Why is Britney Spears’ Blackout on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
Britney at her darkest, sleekest, pulsing synth-est best. Best-est?
What does Britney Spears’ Blackout mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
“Top 40” music is not the kind of music that I would naturally gravitate to since… let’s say, the days when my brother, sister, and I would occasionally listen to Casey Kasem’s iconic “Casey’s Top 40” radio show in the 1980s… and we’re not talking the late ‘80s, either.
When Britney Spears hit the scene in 1999 with …Baby One More Time, I was aware of it of course because if you had a pulse and lived in the United States at the time, you were aware of the Britney phenomenon.
It was “Toxic,” off the 2003 album, In the Zone, that first truly impressed me, though. It’s a spectacular pop song that works as dance song, club song, workout song, whatever you like. The production is otherworldly level good – it’s the best song that Britney Spears has produced to date, in my view.
But it’s 2007’s Blackout, Britney’s so called “comeback album,” that hangs together as her best overall album, and one that merits a place in this here best 1,000 albums ever project.
The production is dark, sleek, pulsing synth. And Britney Spears vocals match the music perfectly. “Heaven on Earth,” my favorite song on Blackout at the moment, is a great example. But while “Heaven on Earth” could have ridden its chorus/verse pattern out to its logical conclusion, there’s a softer, pretty section at the end that’s a really interesting choice.
“Piece of Me” has an almost industrial music vibe going that, except for the fact of its sheeny production, could serve as the backdrop of a Nine Inch Nails song.
The lyrics reference Spears’ tumultuous personal life and relationship with celebrity and the media. I was tempted to find this sentiment a bit tiresome given how often it’s a theme on mega-famous musician’s albums an album or two after they became mega-famous, but then I realized that in Britney Spears’ case, she has some legitimate things to say after what she’s been through (and continues to endure).
“Pieces of Me” also made me think about the recent, excellent Hulu limited series, Pam & Tommy, which details how the theft of a private sex tape in the 1990s was destructive in the public, personal, and married lives of Tommy Lee and particularly Pamela Anderson.
When Britney announces that, “It’s Britney, b****,” at the beginning of opening track, “Gimme More,” I was a little turned off, I’ll admit. But it quickly won me over – it’s dark, slinky, with a great beat and vocals.
Some stats & info about Britney Spears – Blackout
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Pop Music, Dance Music
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #441
- All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
- When was Blackout released? 2007
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #835 out of 1,000
Britney Spears’ Blackout on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.