Britney Spears' Glory has arrived in all its glory!
The 17-track album could easily be considered Spears' best work since In the Zone and Blackout, kicking off with a cool mix of slow- and mid-tempo jams before launching into a full-fledged dance party. Still, somewhere along this global ride -- the pop star brings an infectious Spanish flair to "Change Your Mind (No Seas Cortes)," delicious tranquility on the French "Coupure Électrique," and even brings a hint of British-Brit on ''If I'm Daaaancing" -- we were left with a few questions. Like...
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1. Why Is It Called Glory?
Britney albums usually get their titles via fairly straightforward avenues -- Oops, I Did It Again and Circus come from song titles, Britney and Britney Jean are her name -- though there are outliers, such as In The Zone and Femme Fatale. So, why Glory? It's not the name of any track on the album.
Turns out the explanation is so simple a kid could think it up -- because one did. "My son [Preston, 10] actually came up with the name Glory. He was like, 'Mom, you are going to feel glorious once this is over,'" she explained to iHeartRadio. "He's really proud of that."
2. Why Wasn't Glory Released During the Summer?
You could argue that we're still clinging to the last days of summer -- and "Make Me...," the lead single, did debut in July -- but the entire record should have dropped back in June, in our humble opinion. It's chock full of full-on bangers! We are retroactively making the Bieber-esque "Better" our official Song of the Summer. Because it would have and should have been.
3. Is This the Album Britney Has Had the Most Control Over?
Britney has repeatedly said how "very, very proud" she is of Glory -- is that because it's her truest vision yet? We know that she worked closely with her right-hand A&R woman, Karen Kwak, who said, “Britney pursued the songs she wanted to do for herself. She came up with concepts and melodies." It shows.
Glory is like the immaculate child of Blackout and In The Zone, two records Britney had extensive input in, creatively-speaking. Listening to the tracks, it's clearly Britney's sonic sensibilities. It's cool and artsy fartsy ("Man on the Moon"), with some urban influences ("Liar").
4. Who Is Inspiring All This Seductiveness?
Glory is inevitably a sexy album. No doubt about it: Britney is in full seductress mode on this! But last we heard, pop's reigning princess hasn't been romantically linked to any eligible bachelor since last year. During the Late, Late Show segment "Carpool Karaoke," she said, of her personal life, "I might French kiss someone but I'm not going to marry anyone, no. I don't believe in marriage anymore."
Obviously you don't have to tie the knot to have, ahem, slumber parties, so this one mostly boils down to us being genuinely curious about Brit Brit's sex life. Sue us! She's singing about blindfolds and sheets all on the floor just like an ocean. We want the receipts! Give us the receipts!
5. What Is the First Word Britney Sings on "Make Me..."?
Britney is in fine vocal form on Glory, but we honestly have absolutely no idea what the very first lyric on "Make Me..." is. "??????? / I'm dreaming a mile a minute 'bout some-bo-day." It sounds like she is going to sing, "forever," and then changed her mind to "surrounded." For-oudned? And Genius has it listed as "Friday," which is somehow even more confusing than a word we literally just made up.
6. How Many F-bombs Does She Drop?
We love NSFW Britney! We did the math and she lets a total of seven F-bombs fly, thanks in large part to a well-placed "f**kin'" in the chorus of "Slumber Party." There is one more in the lyric, "I ain't f**king with your dirty, dirty, dirty laundry" on "Liar," for good measure. Sorry, "Work B*tch." Apparently the F-word is the new B-word.
7. Why Didn't Britney Reunite With Any Past Producers?
We love that she enlisted new -- from Cashmere Cat and Robopop ("Just Luv Me") to Mattman & Robin ("Do You Wanna Come Over?" and "Slumber Party"), YoungFyre ("Private Show" and "What You Need") to Bloodpop ("Better." Fun fact: Bloodpop produced Justin Bieber's "Sorry," hence the similar ~vibes~), but couldn't we get at least one track from Danja?
We know this isn't technically Blackout 2.0, but it does have Blackout influences, so we would have loved to see what she would have concocted in the studio with Danja ("Gimme More," "Break the Ice") or Bloodshy & Avant ("Toxic" "Radar"). Or maybe William Orbit ("Alien") on something without so much will.i.am influence? Even Max Martin, for old times' sake!
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8. Why Is G-Eazy the Only Feature?
To be fair, Britney albums are always light on features -- great! More Britney! Though the pop star has kind of explained how she and the "Make Me..." rapper linked up, we're still not clear how he secured the sole feature on Glory. Rumors of collabos included guest spots from Missy Elliott and Ty Dolla $ign, however, that's all they ever were. Rumors. But... But... But... could we please get a Britney-Missy song?
9. What Is the Next Single Going to Be?
"Private Show" and "Clumsy" were fun enough hype tracks, but neither should be an official single. Not when there are so many other cuts that have potential to be big-time radio hits. "Do You Wanna Come Over?" would be huge. "Just Luv Me" and "Hard to Forget Ya" could make a serious impact. And "If I'm Dancing" is too much fun to not get some spins in da club, the fact that it's a bonus track be damned.
10. Do You Wanna Come Over?
A question in its own right, but also our vote for single No. 2.
11. What Does "No Seas Cortes" Mean?
"Change Your Mind (No Seas Cortes)" is easily one of our favorite offerings -- even if we initially had no idea what we're singing along to. It seems there's an accent missing -- "Cortés" is proper -- and literally translates to "Don't Be Courteous."
Others suggest it translates more informally to "Don't Be Polite," which would make the spoken word passage -- "Yo sé que estás intentando ser educado / Yo sé que me quieres tratar bien / Pero no seas cortés" -- "I know you're trying to be polite / I know you want to treat me well / But don't be polite."
12. When Did Britney Learn to Speak French?
We're teased with Britney en Français with a countdown on "Man on the Moon," which is unexpected enough. Oh! But wait! Britney sings AN ENTIRE SONG in French -- "Coupure Électrique," the final track on the deluxe edition. (The title is also seemingly a reference to Blackout!) And she's credited as one of the track's co-writers, alongside three others. Um, is Britney a secret Francophile?! If so...since when?
13. But Seriously. Can "Slumber Party" Be a Single?
"Slumber Party" needs the single treatment -- after "Do You Wanna Come Over?" that is. She can easily censor those F-bombs and if she remixed it with a Drake verse, it would be fire on the radio. Instant No. 1.
Anyway, we'll be jamming to Glory until Britney's performance at the MTV Video Music Awards this weekend. It's her first time performing at the show in nearly a decade. Before she hits the stage, look back on all of her most iconic VMA performances in the video below.