegas), but she’ll never stop being wildly unpredictable at heart — and it’s coming through in the music once again.
Britney’s oh-so-unique set of pipes is like a baby blue bendy straw sitting in some sweet tea, and there are countless ingeniously odd moments throughout her career — “Soda Pop” on Baby, “Hot As Ice” on Blackout, “Mmm Papi” on Circus, “How I Roll” on Femme Fatale — which find her hooting, hollering, yodeling, hiccuping, baybeh-ing, warbling and/or acquiring a British accent at random. Her voice is somehow both immediately recognizable and constantly shape-shifting all at once.
“Private Show,” evidently, is at least one of those bizarre, experimental moments on her upcoming ninth studio album, Glory, due out on August 26.
Here, the Princess of Pop-turned-Queen Of Soul twirls into position center stage for a doo wop-inspired jaunt that is both way too silly to be sexy, and way too fun not to at least crack a smile while listening.
Take your seat na-ahh-ahow!
Serving up the swaggering delivery of the ever-prophetic “Mona Lisa” (“Layyy-dies and gentlemen…“) and evoking the old school throwback sound of Ariana Grande‘s My Everything, and/or maybe Mariah Carey‘s “Make It Look Good” — who was surely an influence as Britney listened to #1 to Infinity while painting topless in her art room — B-Girl puts on a wildly prahhhh-veh show like she hasn’t done in years. (Seriously, her voice is straight up out of “Soda Pop” on the line “my encore is immaculate” — it’s kind of insane.)
Sometimes, she goes into high-pitched Chipmunkey mode. Other times, she’s RiRiney. (“Work it, twerk it, slide down my pole…”) She gives us a tease of that …Baby-era low register. Elsewhere, she’s barking out commands as Drill Sergeantney: “STRUT IT OUT. STRUT IT OUT.” And then, there’s that goofy, giggle-filled moment of Adlibney in the outro. (“Do it all again? Nah, I’ll take a bow…“)
All her tricks are spectacular.
With “Make Me,” Britney proved she can still sound relevant in 2016, which is great — and important from a brand standpoint, considering she’s been in the game well over 10 years longer than most of her contemporaries. (Lest we forget, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga hadn’t even debuted on the scene until around the time of Britney’s Circus in 2008.)
But “Private Show” sounds and feels like the stuff of the same goofy, unhinged personality we’ve already known for years, and she’s doin’ whatever the hell she wants. Clearly.
So sit back and enjoy the show.
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Britney Spears Through the Years: