Britney Spears Finds Glory with New Album

Britney Spears Finds Glory with New Album

The superstar's ninth studio album is as wonderfully weird as her Instagram feed—but that's exactly why we love it

The superstar's ninth studio album is as wonderfully weird as her Instagram feed—but that's exactly why we love it

Text: William Defebaugh

Britney Spears has had a long career in the spotlight. It seems impossible that the singer is only 34, but then again, she was thrust into the public eye at the age of 17 (earlier if you count her Mouseketeers days). From number one hits and iconic performances to public breakups (and breakdowns) to court battles and comebacks, we've seen it all in the time that's between then and now. When she released her eighth studio album, 2013's Britney Jean, many were let down by the follow-up to 2011's Femme Fatale. We couldn't help feeling that it felt a little phoned in, and even Spears admitted that it wasn't her best work.

But in the years since Britney Jean, the public began to notice a change in Spears' behavior. Everyone started talking about her Instagram account, gleaming insight into the singer's wonderfully weird world. She was posting memes, adorable videos of her with her children, doing yoga, shouting out other celebrities (she's a big Miley fan, apparently). She began her Vegas residency (shortly after the release of Britney Jean), which, if we're being honest, is the perfect place for Ms. Spears. As evidenced by Circus, she's an entertainer at heart—most comfortable in the center of the ring.

Britney Spears photographed by Mario Testino for V100.

And then there was the evolution of her look: from the Vegas stage to the cover of our 100th issue, it became undeniable that Spears is looking the best she has in perhaps a decade. (Say what you want about photoshop, we saw the originals, and just one look at her unedited social videos will show that Spears' fit new form is no illusion.) So what's the overarching theme here? What do we have to thank for Spears' transformation in the years since 2013? The answer is somewhat simple, and obvious: it seems that, after many years of ups and downs, Spears has found happiness. And it shows.

It's this newfound happiness and confidence, then, that we have to thank for the singer's ninth studio album, Glory, released today. The record is filled with EDM-infused anthems, from previously released songs like "Make Me (Ooh)" and "Do You Wanna Come Over?" to sleeper hits like "What You Need" and "Better." The tracks are undeniably influenced by her time in The City of Sin, with pulsing energy and entendre-laced lyrics that feel just as at home on a Vegas stage as a dance floor.

If one thing is clear on Glory, it's that Spears had a hell of a good time making it. At numerous points on the album, she laughs to herself, giggling in between borderline nonsensical phrases (what was that about apple pie?). She's unafraid to show her true, silly self, and it's an authenticity that's more than welcome. She even ends one track by saying, "Well, that was fun." It's a simple sentiment, but one that also summarizes Glory; playful, fun, and indicative of Spears' newfound happiness. After all, isn't self-actualization the truest form of glory? Congratulations, Britney. You deserve it.

Glory is available now on Apple Music

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