Britney Spears is in the news again, but it’s not because her former shenanigans are reappearing. This time, her new single “Hold It Against Me” was leaked to the public a day early (Los Angeles Times). Seriously, does anyone believe that these things are really “leaked?” The new song is your typical techno, clubbing kind of tune that has become so popular these days. And from the hype on the street and the comments made by fans, Britney’s past behavior seemingly will not be an impediment to the success of the new album that is expected to drop in March.
Spears is not the first artist to make a comeback to pop music. There are three other women who memorably made the same such attempt. The question is, were they successful?
Celine Dion: “A New Day Has Come.” In 2002, Celine Dion had been absent from the music scene for five years (mp3.com). With the release of her comeback song “A New Day Has Come,” she quickly placed herself back on top. Her music isn’t quite like that of Spears, but it has a long-lasting quality to it that Spears’ club music can’t compete with. Plus, Dion seems to have the Midas touch in the sense that everything she touches turns to gold. In 2003, she released another album that included collaborations with Britney’s own music producer Max Martin. Dion showed that she can keep up with the best of the emerging artists.
Kylie Minogue: “2 Hearts.” Minogue has been around forever. And, we love that about her. In 2007, after a bout with breast cancer, the singer made a comeback with her 10th album, featuring some great pop music that could compare to both Dion and Spears (amazon). Although the album wasn’t quite as successful as its predecessors, it did reach platinum status in the U. K. and Australia (The National). Kylie has great music, some of which may be forgettable over time, but as a whole, keeps her in the spotlight as a forerunner of pop music.
Whitney Houston: “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength.” Can you sing this one off the cuff right now? No? Neither can I. It was the most anticipated comeback of the decade, particularly after the lengthy interview that Houston had with Oprah Winfrey in 2009. But Houston’s hard-partying ways must have stuck with her in one form or another as she bombed in Australia and the United Kingdom (trueslant.com). Hers was an admirable attempt at reclaiming the glory that she once had, but she should have picked some better music to make a comeback with. And, the secrets of her past may have been better left unrevealed.
Given the above examples of powerhouse singers, Spears has a pretty good chance of getting back on top with her newest single. At the end of the day, the weirdness of Britney’s behavior over the last few years will not affect the success of her albums. She’s giving the fans what they want from her and what she does best: sex and grit. That’s what she’s good at, and the fans will follow her for it. She may not have the talent of Dion or the consistency of Minogue, but she certainly knows what people want. Until that changes, Spears will be hit with whatever music she puts out there.
“Snap Judgment: “Hold It Against Me” by Britney Spears”, Los Angeles Times
“Celine Dion”, MP3.com
“X: Kylie Minogue”, Amazon
Sophia Money-Coutts, “Kylie Minogue: Aphrodite”, The National
Jeremy Helligar, “Whitney Houston’s Bum Notes: How Not to Stage a Comeback”, True/Slant