“Here’s my invitation, baby / Come feel my energy,” Britney Spears purrs to open her new album, “Glory,” and what a welcome offer that is.
Released in late 2013, just before Spears launched a much-hyped residency in Las Vegas, the album was promoted as the “Most personal” she’d ever made.
Now Spears is back at 34 with an album that carries her one-of-a-kind electricity without depicting her as a victim or an avenging force; she seems in control, a grown woman having a laugh on her own terms.
Her ninth studio record, “Glory” is almost entirely about sex, with the listener cast in the role of “You” in scenarios as varied as “Slumber Party”, “Do You Wanna Come Over?” and “Private Show,” in which the singer play-by-plays her “Spectacular” strip-club routine.
Even when the songs are providing her with flimsy messages, Spears on “Glory” sings with real style and attitude, as in “Make Me,” in which she switches between a breathy murmur in the verse and a euphoric falsetto in the chorus, and “What You Need,” a surprising neo-Motown jam in which she comes far closer to Amy Winehouse than anyone would ever have predicted.
As a whole, the performance is a vast improvement over her flat, robotic delivery on “Britney Jean”; indeed, it’s the very performed nature of the singing – with Spears’ full battery of signature vocal tics – that makes “Glory” such a good time.