Today’s POP RESCUE from an uncertain future is the 2000 second album Oops!… I Did It Again by Britney Spears. Does this album do It Again, or is it just a big mistake? Read on…
This 13 track album bursts in with those familiar Britney synth stabs and groans of title track and single Oops! I Did It Again. If you’re a fan of The Backstreet Boys, then you’d undoubtedly love this album too – musically it’s very similar. Songwriter and producer Max Martin‘s catchy lyrics are sung with great ease and tongue-in-cheek humour – including in the spoken word section. Britney is certainly reminding you that she’s not that innocent little school girl that we never assumed she was on her debut album.
In a similar tone, hit third single Stronger follows – again with those powerful synth stabs and dramatic drums. Again, this is as catchy as hell, but does let Britney show off her vocal range a little at about 2m 30s.
Next up is Don’t Go Knockin’ On My Door, which feels a little more RnB and garage than the earlier two tracks. This is a slower track by contrast too, but there’s some nice layered vocals here. It’s still undeniably Britney though, and her trademark creaky breathless vocals make an appearance here amongst her strong pop vocals.
This is followed by a cover of (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction. This certainly sounds very different from the original Rolling Stones version. Britney continues her purring sultry vocals as the slightly Michael Jackson-esque beat slams away in the background.
There’s an echo of a Japan or China in the opening of next track Don’t Let Me Be The Last To Know, a song whose writers include Shania Twain. This is a downbeat ballad, and I think that really it could have been Shania or Celine Dion singing this and it would have sounded almost the same. The key changes are a bit disorientating. For some reason this was released as the fourth and final single. That don’t impress me much.
What U See (Is What U Get) feels very much like a companion song for the album’s title track, so much at times, that I felt like I could sing the latter’s vocals over the top of this song. Okay, so it worked fine once, so why not again? It feels a bit lazy, but I quite like the sound, so I think Britney gets by without to much of a crime.
Up next is second single Lucky, which admittedly is fairly catchy. The telephone intro reveals that this song is about a girl called Lucky, but as soon as I discovered it was about someone, I couldn’t stop thinking it was about a cat. Again Max Martin is on songwriter duties, and it shows. There’s always a lot in the chorus that reminds me of The Backstreets Boys’ hit Larger Than Life.
This is followed by One Kiss From You, which is a mid-tempo pop song. Again, it is unmistakeable Britney, but definitely remains on the album. It’s reasonably catchy, but also dances the line that reminds me of something an X Factor winner might release.
Where Are You Now gently eases in, with Britney’s delicate vocals backed by guitar and soft percussion. She still manages to cram in some breathy singing and an ‘oh bay-beh‘. Other than that, there’s some soft backing vocals, and the song gently plods along like the theme to BBC’s Eldorado failed TV soap.
Can’t Make You Love Me follows this, returning us back to the safety of a punchy Britney sound that her name has become synonymous with. There’s a nice funky mid section 2 mins in, before Britney takes over a soft vocal section over a piano-led piece. Then we’re back into that catchy sound again.
Eleventh track When Your Eyes Say It is a really nice gentle song, allowing Britney’s softer, delicate vocals shine. Here, she’s pitched again some dreamy guitar and backing vocals. Cellos and violins arrive at about 2m 23s, which really helps to keep the song building. It’s no surprise to find that songwriter extraordinaire Diane Warren is the writer.
Penultimate track Girl In The Mirror is a country-tinged song that builds perfectly, with some wonderfully warm strings and backing vocals. Britney puts in a flawless vocal performance, but again, this feels like it could be sung by anyone.
Final track Dear Diary opens with Britney and her friends gossiping about a date before Britney spies someone she feels too nervous to approach. Essentially this song is Britney singing to her diary whilst pretending to be Mariah Carey. You get the picture. A bit of a duff ending.
Where is Britney Spears now?
Britney has continued to find great success with her music career, with huge sell-out tours, hits including Toxic, and albums such as Circus (2008). However, her success has waned in the UK in the last few years.
Her collaborations have brought her mixed success, ranging from huge popularity with Scream & Shout with Will.i.am to her most recent single Pretty Girls with Iggy Azalea, which only reached #16 in the UK singles chart.
Her last charting album was 2013’s Britney Jean, which stalled at #34. Surprisingly, Britney has not yet had a UK #1 album – she’s reached #2 four times.
POP RESCUE RATING
It’s no surprise that this Britney album works well. The songwriting and production team are slick as hell. Yes, they did it again.
The singles really shine here, and there are many other tracks too that work, with only a few faults that stop it from hitting the 5 stars.
Definitely give this album a listen – it still stands up well.
- POP RESCUE 2015 RATING: 4 / 5
- 2000 UK CHART POSITION: #2, certified 3x Platinum.
- POP RESCUE COST: £1.00 from a Poundland store.