Seven Britney Spears singles that could have been

By Christopher Rosa,

Britney Spears has one of the most impressive catalogues in pop music. Period. From 1999’s bubble-gum utopia …Baby One More Time to the slick and electrifying beats of Femme Fatale, Spears not only has many different pop hats, she is a game-changer for the genre of mainstream music. Songs released as singles, or the popular tunes played on Top 40 radio, are chosen mostly because of their general appeal to the masses. However, Miss Spears has so many hidden gems on all seven of her albums that have never been heard by anyone except diehard Britney fans. Here are seven songs from Britney's seven albums that should have been seven worldwide singles.

1. …Baby One More Time : "‘Thinkin' About You"

This catchy track, number 9 on Spears’s debut album, is a poppy, sugary delight with accents of funk and '60s twang. As 16-year-old Britney sings, “I spend my days with you, I spend my night’s ‘thinkin' about you,” the image of an innocent lolita tease is firmly engrained in listeners’ minds. This is, of course, the primary marketing scheme that made Britney a star - she was packaged as a naughty school-girl, one to be looked at, but never touched. This fun sweet-tart song epitomizes that picture.

2. Oops!… I Did It Again: "What U See Is What U Get"

Perhaps the best song on Spears’s second album, her best-selling to date, “What U See Is What U Get,” is an icy, dance-pop stomper that pronounces Britney’s self-confidence and her refusal to change for anyone, a theme that pervades through her entire catalog. The glacial “Ahhs” at the beginning of the song surround the track’s frothy chorus in a sleek cloud. One of the highlights from this great pop record!

3. Britney: "Bombastic Love"

Britney’s third album is one of the best. So, choosing a favorite non-single track from this record is extremely difficult. However, it has to be the eerie 10th song on the CD, “Bombastic Love.” The beginning of the song is used in Spears’s video for “Overprotected;” however, the highlight of this fantastic dance song is the pounding chorus where Spears shouts “Bombastic love, so fantastic - where I’m completely yours and you are mine.” Spears’s consuming love for then-boyfriend Justin Timberlake is prevalent throughout this song, which is accompanied by zipping violins and a killer bridge.

4. In the Zone: "Brave New Girl"

This is not only a favorite song off this album (besides the groundbreaking “Toxic” of course), but this is one of the best Britney songs ever. This song, track number 11 off what many call one of Brit’s best albums to date, is pure pop indulgence. Spears’s voice is compressed, deranged, and synthy as she drawls on about a girl fed up with playing by the rules, wants to let her hair down, and have a filthy, good ‘ole time- autobiographical perhaps? As Spears’s pants in a robo-tuned voice, “She lands on both feet, won’t take a back seat - there’s a brave new girl and she’s coming out tonight,” she personally comes out - as a sexy, in control pop diva, her bubblegum teenage image a thing of the past. Defiant, poppy, and ready for the dance-floor — exactly how Britney needs to be.

5. Blackout: "Freakshow"

This wild, exuberant dance confection should have been chosen as a single from Britney’s fifth album Blackout, her most critically acclaimed album, as opposed to the trite “Break the Ice.” From a sonic perspective, the track has more bells and whistles than an airplane. Brit’s slinky vocals glaze over an infectious baseline, where she coos, “Make it a freakshow, we can give ‘em a peep show - let your inhibitions go.” Accompanied by electric, romping synths and a killer chorus, this track is a deliciously filthy good time.

6. Circus: "Unusual You"

Without a doubt, this is the strongest track off Circus, what many consider to be Spears’s comeback album. This haunting, mid-tempo, electric ballad tells the story of a girl who is shocked to find people that actually love and care about her — something she deems as unusual, since in the past she has just been burned. Although not penned by Spears herself, the lyrics are eerily remnant to her 2007 breakdown, where she lost everyone and everything. The identification Spears has with the song is even evident in her delivery — she sounds more confident on this song than many on Circus. Spears’s voice is Auto-tuned out of an inch of its life, giving the song a wispy, ghost-like vibe. As she swoons, “Didn’t you know you’re supposed to break my heart, I expect you to, so why haven’t you?” listeners are enraptured in an electro-bubble that is pure trance gold.

7. Femme Fatale: "Trouble for Me"

Track 9 on Spears’s most recent endeavor has one of the most original dance rhythms she has ever had on a CD. She pairs dubstep yo-yo sounds with a pumping bass beat to deliver a pop song with a powerful punch. Although not lyrically anything to jump over, the song is a fast-paced electro-pop smasher with tenacious ferocity.

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