In 1999, a teenage Britney Spears would come out with what could be one of the most influential albums of the future. An album that would spark inspiration for many of the artists that are here today, “…Baby One More Time”.
Britney Spears started as a child star. She rose to fame after she was on Star Search in the late 80s. After, she would rise to fame on “The New Mickey Mouse Club” with notables, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling, Keri Russell, JC Chasez, and Christina Aguilera. This would springboard her into notoriety, but would not seal this album’s fate. After returning to school, she would create a solo demo tape with Larry Rudolph. After many rejections, Jive Records would green light this album and the rest was history.
Britney originally wanted more of a Sheryl Crow sound, but record companies wanted a pop sound. In the age of the Spice Girls and the Backstreet Boys, pop music was alive and well and so she compromised her vision for this album.
When released, “…Baby One More Time” broke records. It sold 121,000 albums in the first week. It was a critical success. She was the first female artist to be in the Billboard top 100 songs and 200 albums, among many other accolades. “…Baby One More Time” spent 51 weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard top 200 albums.
Britney would start a trend of female artists like Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, and many others that recording companies wanted to emulate Spears. She would be featured on TV shows and movies with hits from this album. By the end of 1999, Spears would become a household name.
“… Baby One More Time” contains 11 songs in the US version of this album. With hits like “You Drive Me Crazy”, “Sometimes”, and “…Baby One More Time” it is hard to not like this album. There is a glorious mix of hits and songs that have not been heard in a long time. The singing is impeccable and the beats are infectious. It is hard to not dance when listening to this album because there are so many positive, upbeat songs.
What is striking is the difference in Spears’ voice between this album and what people hear now. The voice on here is much younger but is also less nasaly. There is more of an opportunity for belting and using more of a chest voice than a head voice. It appears they wanted Spears to just sing instead of trying to control her, which produces a much better album.
Another great surprise is a duet. Spears does not sing with people very often. On this album, she sang with Don Phillips and featured Mikey Bassie in another song. Both are very pleasant songs that are pleasant additions to the album. She also covered The Beat Goes On, which is pretty typical for new artists to do on debut albums.
While there are a lot of beats that are old, those beats and sounds are coming back now. They could easily still be played today, and kids could enjoy them. The concepts of the album are very universal, except for Email My Heart, which is an old concept. Despite that, the rest of the album is great!
I love this album, and though it makes me sad, I really enjoy it. It is sad that the music industry has beat down her voice and vision so much to make it so that she doesn’t even sound the same, but despite that, it is still wonderful.
Does it Hold up: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The only song that does not hold up is Email My Heart. The rest of the album could be played today, and be relevant.
Britney is a gem and is so nostalgic. There are so many classic songs, and this is a perfect album to put on to be very nostalgic.
Do you agree with my assessment? Post your thoughts in the comments below!
As always, Creating Nostalgia Millennial Style!
1 thought on “It’s Britney’s Baby One More Time!”
An interesting note on the title song. The phrase “hit me baby one more time” doesn’t really make any sense. It was later learned that the guy that wrote it was not American so he misunderstood the saying. He meant the phrase “hit me up” as in give me a call.