Glory is Britney Spears' 9th studio album which was released on August 26, 2016 by RCA Records.
In August 2014, Britney Spears announced she had renewed her contract with RCA Records, 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.
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".
Kwak wanted to recall the sounds of Spears's albums, "Blackout" and "In the Zone" for Glory, and chose producers based on this. 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."
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, but none of it made the final cut. In June 2015, Spears was pictured working with Sam Bruno; however, none of this material ended up on the record.
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.
Spears was also pictured working with producer Alex Da Kid in July 2015; however, his contributions did not make the cut for the album.
In October 2015, Spears was pictured working in the studio with Burns and Mischke. Later that month, she teased the title for "Just Luv Me." In November 2015, Spears was pictured working in the studio with Justin Tranter and Julia Michaels.
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." The final track recorded for the album was "Love Me Down."
Album Title & ArtworkEdit
On August 3, 2016, Spears unveiled the album's release date, the title and the album cover–which was a photograph taken by Randee St. Nicholas on the set of the music video for "Make Me..."–and that her new song "Private Show" would be instantly made available for digital download to those who pre-ordered the album via iTunes Store.
On Most Requested Live with Romeo, Spears revealed that it was her son who chose the title of the album.
In May 2020, following a fan campaign for the album, an alternate cover—featuring Spears in a gold bathing suit in the middle of the desert—was uploaded to streaming services for the standard edition of the album.
- Invitation 3:18
- Do You Wanna Come Over? 3:22
- Make Me... (featuring G-Eazy) 3:51
- Private Show 3:54
- Man On The Moon 3:46
- Just Luv Me 4:01
- Clumsy 3:02
- Slumber Party 3:34
- Just Like Me 2:44
- Love Me Down 3:18
- Hard To Forget Ya 3:29
- What You Need 3:07
Deluxe edition bonus tracks
- Better 3:09
- Change Your Mind (No Seas Cortés) 3:00
- Liar 3:16
- If I'm Dancing 3:24
- Coupure Électrique 2:20
"Glory" debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, moving 111,000 album-equivalent units in its first week, with 88,000 coming from pure album sales.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the album debuted at number two and number one, respectively, becoming her highest charting album in those countries since her 2007 album, "Blackout."
In Germany, the album debuted at number three, becoming her highest charting album there in 13 years, since the release of her 2003 album, "In the Zone." In Italy, it debuted at number one, becoming Spears' first album to reach the top of the Italian album chart.
In Japan, "Glory" peaked at number 19 on the Billboard Japan Hot Albums chart. In South Korea, it debuted at number 26 on the Gaon Album Chart and at number three on the international version of the same chart.
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. It also charted within the top ten of charts in 24 various international countries.
"Glory" received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, the album received an average score of 71, which indicates "generally positive reviews", based on 14 reviews.
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 the track "Private Show", calling it "the album's only bona-fide misfire."
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."
Neil McCormick from The Daily Telegraph praised the production on the album, and noted that "every track sounds like a single." 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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
In a similar sentiment, Idolator described Spears as sounding "more lucid, engaged and front-and-center than she's been in years."
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".