TOP 5 TRACKS FROM IN THE ZONE
Honorable mentions: The drunken haze of the Moby-produced “Early Mornin’” and the Madonna-featuring “Me Against the Music”
5. “Don’t Hang Up”
It was only a bonus track in a few places, but “Don’t Hang Up” is a stand-out from In The Zone. Britney’s first ode to phone sex, before 2008’s “Phonography,” “Don’t Hang Up” is one of many tracks on the album that chronicle Britney’s sexual awakening. This song is soft and sweet with its shimmering synths, a sensual plea to her lover to satisfy her long-distance.
4. “Touch of My Hand”
While “Don’t Hang Up” is about phone sex, “Touch of My Hand” is about the beauty of masturbation. With its Middle Eastern influenced instrumentation, “Touch of My Hand” shows sonic growth as well. The best moment of the song, however, is Britney’s high-pitched cooing and/or climaxing in the bridge.
Probably the best ballad of Britney’s career, and one of the most important songs on which she has a co-writing credit. Every pop diva needs a trademark ballad, and this is Britney’s. ”Everytime” is her heartfelt ode to ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake, a simple, lullaby-esque track with twinkling piano. The music video is one of Britney’s most creative, as well as one of her saddest, having predicted Brit’s future problems with fame and the paparazzi.
2. “Breathe on Me”
We’ve covered phone sex and masturbation. Here, heavy breathing is basically used as a metaphor for fucking. “Breathe on me,” Britney sings, but “fuck me” is what she means. “Monogamy is the way to go / Just put your lips together and blow” – Britney clearly learned from the greats, Janet and Madonna, and positioned herself neatly as a legend alongside them. With its pulsing electronic beat and overwhelming sexuality, “Breathe on Me” made for an album highlight and a stellar pop song.
“Toxic” proved that it was still cool to like Britney, that Britney could still turn out a huge hit single, and that Britney was truly unstoppable. Returning Britney to the top ten in the U.S. for the first time in 2000 (radio wasn’t kind to her other singles) and giving Britney her first Grammy, “Toxic” is a defining moment in Britney’s career. Everybody knows those Bollywood strings, everybody knows the music video, and nobody can deny that this song is unbeatable.
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