It’s easy to say “this is going to be their best work yet!” leading up to an artist’s new album — but in the case of Britney Spears‘ upcoming project Glory, the excitement is more than justified.
After an early leak of the album made its way online (following an unfortunate accidental early release in Mexico), fans are already raving that it might be Britney’s best album in years, and one of her best ones ever. But what’s different this time around, and how can she avoid falling into the traps that plagued her last album Britney Jean?
It’s no surprise that, in recent years, Britney has had very public struggles whose details don’t need to be rehashed any more than they already have. Those struggles have affected her career, whether we like to admit it or not. That’s not to say Britney hasn’t had continued success — she’s still a hot commodity, making millions in endorsements and music sales, and starring in a hit residency on the Las Vegas strip — but any superfan can tell you things have been different.
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When an artist starts a new era with a new album, it’s typical for them to do a string of publicity to promote their new release. Interviews, performances, magazine covers, you name it. They have to get their name out there and make sure people buy the album. Back when Britney released Blackout, the only promo she did was the ill-fated 2007 VMA performance and, well, just being seen by the paparazzi. At the time, right in the midst of her public breakdown, she was plastered all over tabloids and just a visit to the gas station turned into a circus. With almost no promotion at all, the album was still a commercial success, and deemed one of her best albums ever.
Blackout‘s lack of promotion became a trend with Britney’s team. Over the next few years, Britney became more closed off — understandably — and TV interviews became few and far between. Every so often we’d be graced with a live TV performance on a morning show or somewhere in Europe or Asia, but once again, the number dwindled. The singer’s star power was enough to fuel buzz for singles and make them hits, but fans felt like there was a disconnect.
With the release of 2013’s Britney Jean, we only got two singles. Two singles that, unfortunately, didn’t make as much of an impact as Britney’s past releases, because the lack of promotion was finally starting to rear its ugly head. With a few interviews and the announcement of her Las Vegas show, the promotional schedule left something to be desired, and the album, for all intents and purposes, basically flopped. A word we hate to use in regards to a pop icon. And just like that, the Britney Jean era was over.
Fast-forward to 2016. Britney is now in the pivotal stage of the Glory era. The album is out in less than a week, and she has to promote promote promote! When the first single “Make Me…” was delayed, fans started worrying. “Not again!” we thought. Then when it was released in July, we still didn’t have any information about the new album. When was it coming? What is it called?
Glory was announced almost a month after the single was released, and fans started getting excited again. Britney and her manager, and other collaborators, all promised a fresh, new sound — something we haven’t heard before. After fans pleaded through social media to keep will.i.am away from this album (many of them are still bitter over his work as executive producer on Britney Jean), Britney brought in fresh new producers and song writers. It seemed promising, but — as bad as it sounds — Britney fans know better than to get their hopes up
After the controversy surrounding the “Make Me” music video stirred up some more paranoia about another failed era, things started looking up once more.
Leading up to the new album, Britney announced that she will be appearing on the viral sensation Carpool Karaoke with James Corden, a sure-fire way to garner some buzz. She spoke with Ryan Seacrest for his radio show, and sounded confident and bubbly, like the old Britney. She even released three buzz singles before the album’s release: “Private Show,” “Clumsy,” and “Do You Wanna Come Over?” — something her team has rarely done in the past. Fans finally see a change. They’re excited again. They’re blowing up Twitter, getting Britney trending worldwide, and that’s exactly what she needs.
The anticipation hit an ultimate climax with one announcement: Britney will be taking the stage for a very high-profile performance at The 2016 MTV Video Music Awards. Britney has stayed away from the VMA stage ever since that performance in 2007. This is her triumphant return to remind everyone that she fought her way back up, and even though so many wanted her to fail, she wouldn’t give them that satisfaction. She’ll also take the stage at this year’s iHeartRadio Music Festival, another high-profile performance to get the world talking.
Britney’s management team has finally realized that, in 2016, fans need more than just an interview here and there to stay interested. To some people, all of this seems frivolous. It’s just crazy fans pulling at straws, but the reason Britney fans care so much about this is because we care about Britney’s success. Her fans love her no matter what, whether her album is successful or a flop, but we want her to do well to fire back at everyone who thinks she can’t do it.
Britney Jean could’ve been much better than it was. It had so many potential singles, but her team, once again, stepped in and messed it up. After so many years with the same people surrounding her, you would think they would know what they were doing, but it seems like they’re finally learning. Glory has a fresh sound, and from what we heard, radio will eat it up. Britney sounded confident, and present. Her voice isn’t being masked with vocal effects. And most importantly, her team is actually promoting it properly. If it continues like this, Glory will be, without a doubt, Britney’s best era, and possibly best album, in years.
Glory will be released on Aug. 26.