Britney has dubbed this piano-backed power ballad one of her most “personal” songs ever. Which sucks! Because it’s about a girl whose boyfriend is cheating on her. Uh oh! But putting someone on blast has never sounded so pretty.
This was a tight race between “Stronger” and “Don’t Go Knockin’ On My Door.” But we had to give it to the former, if only for the opening adlib. From there, the bass bumps heavy and horns blare as Britney declares her independence.
13. “Breathe on Me”
Arguably Britney’s sexiest song to date (its main competition is “Touch of My Hand,” Britney’s ode to masturbation), everything about this song screams sex: The heavy breathing. The sultry vocals. The lyrics, which are basically just a step-by-step guide to reaching an orgasm.
12. “If U Seek Amy”
If you haven’t figured out the pun yet, listen carefully: “If U Seek Amy” sounds an awful lot like “F-something-something-K ME.” Got it? Good. The song is nonsensical, sure, but unabashedly fun. Ha-ha-he-he-ha-ha-ho.
11. “Unusual You”
The synth is heavy and Britney’s voice is transformed through echoing and tuning to achieve a truly haunting effect, as she sings, “Baby, you’re so unusual / Didn’t anyone tell you you’re supposed to, break my heart / I expect you to / So why haven’t you?”
10. “Get Naked (I Got a Plan)”
Danja whines the chorus to this hook up anthem, while Britney steps in for the verses, telling some lucky “bad boy” exactly what she wants to do, moaning adlibs and periodically chanting, “Get naked, get naked” and “take it off, take it off.”
9. “How I Roll”
There is so much going on in this electropop bop that it’s hard to decide where to start: Pops and clicks abound as Britney twists her tongue around her fair share of lyrical word play, her voice warped and twisted into a dizzying party gem.
Britney’s voice has never sounded better than the first track on Britney Jean, the William Orbit-produced crooner, which finds Britney reflecting on lonelier times to a musical accompaniment that sounds better suited to outer space.
7. “Me Against the Music”
What may have been your standard pop track became anything but when Britney (re)teamed with Madonna for this fast-paced ode to the dance floor. Britney spits lyrics at mind-boggling speeds, with the Material Girl challenging her protégée to go even harder.
6. “Till the World End (The Femme Fatale Remix)”
The original version of the song, which was penned by Ke$ha, is catchy enough. It’s impossible not to dance as the chorus erupts in a round of, “Woah oh oh oh oh oh ohhhh”s. But add Nicki Minaj for a healthy dose of weirdness and Ke$ha herself and it’s a pop team-up made in Top 40 heaven.
5. “…Baby One More Time”
The song that started it all: Hearing it now, it’s impossible not to imagine Britney crooning it in that schoolgirl outfit. But if you focus on just the tune itself, it’s no surprise it became a hit: It’s still catchy as ever, over a decade later. Plus, it’s the first time Britney cooed her signature “bay-beh.”
4. “I’m a Slave 4 U”
Britney grew up and wanted everyone to know it, breathily demanding, “I know I may young, but I’ve got feelings too / And I need to do, what I feel like doing, so let me go and just listen.” The beat kicks in and Britney murders the rest of the song, complete with panting, hypnotic chanting of “get it, get it” and some of the best musical breakdowns in pop music ever.
Britney is known for catchy beats and catchier hooks, but this song abandons the typical bells and whistles for a few violins and a piano as Britney sweetly laments, “Every time I try to fly, I fall without my wings…I guess I need you, baby.” It’s a raw nerve amid all the bubblegum pop ditties.
2. “Gimme More”
“It’s Britney, bitch.” Enough said? The song, an urban banger backed by steady clapping and zig-zapping synths, is dirty and sexy and culminates in Britney moaning, “I just can’t control myself” over a choir of “oohs” and “aahs.” But it’s really all about the catchphrase. So let us repeat ourselves: It’s Britney, bitch.
Britney joneses, begs, pleads for her toxic lover as frenetic violins scratch away, adding a heart-racing intensity to this classic. And it is a classic. Which is why it’s no. 1 on this list. Whether you are dancing, strutting, bopping, whatever, you’re going to be moving to this one. No matter where you are or what you were doing when it came on.
Join the Playground On Facebook