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Britney Spears has sprung a leak. With her ninth studio album, Glory, slated for release next Friday, the deluxe edition of the LP hit the internet on Saturday night, putting a cramp in the seemingly calculated rollout that her label RCA has been executing for weeks.
Glory, which includes the single “Make Me” featuring G-Eazy, clocks in at 12 tracks on the standard edition and 17 on the deluxe. Collaborators on the set are extensive. Writers include Justin Tranter, Julia Michaels, Young Fyre, Sterling Fox, Oak and Phoebe Ryan, among others, while production comes courtesy of Burns, Nick Monson, Mattman & Robin, Cashmere Cat, Robopop and more.
The album is much livelier than predecessor Britney Jean, which arrived in 2013 and was Spears’ lowest-selling album to debut on the charts. Glory contains the previously released “Private Show,” “Do You Wanna Come Over?” and “Clumsy,” all of which were issued to streaming services over the past few weeks. Elsewhere on the album, the songs’ paces vacillate, but Spears is clearly here to party.
“What You Need” is a blast of horns and Southern flavor; “If I’m Dancing” rips a page out of the Major Lazer handbook; and “Just Luv Me” channels the icy bounce of Justin Bieber’s latest hits. The most surprising inclusion comes on the deluxe version: Album closer “Coupure Électrique,” which runs at two-and-a-half minutes, features Spears singing in French throughout. While it sounds a bit bizarre, it actually fits her whispery tenor and easily slots as one of her most adventurous songs to date.
The rollout for Glory hasn’t been smooth sailing. Spears initially partnered with famed director David LaChapelle to shoot the visuals for “Make Me” for a spicier version, which was teased in a clip that leaked ahead of the video’s release. But fans were left confused when the official video came out on Aug. 5 and it was notably tamer and somewhat clichéd. Rumors swirled that Spears’ team removed LaChapelle’s footage from the final cut and that he leaked some of it in retaliation, including a scene where G-Eazy simulates having sex with Spears. But the video actually helped the song’s performance, and the track vaulted from No. 67 to No. 43 on the Billboard Hot 100 (dated Aug. 27) following its release.
Spears will commemorate the album’s release with a long-awaited return to the VMA stage on Aug. 28, where she will make the live TV debut of “Make Me.” She has been working on Glory for two years in between shows at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas for Britney: Piece of Me, which launched in December 2013 and has dates booked until February 2017.
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.
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