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Britney is Britney Spears' third studio album which was released on November 5, 2001 by Jive Records.

Album BackgroundEdit

In May 2000, Britney Spears released her second studio album, "Oops!... I Did It Again". She collaborated with producers including Rodney Jerkins, David Kreuger, and Max Martin. Following its release, the album became an international success and peaked at number one on the Billboard 200.

While recording her follow-up record, Spears wanted an "older generation to pick up on it", adding that she "had to change it up and pray people think that's cool."

She stated that she chose to self-title the album because the majority of its content describes who she is. Spears recorded twenty-three tracks for the release, several of which she co-wrote with the assistance of Brian Kierulf and Josh Schwartz.

Spears added that personally writing the album and developing its concept made the project "that much more special", elaborating of her intentions to "get better and grow" as a songwriter. She worked with a variety of collaborators, including pop colleagues Martin and her then-boyfriend Justin Timberlake.

She commented that she initially felt "awkward" and "nervous" working with Timberlake, saying that she was accustomed to the process being "like work."

Spears also worked with hip hop producers Rodney Jerkins and The Neptunes, who made the record "nastier and funkier". She was additionally set to record songs with Missy Elliott and Timbaland; however, they never worked with Spears due to scheduling conflicts.

TracklistingEdit

  1. I'm A Slave 4 U 3:23
  2. Overprotected 3:19
  3. Lonely 3:20
  4. I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman 3:51
  5. Boys 3:28
  6. Anticipating 3:16
  7. I Love Rock 'N' Roll 3:06
  8. Cinderella 3:39
  9. Let Me Be 2:51
  10. Bombastic Love 3:05
  11. That's Where You Take Me 3:32

European edition

  1. When I Found You 3:36
  2. What It's Like to Be Me 2:50

Australian, UK and Japanese edition

  1. When I Found You 3:36
  2. Before the Goodbye 3:50
  3. What It's Like to Be Me 2:50

Chart PerformanceEdit

"Britney" debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 745,750 copies. In doing so, Spears became the first female to have her first three studio albums debut atop that chart.

She also held the second-highest debut album sales of 2001, behind NSYNC's album, "Celebrity" with 1.88 million units moved and was the highest debut-week sales by a female artist of the year.

After fluctuating within the top twenty of the chart in the following weeks, the album sold 3.3 million copies by 2002. As of March 2015, it has sold 4.4 million units in the United States alone and was certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Internationally, the album debuted atop the Canadian Albums Chart with first-week sales of 44,550 copies. It later sold 316,944 copies in the country, a significant decline in relation to the sales of "...Baby One More Time" and "Oops!... I Did It Again."

The album peaked at number four on both the Oricon Albums Chart in Japan and the UK Albums Chart. In the latter, it was certified Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for shipments of 300,000 copies to retailers.

Across the rest of Europe, "Britney" debuted at number one in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. In 2002, it was certified double platinum by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) for shipments of two million copies throughout Europe.

The album also peaked at number four in Australia, and was certified double platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA).

Critical ReceptionEdit

At Metacritic, "Britney" received an average score of 58, which indicates "mixed or average reviews" (based on 13 reviews).

David Browne of Entertainment Weekly found Spears's increasingly provocative image to be unnatural, noting "virginal vamping in an awkward adolescence" and "a few tentative new moves".

PopMatters' Nikki Tranton complimented the production of the songs, but questioned if Spears was ready to establish herself as a grown woman in the music industry.

Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine agreed, writing that although "Britney, [the album], fills her role of guilty pleasure (the disc certainly satiates more than the stunted growth of last year's Oops!...I Did It Again), it's time for Spears to quit being such a cock-tease and cook something up that will satisfy the ever-vacillating hype-machine."

AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave a positive review, feeling that the album "strives to deepen [Spears's] persona" and proves she "will know what to do when the teen-pop phenomenon of 1999–2001 passes for good."

Similarly, a reviewer from Billboard commented that the project was "a nicely varied, wholly satisfying collection."

Chris Heat of Dotmusic praised the album for "us[ing] this opportunity to take the odd risk and adds a welcome edge to her sound."

NME's Ted Kessler recognized the release as a "coming of age album" and joked that it "works best when making a good pop cheese and dance sandwich".

By contrast, Stephen Thompson of The A.V. Club panned the album, opining that the music "just [isn't] catchy" and that "though neither a girl nor a woman, Spears inspires grown-up anger on her own."

Craig Seymore of Spin recognized that she "sound[s] almost human," but criticized that "the rest of the record is as coldly anthemic as ever."

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