Britney Spears' 'In The Zone' Turns 15: Ranking All the Songs

Britney Spears' 'In The Zone' Turns 15: Ranking All the Songs


On 2001's Britney, Britney Spears sang concerning the struggles of rising up — she wasn't a woman, not but a girl. But by 2003's In the Zone, she had clearly arrived because the latter.

That album — launched 15 years in the past on Nov. 12 — marked the singer coming into her personal, each as an artist (Spears took on extra writing tasks than ever earlier than) and as a girl (the LP's erotic content material made "I'm a Slave four U" look comparatively chaste). From the ice-blue album cowl to its chilling manufacturing, In The Zone signaled a extra mature route for Spears as she explored digital music and hip-hop like by no means earlier than. And the document's lyrics — which referenced her breakup with Justin Timberlake and pushed again at her critics within the media — celebrated new ranges of independence and candor for the singer.

Spears' hands-on artistry was rewarded by the general public: In the Zone debuted atop the Streets Talkin 200, went double-platinum and launched a number of the most iconic singles of her profession. To have a good time the album and the turning level it offered for Spears' profession, Streets Talkin ranked each music on the album's normal version.

12.  “Shadow”

The first of the 2 gradual tunes on the album, “Shadow” is Spears’s model of an ‘80s energy ballad. But even her tender, emotive vocals aren't sufficient to get out of the, nicely, shadow of “Everytime.” 

11. “Brave New Girl” 

“Brave New Girl” would possibly as nicely have been a mission assertion for the In the Zone period: Here, Spears sings about letting go of all of the constraints which have held her again and vows do issues on her personal phrases. Still, the overuse of Auto-Tune and vocal results makes “Brave New Girl” extra tacky than fascinating.

10. “Outrageous” 

Let’s face it: “Outrageous” is a cursed monitor. From the controversial team-up with R. Kelly to the music video shoot the place Spears injured her knee (which led to a cancelation of The Onyx Hotel Tour), the music is basically the second the singer’s profession modified. But there is a silver lining: “B-girl ain’t misplaced the beat/ Jumped over drama and I landed on my toes” is nearly as good a mantra for Spears' profession as any.  

9. “Showdown”

Swedish manufacturing duo Bloodshy & Avant are the masters behind this unsubtle bed room anthem, which finds Spears instructing her lover to undo her zipper and likening their adults-only enjoyable to an enviornment sporting occasion. But in terms of total sexiness, “Showdown” doesn’t, erm, rise, to the event of the album's extra seductive tracks. 

eight. “The Hook Up”  

Spears has experimented with reggae and dancehall prior to now (see: …Baby One More Time’s reggae-funk “Soda Pop”), however on “The Hook Up,” she seems like she stumbled into the sweaty basement the place Sean Paul shot his "Get Busy" video. The dance-instruction lyrics and hard-hitting bass make for a flirty vibe, although the occasional, slight patois in her vocal supply didn't age nicely.

7. “(I Got That) Boom Boom” feat. Ying Yang Twins 

“SHAWTYYY! WE FINNA GO TO THE CLUB AND GET CRUNK WITH BRITNEY…HAANNN!” nonetheless stays among the best music introductions of the brand new millennium. “Boom Boom” noticed Spears embrace her actually cool and concrete aspect as she drew from her Southern roots. Then throw in a naughty verse from Atlanta’s Ying Yang Twins, and you’ve got a weirdly excellent ass-shaking theme music for the golf equipment — and one of the unpredictable pop-rap collaborations of the period. 

6. “Me Against The Music” feat. Madonna

Compared to different lead singles from her earlier albums, “Me Against The Music” isn’t as iconic. But it affords a stable style of Spears' newfound experimental aspect — from the funky guitar riffs to her rapid-fire singing, it's Weirdney via and thru. And, in fact, the inclusion of Madonna served as the final word “passing the pop torch” second that many followers have been ready for.

5. “Toxic”

One of Spears' signature singles, “Toxic” arrives in the midst of In The Zone like a lightning bolt straight from outer house because of these near-ear-splitting Bollywood strings (courtesy of Bloodshy & Avant) that might simply soundtrack a horror film. While different tracks on the album are supposed to soundtrack what occurs after the membership, “Toxic” leads you straight to the dance ground with its frenetic bassline and glitchy breakdown. And the world was wanting to get down together with her: The single earned Spears her first and solely Grammy win for Best Dance Recording and peaked at No. 9 on the Streets Talkin Hot 100.

four. “Early Mornin’”

Who knew Moby could possibly be so risqu? He co-wrote and co-produced this after-hours jam, by which Spears particulars some presumed one-night stands with a dude with "darkish hair" and one other man named Joe. And it's a stand-out on In the Zone because of Spears' dedication to capturing the vibe — the singer actually yawns, whispers and giggles all through the monitor as she recounts her nights out, making it really feel like an genuine snapshot of her life on the time.

three. “Everytime” 

While Timberlake went the scorched-earth route on 2002’s post-breakup single “Cry Me A River,” Spears' purported response, “Everytime,” opted for one thing extra nuanced and tender — and completely heartbreaking. Her vocals are so mushy and fragile, apparently she simply completed wiping away tears earlier than getting within the recording sales space. And the music’s lyrical message turns into much more haunting once you watch the David LaChapelle-directed video for the monitor, which seems to depict Spears' loss of life and reincarnation following a paparazzi-induced head damage.

2. “Touch of My Hand”

“Touch of My Hand” was the primary music Spears recorded for In The Zone, and it clearly formed the album’s unbridled sensuality. Here, she takes half in a convention of unapologetic, taboo-busting self-love anthems — “I like myself, it's not a sin/ I can't management what's taking place," she purrs simply earlier than the refrain — and it deserves to be as a lot of a basic in that class because the Divinyls’ “I Touch Myself.” It's additionally a music Spears clearly loves: Despite being a deep lower album monitor, she's repeatedly included it a lot of her tour and residency setlists.

1. “Breathe on Me” 

Taking a couple of notes from Madonna’s passion-filled Bedtime Stories, Spears delivers one of the provocative songs in her catalog with the trip-hop impressed "Breathe on Me." Set to a woozy, tingling beat, the monitor finds Spears toying with the listener come-hither whispers and references to climaxes — a less-explicit method than "Showdown," positive, however one which's someway much more intense. (She drove the purpose residence through the Onyx Hotel Tour, throughout which she writhed round a mattress with a male dancer to this monitor.) It takes a famous person of Spears' caliber to make an advert for monogamy sound this freaky.