Listening to this album more than ten years after its release, it’s remarkable that Britney Spears has managed to recoup her career from the public relations fiasco it was at the time, not to mention that she managed to even survive the pressures she was facing. This album, released at the height of the wall-to-wall negative press that followed her every move, represented such a gigantic middle finger to her critics in the midst of a public breakdown that it’s impossible not to be impressed by its lucidity, clarity and precision. Spears herself sounds sly and aloof here, and it’s the perfect approach to the impersonal lyrics that are married to the thunderous pop beats that accompany just about every single song and make this an electrifying experience to hear. If there’s such a thing as a rock star pop album, this is it.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)