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Someday (I Will Understand)

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"Someday (I Will Understand)"
Upper bust of a blond woman. She is standing in front of a mirror, with her hand against it. She is looking above through the mirror. The picture is covered in flourished white drawings. In the middle, the words "BRITNEY SPEARS" are written in flourished white letters. Below, the words "SOMEDAY (I WILL UNDERSTAND)" are written in smaller capital letters.
Single by Britney Spears
from the album Britney & Kevin: Chaotic
  • "Chaotic"
  • "Mona Lisa"
  • "Over to You Now"
Released August 18, 2005 (2005-08-18)
Recorded 2005
Length 3:37
Label Jive
Writer(s) Britney Spears
Producer(s) Guy Sigsworth
Britney Spears singles chronology
"Do Somethin'"
"Someday (I Will Understand)"
"Gimme More"
Music video
"Someday (I Will Understand)" on YouTube

"Someday (I Will Understand)" is a song recorded by American singer Britney Spears. It was written by Spears and produced by Guy Sigsworth. The song was released on August 18, 2005, by Jive Records, as the sole single from Spears' first extended play, Britney & Kevin: Chaotic (2005). In July 2004, Spears announced her engagement to American dancer Kevin Federline, later revealing she would be taking another career break to start a family. Spears wrote the song two weeks before knowing she was pregnant with her first child, Sean Preston Federline. A pop ballad, "Someday (I Will Understand)" lyrics refer to a feeling of empowerment as a pregnant woman. A remixed version of the song was included on the 2005 remix compilation, B in the Mix: The Remixes.

"Someday (I Will Understand)" has received mixed reviews from music critics. A few reviewers considered it as a lesson on the singer's history and a "tear-jerker" ballad, while others considered it a non-savable "flop single". The song reached the top ten in Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland and also charted in a number of European countries. An accompanying music video, directed by Michael Haussman, premiered on the finale of Britney & Kevin: Chaotic. Entirely shot in black-and-white, the music video features Spears as a pregnant woman and portrays a transformation of her character. Contemporary critics noted the video as a departure from Spears' previous music videos, while comparing the imagery of it to American entertainer Madonna's Kabbalah makeover.


A 21-second sample of "Someday (I Will Understand).

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In July 2004, Spears announced her engagement to American dancer Kevin Federline, whom she had met three months before. The romance received intense attention from the media, since Federline had recently broken up with actress Shar Jackson, who was still pregnant with their second child at the time.[1] The initial stages of their relationship were chronicled in Spears's first reality show Britney & Kevin: Chaotic. They held a wedding ceremony on September 18, 2004, but were not legally married until three weeks later on October 6 due to a delay finalizing the couple's prenuptial agreement.[2] In October 2004, the singer announced she would be taking another career break to start a family.[3] Spears gave birth to her first child, Sean Preston Federline, on September 14, 2005.[4]

"Someday (I Will Understand)" was composed by Spears on the piano at her house, two weeks before she learned of her pregnancy with Sean Preston. She explained the song came "like a prophecy... when you're pregnant, you're empowered".[5] It was produced by Guy Sigsworth, who previously worked with the singer on "Everytime" (2003). Spears recorded her vocals for the song at Conway Studios in Los Angeles, California, and at Frou Frou Central in London. The piano was played by Spears herself, while all other instruments and mixing were done by Sigsworth. Background vocals for the song were provided by Kate Havnevik.[6]

Critical response[edit]

"Someday (I Will Understand)" received mixed reviews from music critics. While reviewing Britney & Kevin: Chaotic, Mike McGuirk of Rhapsody noted, "Britney now sings about either the husband or the kid. (Sorry, people. It's a sad day for the middle-aged American male sicko.) For everyone else, these bonus tracks further Spears' upward path of totally bangin' production and almost uncanny Prince-channeling."[7] Gil Kaufman of MTV thought the song a "horrible Britney ballad with the black-and-white video that began her descent into madness."[8] Leo Ebersole of Chicago Tribune considered it "a fictional piece",[9] while another reviewer from the same newspaper noted that "as a matter of fact, the song is more or less a lesson in Britney history."[10] Becky Bain of Idolator praised the track, stating that "Britney goes genuine for this ode to her unborn baby."[11] Kurt Kirton of said that "And Then We Kiss" and other remixes of songs like "Toxic" and "Someday (I Will Understand)" on the remix album B in the Mix: The Remixes "hold their own".[12] IGN writer Spence D. noted the Hi-Bias Signature Radio Remix "reverberates with all the clichés that often stifle the music that rustles through the late night/early morning club scenes around the world."[13] Rolling Stone contributor Barry Walters gave the song's remix a negative review, saying that "nothing can rescue Spears' freakishly sappy flop single "Someday (I Will Understand)"."[14] Bradley Stern also of MTV, however, praised the Leama & Moor Remix, saying it "transforms the tearjerker of a ballad into a full-on trance anthem. Big beats, stuttering vocals -- it's heartbreak on the dance floor."[15]

Commercial performance[edit]

On September 1, 2005, "Someday (I Will Understand)" debuted at number 46 on the Swedish Singles Chart.[16] It peaked at number 10 the following week.[17] In Switzerland, the song debuted at number eight on the week of September 4, 2005.[18] On September 9, 2005, the song debuted in the Danish Singles Chart at number 11.[19] The following week, it peaked at the eight position.[20] "Someday (I Will Understand)" also reached the top 20 in Belgium (Flanders and Wallonia), Finland and Norway and charted in Austria and the Netherlands.[21] "Someday (I Will Understand)" has sold 60,000 paid digital downloads in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.[22]

Music video[edit]

A pregnant Spears in the music video.

The music video for "Someday (I Will Understand)" was directed by Michael Haussman. Spears commented that he "[did] a great job capturing the song, the essence and the emotion" and added that the video had "a different feeling" from any of her previous videos.[23] It was shot entirely in black-and-white.[24] Spears asserted that her life had "come full circle" and implied that in the process she underwent changes in her soul and body, as shown in the video.[25] It premiered on June 14, 2005 during the fifth and last episode of Spears's reality show Britney & Kevin: Chaotic, titled "Veil of Secrecy".[26] The music video features a pregnant Spears lying in bed and walking around a house while singing to her unborn child. She also gazes through the window at the Roman sculptures in the garden.[24]

Dana Alice Heller noted that her provocative costuming and dancing are replaced in the video with a solitary, fabric-draped Spears that evokes an ethereal calmness. Heller compared the imagery to Madonna's Kabbalah makeover, but added that while Madonna was "in her thirties after a tabloid head-lining first marriage and a few other misguided relationships, Spears was only twenty-two, making her transformation seem forced".[25] Hayley Butler of Jam! said "the video is a far cry from the snake handling, sweating and skimpy Britney videos of the past. Dressed in a classy silk dress, she runs through gardens, lies in bed and walks through the grass, all with a burgeoning belly."[27] John Mitchel of MTV included the video on the list "Beyonce, Britney And Madonna: What To Expect When You're Expecting — Music Video Edition" in 2011.[28] Despite praising the track, Idolator blogger Becky Bain stated that "at this point she still looks like a teenager herself, so it's a little disconcerting seeing her with that huge belly, singing about motherhood."[11]

Track listings[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]



Chart (2005) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[32] 32
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[33] 17
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[34] 11
Denmark (Tracklisten)[35] 8
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[36] 15
Germany (Official German Charts)[37] 22
Hungary (Mahasz)[38] 6
Italy (FIMI)[39] 7
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[40] 36
Norway (VG-lista)[41] 18
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[42] 10
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[43] 8

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
France[44] August 18, 2005 Digital EP Sony BMG
Germany August 22, 2005 CD single[45]
Digital EP[46]
Luxembourg[47] Digital EP
United Kingdom[49]
United Kingdom[50] Digital single
Japan[51] September 21, 2005 Maxi single
United Kingdom[52] October 11, 2005


  1. ^ Reporter, Staff (July 31, 2008). "Britney Spears' Biography ". Fox News. Retrieved June 6, 2010. 
  2. ^ Heller 2007, p. 80
  3. ^ Vineyard, Jennifer (October 16, 2004). "Britney Spears Announces She's Taking A Break From Her Career". MTV. Retrieved June 10, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Britney Welcomes Home Sean Preston". People. September 21, 2005. Retrieved October 6, 2010. 
  5. ^ Maxwell, Alison (June 14, 2005). "'Chaotic': Britney's happily-ever-after". USA Today (Gannett Company, Inc.). Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Britney & Kevin: Chaotic (DVD) (Liner notes). Britney Spears. Jive Records. 2005. 
  7. ^ McGuirk, Mike (September 27, 2005). "Britney & Kevin: Chaotic by Britney Spears". Rhapsody Music. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  8. ^ Kaufman, Gil (March 26, 2008). "Idol's David Archuleta Stumps Our Resident Pop Music Nerd". MTV. MTV Networks. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  9. ^ Ebersole, Leo (June 13, 2005). "Downpour Muggy enough for you last weekend?". Chicago Tribune. Tony W. Hunter. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Making baby Federlne". Chicago Tribune. Tony W. Hunter. September 15, 2005. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Bain, Becky (February 17, 2011). "Every Britney Spears Video: A Nostalgic Look Back". Celebuzz. Buzz Media. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  12. ^ Kirton, Kurt (2005). "Britney Spears — B In the Mix (The Remixes)". The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 17, 2010. 
  13. ^ D., Spence (November 23, 2005). "Britney Spears B in the Mix: The Remixes". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  14. ^ Walters, Barry (November 28, 2005). "Rolling Stone : B In The Mix, The Remixes (Deluxe Version) : Review". Rolling Stone (Jann Wenner). ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved January 1, 2010. 
  15. ^ Stern, Bradley (October 10, 2011). "The 5 Best Britney Spears Remixes Ever!". MTV. MTV Networks. Retrieved October 10, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Sweden Singles Chart". Sverigetopplistan. September 1, 2005. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Sweden Singles Chart". Sverigetopplistan. September 8, 2005. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Swiss Singles Chart". Swiss Singles Chart. September 4, 2005. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Danish Singles Chart". Tracklisten. September 9, 2005. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Danish Singles Chart". Tracklisten. September 16, 2005. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Someday (I Will Understand) on world charts". Ultratop. Hung Medien. 2005. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  22. ^ Grein, Paul (August 1, 2010). "Week Ending Aug. 1, 2010: The Downloading Of Eminem — Chart Watch". Yahoo! Music. Yahoo!. Retrieved September 7, 2010. 
  23. ^ Britney Spears (2005). Britney & Kevin: Chaotic (DVD). Jive Records. 
  24. ^ a b Reporter, Rolling Stone (2009). "The Complete Video Guide: "Someday (I Will Understand)"". Rolling Stone (Jann Wenner). ISSN 0035-791X. 
  25. ^ a b Heller 2007, p. 92
  26. ^ Staff, Associated Press (June 12, 2005). "Britney to debut music video on ‘Chaotic’ finale". NBC Universal / Microsoft. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  27. ^ Butler, Hayley (June 14, 2005). "Britney's 'Chaotic' series wraps up". Jam!. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  28. ^ Mitchel, John (October 4, 2011). "Beyonce, Britney And Madonna: What To Expect When You're Expecting — Music Video Edition". MTV. MTV Networks. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  29. ^ Someday (I Will Understand) (European CD single liner notes). Britney Spears. Jive Records. 2005. 82876 72614 2. 
  30. ^ Someday (I Will Understand) (European limited edition maxi single liner notes). Britney Spears. Jive Records. 2005. 82876 71428 2. 
  31. ^ Someday (I Will Understand) (Japanese maxi single liner notes). Britney Spears. Jive Records. 2005. 4988017635421. 
  32. ^ " – Britney Spears – Someday (I Will Understand)" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
  33. ^ " – Britney Spears – Someday (I Will Understand)" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
  34. ^ " – Britney Spears – Someday (I Will Understand)" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
  35. ^ " – Britney Spears – Someday (I Will Understand)". Tracklisten. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
  36. ^ "Britney Spears: Someday (I Will Understand)" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
  37. ^ " – SPEARS,BRITNEY Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
  38. ^ "Hungarian Singles Chart" (in Hungarian). Mahasz. Retrieved April 10, 2010. 
  39. ^ " – SPEARS,BRITNEY – Someday (i Will Understand)". Top Digital Download. Retrieved June 22, 2012.
  40. ^ " – Britney Spears – Someday (I Will Understand)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
  41. ^ " – Britney Spears – Someday (I Will Understand)". VG-lista. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
  42. ^ " – Britney Spears – Someday (I Will Understand)". Singles Top 100. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
  43. ^ " – Britney Spears – Someday (I Will Understand)". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
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External links[edit]