What is there left to be said about Britney Spears? At times, her controversy has often overshadowed her talent. Often, it has been said that there is barely any talent there in the first place. Max Martin was sometimes criticized in connection for allowing her career to exist. That part is probably true. If the folks at Jive Records had never come across "...Baby One More Time", and TLC hadn't rejected it, Britney would be in backwoods Louisiana today, with a redneck husband that is still better than Kevin Federline.
Whatever my personal opinion of Britney, her image, and her actions; it is an undisputed fact that she served as a vessel for some of the best pop songs of the past ten years. It could be said that she lent relatively little to the songs, but to me it doesn't matter. I know the first time I heard her debut single on the radio, it was refreshing from what was out at the time, and that it would be huge. The boy bands were striking it big, but Britney was the first to represent the female side. Yes, Christina Aguilera has the best voice and best musicality, but even when she came out, she seemed somewhat above the simple pleasures of a pure cheesy pop track. Today she almost disavows her great #1 hit "Genie in a Bottle". I doubt we would ever hear Britney dissing her early singles. And I appreciate her deeply for it, even if she is now a shell of her former self.
Baby One More Time (Boy Wonder Radio Mix) - Her first single is iconic, but this is a spin on the icon. It's a fun dance remix that came on some import copies of her first album. (You Drive Me) Crazy (Jazzy Jim's Hip-Hop Mix) - The original version was a decent song, but the production wasn't all there. Make it pump, tweak the second verse, and add a "STOP!" and you get Britney's third hit single. The "Stop Remix" is the version on her Greatest Hits CD. This version retains the "STOP!" (ha ha, I love that), but adds a bit more funkiness. It was the b-side to the American single for her ballad "From the Bottom of My Broken Heart". Born To Make You Happy (Bonus Remix) - This song was blasted by many critics for what was said to be the anti-feminist message of the lyrics: "I don't know how to live without your love/I was born to make you happy" In all honesty, I just don't take pop music that seriously. Besides, dependence is a common lyrical theme in teen pop from both male and female acts alike. It was released as a single in Europe. This version sounds almost like a different song, with Britney singing it differently, and a peppy guitar background as opposed to the almost haunting electronic pop background of the original.
OK, so sometime this weekend i'll put up the 2000 songs. It's pretty much more BSB, Britney, and *NSYNC - and more success for Max Martin. He won the ASCAP award for Songwriter of the Year twice, meaning that his songs were played on radio more than anyone else's. Enjoy!