Glory (Britney Spears album)

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Glory
The album's cover features a close-up image of Spears with a bright light in the background. The album title is written on top of the image, while Britney Spears' name is written below her image.
Studio album by Britney Spears
Released August 26, 2016 (2016-08-26)
Recorded 2014–2016
Studio
Genre
Length 41:26
Language
Label RCA
Producer
Britney Spears chronology
Britney Jean
(2013)Britney Jean2013
Glory
(2016)
Alternative cover
Japanese tour edition cover
Japanese tour edition cover
Singles from Glory
  1. "Make Me..."
    Released: July 15, 2016
  2. "Slumber Party"
    Released: November 16, 2016

Glory is the ninth studio album by American singer Britney Spears. It was released on August 26, 2016, through RCA Records. After renewing her contract with RCA, Spears began work on the album in 2014. Lacking a deadline for completion, she continued work into 2015 and 2016, which—according to Spears—provided her the opportunity to create one of her favorite albums in her catalogue.

Glory received generally positive reviews from music critics, who praised Spears's vocal performance on the album and called it her most involved and engaged record in over a decade. The album was also included on year-end lists of best albums by several publications. The album debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200, moving 111,000 units in its first week. The album topped the charts in Czech Republic, Taiwan, Ireland, Italy and also peaked within the top ten of charts in another 20 countries.

"Make Me..." was released as the lead single for the record on July 15, 2016. The single debuted and peaked at number 17 on the US Billboard Hot 100. "Slumber Party" was released as the second and final single and peaked at number 86 on the Billboard Hot 100. Glory was further promoted with three promotional singles—"Private Show", "Clumsy", and "Do You Wanna Come Over?"—which premiered in the weeks before its launch.[3] Spears promoted the album with television appearances and televised performances, including the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

Background and recording[edit]

"'Pretty Girls' wasn't original. Britney wanted to do things that were fresh and unexpected this time. There was never a moment where she was given a song, and anybody said, 'This is a hit. You have to sing it'. Britney pursued the songs she wanted to do for herself. She came up with concepts and melodies. It's her baby. It's like being an athlete. If you're doing it that much, you're getting yourself into shape. She was always ready to work during the album sessions, and it was very important to her to be done by a certain time so she could pick up her boys from school."

 — Executive producer Karen Kwak describing the recording process of Glory.[4]

In August 2014, Spears announced she had renewed her contract with RCA, and that she was writing and recording new music. The recording process for the album took two and a half years and "30-40" songs were recorded for the record.[5] Six months into the recording of the album, Spears was dissatisfied with the results. Karen Kwak was then brought onto the record as executive producer following the release of "Pretty Girls" and helped Spears find "the most fun people to write with".[6] Kwak wanted to recall the sounds of Spears's albums Blackout and In The Zone for Glory, and chose producers based on this.[7] Kwak said of the album: "Britney pursued the songs she wanted to do for herself. She came up with concepts and melodies. It's her baby."[4] In an interview with Billboard in March 2015, Spears said that she was working on a new album "slowly but surely."

In April 2015, Matthew Koma confirmed he had worked on material for the record, none of which made the final cut.[8] In June 2015, Spears was pictured working with Sam Bruno, however, none of this material ended up on the record.[9] In July 2015, Spears was pictured working with writers Chantal Kreviazuk and Simon Wilcox alongside producer Ian Kirkpatrick; in that same month, DJ Mustard announced that he was working on the album, later revealed to be "Mood Ring" which was recorded the previous month.[10] Spears was also pictured working with producer Alex Da Kid in July 2015, however, his contributions did not make the cut for the album.[11] In October 2015, Spears was pictured working in the studio with Burns and Mischke.[12] Later that month, Spears teased the title for "Just Luv Me".[13] In November 2015, Spears was pictured working in the studio with Justin Tranter and Julia Michaels.[14]

In March 2016, Spears said that she was "being more hands-on" with the album and that it is "the best thing I've done in a long time," though she noted that she did not know when the album would be finished and that she was "not rushing anything [...] so that my fans will truly appreciate it."[15] The final track recorded for the album was "Love Me Down".[7] On August 3, 2016, Spears unveiled the name and cover of her new record, confirmed the release date, and announced that her new song "Private Show" would be instantly available for download to those who pre-ordered the album on iTunes. On Most Requested Live with Romeo, Spears revealed that it was her son who chose the name of the album.[16]

Composition[edit]

Since the beginning of the album's recording process, Spears insisted that she wanted to do something different with the project and take a "left turn." During a Tumblr Q&A with fans in July 2016, when asked about the style of the album, Spears responded with "I'll just say this... We really explored some new things."[17][18] On August 5, she revealed in a phoned-in radio interview on the segment On Air with Ryan Seacrest that the album "took a lot of time, but I think we brought it to a level where I was really, really happy with what I had; it's cool, it's really different [...] there are like two or three songs that go in the direction of more urban that I've wanted to do for a long time now, and I just haven't really done that."[19]

Promotion[edit]

Spears performing at the 2016 Apple Music Festival at the Roundhouse in Camden Town, London, England, United Kingdom on September 27, 2016.

On August 3, Spears appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, pranking Jimmy Kimmel with an impromptu bedside performance of "Make Me..." alongside male dancers.[20] On August 5, Spears was interviewed for the radio program On Air With Ryan Seacrest, where she discussed the development of the album.[21] On August 16, Spears announced that she would be performing "Make Me..." at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.[22] The performance was announced following the cancellation of two Britney: Piece of Me show dates that were initially scheduled two days prior to the awards.[23] The performance was her first at the VMAs since her 2007 performance of "Gimme More". On August 24, Spears was interviewed on BBC's Scott Mills.[24] On August 25, Spears appeared on the "Carpool Karaoke" segment on The Late Late Show with James Corden where she sang along to "Make Me...", "Oops!... I Did It Again", "Womanizer", "Toxic" and "...Baby One More Time".[25] On August 29, the day after the VMAs, she was interviewed on the Elvis Duran and the Morning Show and the Zach Sang Show.[26][27] On September 1, Spears appeared for the first time in fifteen years on the Today Show for an interview and to perform "Make Me..." and "Do You Wanna Come Over?".[28][29] On September 7, Spears appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where she went with Ellen to the mall and distributed signed copies of Glory.[30] On September 24, Spears performed at the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival at the T-Mobile Arena, which aired on The CW.[31] On September 27, Spears performed at the Apple Music Festival in London.[32] On 1 October, Spears appeared on The Jonathan Ross Show for an interview and to perform "Make Me...", marking her first performance on British TV since 2008.[33] On December 2, Spears performed at 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball. She received a birthday cake and performed "Slumber Party" with Tinashe.[34][35] A day after, she performed at 99.7 NOW's Triple Ho Show.[36] On December 10, Spears performed at the B96 Pepsi Jingle Bash.[37]

Singles[edit]

Rapper G-Eazy (pictured) is the featured artist on "Make Me...".

"Make Me..." was released as the lead single for the album on July 15, 2016. It was described as a "slinky" mid-tempo R&B song and features the vocal collaboration of American rapper G-Eazy.[17] An accompanying music video for the single premiered on VEVO on August 5, 2016. The single debuted and peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming her sixth-highest debut on the chart and 34th "Hot 100" entry.[38]

A new version of "Slumber Party" featuring Tinashe was released on November 18, 2016 as her second single.[39] A music video also premiered the same day. The single debuted at number 86 on the Billboard Hot 100 issue dated December 10, 2016. It is also her 35th Hot 100 entry.

"Private Show" was released as the first promotional single along with the pre-order on August 4, 2016. The song shares the title of her latest fragrance. The song was written by Britney Spears, Carla Williams, Tramaine Winfrey and Simon Smith.[17][40] "Clumsy" was released as the second promotional single on August 11, 2016.[41] The third and final promotional single "Do You Wanna Come Over?" was released on August 18, 2016.[42]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?6.8/10[43]
Metacritic71/100[44]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[45]
The Boston Globe(positive)[46]
The Daily Telegraph3/5 stars[47]
Entertainment WeeklyB[48]
Los Angeles Times(positive)[49]
NME3/5[50]
The New York Times(mixed)[51]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[52]
Slant Magazine3.5/5 stars[2]
ViceA–[53]

Glory received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 71, which indicates "generally positive reviews", based on 14 reviews.[44] Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine rated the album 3.5 out of 5 stars, and called the album's sound "daring and mature", but criticized "Private Show", calling it "the album's only bona-fide misfire."[2] In a positive review, Maura Johnston from The Boston Globe described the album as one with "an unbridled energy" that "operates on its own terms."[46] Neil McCormick from The Daily Telegraph praised the production on the album, and noted that "every track sounds like a single".[47] In a mixed review of the album, Jon Parales from The New York Times claimed that the album was "one-dimensional", but noted her as sounding like she "has emphatically returned to the foreground."[51] Mesfin Fekadu from Associated Press noted Spears "has taken note and jumped on the bandwagon [of R&B]" but claimed that the songs were not "authentically Britney."[54] In contrast, Nolan Feeney from Entertainment Weekly characterized the songs on the album as sounding "like glimpses of the real Britney—her musical tastes, her voice—imperfections and all."[48]

In particular, Spears's vocals were generally praised. The Los Angeles Times described the vocals as a "vast improvement" over those on Britney Jean, remarking that "the very performed nature of the singing [...] makes Glory such a good time."[49] The Boston Globe remarked that Spears was "throwing herself fully into her vocal performance" on the album and The New York Times described Spears as sounding "more involved, more present, than she has in a decade."[46][51] Rolling Stone positively compared Spears's vocals to those on In the Zone, noting "she hasn't played around with her vocals so cleverly since the "Toxic" days."[52] Entertainment Weekly described the album as "her most engaging vocally" in a decade and noted Spears as sounding "more present and enthusiastic than she has in years."[48] In a similar sentiment, Idolator described Spears as sounding "more lucid, engaged and front-and-center than she's been in years."[55] Slant Magazine credited Spears with a "willingness to stretch vocally and explore new sonic terrain", but also remarked that at times, this "highlight[s] her shortcomings".[2]

Year-end lists[edit]

Glory was included in year-end lists of best albums by several publications.

Publication Accolade Year Rank Ref.
Slant Magazine 25 Best Albums of 2016 2016
10
Digital Spy 20 Best Albums of 2016
11
Fuse Best Albums of the Year 2016
12
Glamour 20 Best Albums of the Year 2016
20
AOL Best Albums of 2016
5
Rolling Stone 20 Best Pop Albums of 2016
5

Commercial performance[edit]

Glory debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200, moving 111,000 equivalent-album units in its first week, with 88,000 coming from pure album sales.[62] As of July 2017, Glory has sold over 250,000 units in the United States.[63] In the United Kingdom and Ireland, Glory debuted at number two and number one, respectively, becoming her highest charting album in those countries since Blackout (2007).[64] In Germany, the album debuted at number three, becoming her highest charting album there in 13 years, since the release of In the Zone (2003). In Italy, the album debuted at number one, becoming Britney's first album to reach the top of the Italian album chart. In Japan, the album peaked at number 19 on the Billboard Japan Hot Albums chart.[65] In South Korea, the album debuted at number 26 on the Gaon Album Chart and at number 3 on the international version of the same chart.[66] After Spears's tour in Korea, the album rebounded on the Gaon International Chart and reached the top of the chart, higher than its debut position.[67] The album also charted within the top ten of charts in 24 various international countries.

Track listing[edit]

Standard edition (CD and LP)[68]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Invitation"
  • Monson
  • Mischke[a]
3:20
2."Do You Wanna Come Over?"
Mattman & Robin[b]3:23
3."Make Me..." (featuring G-Eazy)
  • Burns
  • Mischke[a]
3:51
4."Private Show"
  • Tramaine "Young Fyre" Winfrey
  • Mischke[a]
3:55
5."Man on the Moon"3:47
6."Just Luv Me"4:01
7."Clumsy"
  • Oak Felder
  • Alex Nice
  • Mischke[a]
3:03
8."Slumber Party"
  • Larsson
  • Fredriksson
  • Michaels
  • Tranter
3:34
9."Just like Me"
  • Spears
  • Michaels
  • Tranter
  • Monson
  • Monson
  • Mischke[a]
2:45
10."Love Me Down"
  • Andrew "Goldstein" Goldstein
  • Mischke[a]
3:19
11."Hard to Forget Ya"
3:30
12."What You Need"
  • Spears
  • Williams
  • Winfrey
  • Smith
  • Winfrey
  • Mischke[a]
3:08

Notes

  • ^[a] – vocal production
  • ^[b] – primary and vocal production
  • ^[c] – additional vocal production
  • ^[d] – co-production

Personnel[edit]

  • Denisea Andrews – background vocals
  • Jon Asher – vocal producer, background vocals
  • Jessica Ashley – background vocals
  • Venus Barr – keyboards, producer
  • Erik Belz – assistant vocal engineer
  • BloodPop – producer
  • Julian Gramma – producer
  • Dan Book – vocal producer
  • Trevor Brown – background vocals
  • Burns – engineer, producer
  • Cashmere Cat – instrumentation, producer, programming
  • Maddox Chhim – mixing assistant
  • Brittany Coney – background vocals
  • John Cranfield – engineer
  • Alex DeGroot – assistant vocal engineer
  • Aaron Dobos – vocal engineer
  • Ed Drewett – background vocals
  • Jason Evigan – instrumentation, producer, vocal engineer, vocal producer, background vocals
  • Vanessa Evigan – background vocals
  • Victoria Evigan – background vocals
  • Benny Faccone – assistant engineer, assistant vocal engineer
  • Oak Felder – producer, background vocals
  • Robin Florent – mixing engineer
  • Melanie Fontana – background vocals
  • Ina Forsberg – background vocals
  • Sterling Foxguitar, background vocals
  • Livvi Franc – background vocals
  • Robin Fredrikssonbass, brass, drums, guitar, handclapping, kalimba, marimba, percussion, producer, programming, snaps, synthesizer, vocal engineer, vocal producer
  • Michael Freeman – mixing assistant
  • G-Eazyrap vocals
  • Chris Galland – mixing engineer
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing
  • Andrew Goldstein – engineer, keyboards, producer, programming
  • Erwin Gorostiza – creative director
  • Oscar Görres – bass, guitar, percussion, producer, programming, shaker, snaps, synthesizer, vocal engineer, vocal producer, background vocals
  • Angella Grossi – background vocals
  • John Hanes – engineer, mixing engineer
  • Breyan Isaac – background vocals
  • Jeff Jackson – mixing engineer
  • Jermaine Jackson – background vocals
  • Joe Janiak – background vocals
  • Kathleen Janzen – background vocals
  • Jaycen Joshua – mixing
  • Ilsey Juber – background vocals
  • Rob Katz – assistant vocal engineer
  • Ian Kirkpatrick – producer, programming, background vocals
  • Zaire Koalo – background vocals
  • Dave Kutch – mastering
  • Karen Kwak – A&R, executive producer
  • Mattias Larsson – bass, brass, drums, guitar, handclapping, kalimba, marimba, percussion, producer, programming, snaps, synthesizer, vocal engineer, vocal producer
  • Marcus Lomax – background vocals
  • Kevin Luu – assistant engineer, assistant vocal engineer
  • Manny Marroquin – mixing
  • Nathalia Marshall – vocal production assistance
  • Julia Michaels – background vocals
  • Mischke – vocal engineer, vocal producer, background vocals
  • Nick Monson – producer
  • David Nakaji – mixing assistant
  • Alex Niceford – producer
  • Randee St. Nicholas – photography
  • Jason Patterson – assistant vocal engineer
  • Phoebe Ryan – background vocals
  • Linda Pritchard – background vocals
  • Benjamin Rice – vocal engineer
  • Talay Riley – background vocals
  • Robopop – instrumentation, producer, programming
  • James Royo – engineer
  • Lance Shipp – podorythmie
  • Venus Shipp – background vocals, assistant engineer
  • Dawn Soul – background vocals, programming
  • Britney Spearslead vocals, background vocals
  • Mark "Spike" Stent – mixing
  • Gavin Taylor – art direction, design
  • Isaiah Tejada – assistant engineer
  • Pat Thrall – vocal producer
  • Carla Marie Williams – background vocals
  • Tramaine "Youngfyre" Winfrey – producer, background vocals
  • Sadaharu Yagi – assistant vocal engineer

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

List of release dates, showing region, format(s), edition(s), label, and references
Region Date Format(s) Edition(s) Label(s) Ref.
Various August 26, 2016
  • Standard
  • deluxe
RCA [110]
South Korea August 30, 2016 CD Exclusive Sony Music [111]
Japan September 14, 2016 Sony Music Japan [112]
May 31, 2017 Double album Japan Tour edition [113]
China June 18, 2017 China Tour edition Sony Music [114]

References[edit]

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