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Everytime (#110 of 3)

The 15 Best Britney Spears Singles

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The 15 Best Britney Spears Singles

RCA

The 15 Best Britney Spears Singles

Britney Spears rode the late-’90s teen-pop wave to superstardom, setting records and defying the odds by making the transition from child celebrity to bona-fide pop star to gay icon—all in the first 10 years of her career. She kicked off her second decade, which came on the heels of a very public personal and professional near-implosion, with a string of smash singles that rivaled her initial run of iconic hits. The singer’s 2013 album, Britney Jean, was met with a lukewarm reception from critics and audiences, but even if her ninth album, Glory, out this Friday, fails to reignite the charts, she’s already cemented her status as America’s premier pop princess. To prove it, we’ve compiled a list of Britney’s 15 best singles.

Single Review: Britney Spears, “Perfume”

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Single Review: Britney Spears, “Perfume”
Single Review: Britney Spears, “Perfume”

A bona fide brand, Britney Jean Spears has released 13 different fragrances in the last nine years, reportedly raking in $1.5 billion internationally, so an attempt at some cross-promotional synchronicity was, perhaps, inevitable. “Perfume” is the second single from Spears’s eighth studio album, Britney Jean, following the disappointing “Work Bitch.” Co-written by Spears and the usually reliable Sia and co-produced by will.i.am, the song is a midtempo ballad that likens perfume to urine: “I put on my perfume/Yeah, I want it all over you/I’m gonna mark my territory,” Spear sings, her occasionally pitchy vocals veering close to parody. It’s a ballsy choice for a single, given that the pop star hasn’t scored a hit with a non-dance track since her first fragrance, “Curious,” hit the market back in 2004 (and, it should be noted, the success of that song, “Everytime,” was largely due to its club mixes), to say nothing of the fact that “Perfume” equates lingering fragrances to territorial pissings and effectively reveals Brit to be a water sports enthusiast.

Toronto International Film Festival 2012: Spring Breakers

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Toronto International Film Festival 2012: <em>Spring Breakers</em>
Toronto International Film Festival 2012: <em>Spring Breakers</em>

Here is a film, to borrow a phrase from Don Delillo, about “the neon epic of Saturday night,” a DayGlo beach-borne fantasy of bright lights smeared and shining; it exists in this strange and beautiful place upon which Malick, Mann, and MTV incongruously converge. This is art-house maximalism with a tenor like poetry, an incisive and critical drama unafraid to relish and indulge in the subject it intends to deconstruct. You could call it “high-trash” cinema; it collects the cast-aside bric-a-brac of an ostensibly bankrupt culture—Harmony Korine operates here like some rigorously anthropological Katamari, rolling up anything and everything in his path—and transforms it into something earnestly, maybe even transcendently, gorgeous.

Spring Breakers manages in one beer-steeped swoop to both criticize and ultimately redeem the most vacuous detritus it can find: dubstep, coke, video games, beer bongs, keg stands, dreadlocks, cheap 40s, Gucci Mane’s face tattoo, the state of Florida, and the titular spring break as not only a vacation but as a very real-seeming state of being. I don’t want to oversell its intellectual or aesthetic aspirations, but in many ways the film is like Weekend reimagined as a daring iteration of Girls Gone Wild. Or, hell, maybe Jean-Luc Godard’s Step Up Revolution: It’s a radical take on a sexy summer drama by a man with serious artistic ambitions. It’s also quite obviously the best film currently touring the festival circuit.