Ranked: The 20 greatest Britney Spears album track bangers you never knew you needed
These songs will change your life, end of
When you’re an artist as game changing as Britney Spears, your deep cuts that lurk on your albums are pretty much as iconic as the singles that the entire world knows. Fans know this, music critics know this, but do YOU know this? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. But fear not – as a die hard Britney fan for my entire life, I’ve spent hours, days, weeks, months and years with her records and have compiled the best of the best that you may never have even listened to. Here are the 20 best Britney Spears album tracks, ranked!
20. Can’t Make You Love Me
“I’m just a girl with a crush on you!” Very me when I catch a mere glimpse of Jack Harlow, to be honest. This little gem from Oops, Britney’s second album, is a Max Martin classic that never got a single push. It’s only because Britney Spears had more hits than she knew what to do with in 2000 that this isn’t as well known as Oops I Did It Again, Stronger and Lucky. Because it’s as good as!
19. Before The Goodbye
A deluxe bonus track that serves as a cinematic finale to Britney’s self titled third album, Before The Goodbye starts slowly with Madonna Don’t Tell Me-esque guitar riffs and Britney “tick tick tocking” her way through the first verse. It’s not long before we’ve got dramatic choirs coming in with B as she begs for forgiveness before the goodbye. The way this song transitions from N-Sync vibes to pure Eurodance in the production is a marvel.
18. Deep In My Heart
Britney’s first two albums are mostly full of fluff that prop up the megahit singles – but one exception from her debut is Deep In My Heart, a house track that has early 90s Mariah Carey energy and is honestly just three and a half minutes of pure happiness. Pop perfection. Impossible not to dance to.
17. Change Your Mind (No Seas Cortés)
Hotly rumoured in 2016 to be Glory’s third single after Britney added it to her Vegas show setlist, sadly this Latin pop banger never got the iconic music video it deserved. It’s summer in a song – Spanish and English lyrics in perfect harmony with a guitar production to die for. Pass me a bloody sangria, Ms. Spears!
16. Inside Out
Why this Femme Fatale electropop dubstep banger wasn’t released as a single but I Wanna Go was I truly will never know. It screams single, it screams “give me a music video”. It’s immaculately produced and has a coldness to it that’s just irresistible – pure femmebot fatale Britney Spears at her very best.
15. If I’m Dancing
Britney Spears named this as one of her personal favourites from Glory, and it is unquestionably one of the best album tracks ranked here. You can always tell when Britney got to have fun in the studio because the lyrics are sillier and the results are just so uniquely her. If I’m Dancing (DARRRRNcing!) has the same energy as another Spears personal fave, Do Somethin, in that its completely ridiculous but completely euphoric. Love it so much.
Britney has so many songs about phone sex and they’re all great. As a phone sex connoisseur, I consider them all my theme tunes. Phonography, perfectly titled, is a Circus bonus track that absolutely goes off. Robotic vocals that sounds like Britney is leaving you a sexy voice mail, what other pop star could make the lyrics “He got service, I got service, baby we can talk all night!” sound so deeply sexy?
13. Don’t Hang Up
Why would I ever hang up when we’ve just had Phonography all night! Britney’s breathy vocals on Don’t Hang Up are pure heaven – a bonus track from In The Zone, her sexiest album. The production shimmers in all its dial tone – she has never sounded sexier. No pop star has EVER sounded sexier. Wow.
12. Unusual You
Britney Spears snarls her way through so many of the best album tracks on Circus, and Unusual You is one of her most robotic and perfectly detached deep cuts. The gushing lyrics contrast so perfectly with the ice cold vocals – detached and dreamy. Electropop Britney is the best Britney. Got promo single push in Australia but should have been a global smash.
What a way to open an album. If Glory is the last Britney Spears album the world ever gets, she set the tone perfectly with this one. The vocals are pitched so highly you feel like you’re flying through the air with her – as she enchants you into a record that has so many excellent tunes, both singles and deep cuts. There’s no word that describes Invitation better than LUSH. “Don’t wanna beg so don’t make me”, absolutely gorgeous.
“This is an attitude song. I mean, we played around with that a lot in the studio. At the very last minute, we put a rap on it. It’s just real funky, different and I’ve never done a rock song like this before, so it’s one of my favourites. It’s a different Britney, I think,” Spears said, and she’s right. Lucky has it all. Pure pop, rock guitar, dramatic strings and a rap? Inject it.
9. How I Roll
What the experimental is going on! Am I listening to Britney Spears or Björk in her Medulla era? That breathy opening invented hyperpop. Completely bizarre, nonsensical lyrics and one of the most special and unique songs in her discography. If you’ve never heard How I Roll, listen to it right now. Weirdo anthem!
Probably the coolest Britney has ever sounded. Low vocal register, mysterious atmosphere, completely hypnotic. The hangover and the comedown from the party of Blackout – if you don’t wake up after a night out and press play on Blur you haven’t lived. “Turn the lights out, this shit is way too fucking bright, wanna poke my eyes out” We’ve all been there, doll!
7. Heaven On Earth
“Your touch, your taste, your breath, your face, your hands, your head, you’re sweet, your love, your teeth, your tongue, your eye, you’re mine, your lips, you’re fine, you’re heaven on earth” is quite a gushing way to open a song – and it’s perfect. The honeymoon period in a song, where the person you love can’t do a thing to put you off. One of Blackout’s most jubilant and joyous bops – pure 80s synth goodness. A classic.
Dirty, swampy, Louisiana bayou banger. This whole song seeps with Southern state energy. Was meant to be track 12 on Glory but got relegated to bonus track status – despite the fact it’s arguably the best song on the album and should have been the lead single. Britney uses her natural vocals here and they’re wonderful. It’s bluesy, dusty and country twanged – a hidden masterpiece and number one single that never was.
5. Perfect Lover
“My body feels like an inferno” Britney announces, and after I’ve finished dancing to Perfect Lover for the 100th time, so does mine. Perfect Lover gallops along like a pop beast that shows no signs of stopping – sexy, full of moans and that Danja production that both defined the Blackout era and the shape of pop music to come. Irresistably fresh. Every song on Blackout could have been a single and Perfect Lover proves it.
Britney has never sounded more femmebot, and more in charge of her sound. Mannequin is so icy and detached that Britney feels like a formidable echo, haunting and lingering. It’s one of the most surreal songs she’s ever done – reminiscent of a Charli XCX song in its repetition and production that jumps around like it’s got a life of its own. Could never have been a single, but remains one of the most fascinating deep cuts of all the best Britney Spears album tracks.
The definition of a fan favourite, a Spears favourite and a groundbreaking track that changed pop music forever. Freakshow is credited for the first time a dubstep wobbler effect has been used in mainstream pop music – an adventurous production move that makes Freakshow stand out on Blackout like the sordid little anthem it is. The whole thing feels perfectly filthy in the best way – and Britney is having so much fun on it that you can hear instantly why she had it as such a memorable part of Piece Of Me in Vegas.
2. Touch of my Hand
The world’s greatest song about having a wank. End of. Sorry to I Touch Myself, Touch Of My Hand stands above it. It’s both horny and beautiful in equal measure. A self love anthem and sex positive song that only Britney could pull off, no pun intended, with such sexy vigour. This is the kind of music that her vocals are made for. The Middle Eastern strings combined with the robotic vocoder vocals in the background have no business working in such perfect harmony. “I find myself flirting with the verge of obscene!”
1. Breathe On Me
Nothing else could take the top spot but Breathe On Me, a song so good that it should be in everyone’s Britney Spears top three songs even if we threw the world changing singles into the mix. I’ve never heard a singer sound so sexy on a song whilst sounding like she’s barely even trying to be. It’s an orchestral symphony of sweat and moaning, of putting your lips together and blowing, of owning your sexuality and having your back blown out – to be quite honest. And it’s perfect. A masterpiece. Hang it in the pop music Louvre as a matter of urgency. The best of the best when it comes to Britney Spears album tracks. “It’s so hot in here…”
Listen to the ranked playlist of the 20 best Britney Spears album tracks here.
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