Britney Spears: . . . Baby One More Time Album Review
Some of you might know that I also have a second channel on Youtube called OnesThatEntertain, which I use only to upload lyric videos. The only creativity on my part that this channel requires is the pictures in the video and spelling words correctly. I have this channel mostly to have something to do at work. It also allows me to become more familiar with the work of artists that I mix. I get to know not just their singles, but their album tracks as well. And since I also do album mixes, it allows me to become more familiar with those. I do want to post more regularly in my blog so I’d thought that I’d add some reviews of albums that I’ve completed lyric videos for. I did one album review for Britney’s Blackout album over on the Flop of the Pops forum and it was a lot of fun so I thought I’d do it here too.
The first album I did for the channel was — what else — Britney’s debut album, . . . Baby One More Time. The reviews will have 4 sections:
1. average score out of 100,
2. Top 3 tracks,
3. Track by track review and,
4. Conclusion on the album as a whole.
So here we go:
Britney Spears: Baby One More Time Album Review
Top 3 Tracks: Baby One More Time, You Drive Me Crazy, Sometimes
Baby One More Time: 10/10 – I love this song even to this day and I don’t think I will ever get tired of it. I can’t help but sing to it, it is that infectious. I’m not sure if any hit Britney has had has really measured up to Baby One More Time status. You know it the instant that you hear it — the opening riff, the “Oh baby, baby” hook, everything. I even love the piano background in the middle of the song. It brings a sad desperation to it that I think doesn’t entirely come through in the beginning. It really just brings it home in those last choruses.
You Drive Me Crazy: Album Version 7/10, Remix Version 9/10 – The album version for me is pretty standard and not much to sniff at. It does have a slaying guitar solo in the middle of the song that just doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of what the album is. It’s the Stop Version Remix that really elevated the song and I’m glad they remixed it for the video. I love that it gives it a messier feel as I think the album version of the song is too polished and clean for what the lyrics are about. I love the break in the middle and the “Stop!” and how the song comes back in. The remix is perfect dance-pop.
Sometimes: 7/10 – The best of the album’s numerous ballads. It’s sweet, cute, easy to sing along to. It’s an inconsequential love song, but one of my favorite Britney slow songs, and honestly one of her best. It’s a more innocent Brit, cooing about her hesitation to approach her crush, and I like that. Catchy, sugary sweet. Doesn’t get any better when you’re only seventeen years old.
Soda Pop: 7/10 – I didn’t like this song at all growing up. I think it was just too weird, too out of the classic pop genre most of the album was rooted in, and that’s still true. It’s sort of the weird stand-out of the album, and now I sort of like it. It’s a different reggae sound on Brit that I like. It certainly doesn’t fit in with the rest of the album, and track-wise, I might have put it after Thinkin’ About You instead.
Born to Make You Happy: 5/10 –
Here we go. The rest of the album from here on out is lovey-dovey teenage girl mid-tempo songs. “Born” is forgettable and bland to me. Honestly, wasn’t worth the single release, even in the UK.
From the Bottom of My Broken Heart: 4/10 – This has the lowest score of the album because it’s simply too long. No Britney song needs to be over 5 minutes. That’s just too much. Even the title is too long. “From the Bottom . . .” is a first love breakup ballad that has Britney singing some really terrible lyrics, one of the worst being “You put a dart/Through my dreams, through my heart.” She does reach some of those high notes pretty well though.
I Will Be There: 5/10 – Written for her little sister, I Will Be There is a nice song, but also ultimately forgettable. There are dozens of songs out there with this exact title and this one doesn’t stand out at all.
I Will Still Love You: 6/10 – Probably my second favorite ballad. Almost hits the top three tracks. I love this duet, one of the only ones Britney has ever done. It’s sad that it’s placed towards the end of the album. By the time you get to it, you’re really sick of these mid-tempo love songs and you just want the album to be over. At times, Don’s voice gets a little grating, but overall their voices really mesh and I would have liked to have seen them perform it live together.
Thinkin’ About You: 7/10 – Finally, an up-tempo song. At least more uptempo than the last four. I like the funkiness of it, and the beginning with Britney singing “Ah-ah-ah.” I’ve always loved her lower register and it really shines through in here. Good happy song.
E-Mail My Heart: 4/10 – Dang it. Heaven forbid we should have two danceable songs in a row. The song is simple, but suffers from its datedness. Another sad love song, ultimately forgettable.
The Beat Goes On: 5/10 – I love the original song and I think Britney does a good cover of it, but you just have to wonder why this song? Brit’s voice is funky enough for it, but nothing on the rest of the album really says “Sonny and Cher cover.”
The first four songs of the album are strong, but the rest of it, consisting of mostly ballads and mid-tempo songs, utterly flops. The release of the “. . . Baby One More Time” single promised an album full of danceable tracks, but it fails to deliver. Britney and the producers wisely play it super safe with her debut, painting Brit as the wholesome girl next door, but it leaves me wanting more upbeat tracks, The eponymous single is really the only truly good thing on the album.