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Mar 15

BRITNEY SPEARS – “Oops!… I Did It Again”

Popular107 comments • 8,070 views

#858, 13th May 2000

britney oopsHow do you follow “…Baby One More Time”? Perhaps you can’t. Britney Spears’ second album splits the job, starting with two songs that plainly exist in “Baby”’s shadow. One is an overt sequel, “Stronger” – eager, catchy dance-pop that’s more upbeat than the first instalment: “My loneliness ain’t killing me no more”, Spears sings. Glad to hear it. The other is “Oops… I Did It Again”, which hit listeners initially as a straight-up clone of “…Baby One More Time”: the mid-paced, dancer-ready stomp, the melodrama, the end-of-song pile-on. And as that half-mocking title signalled, the song knew it.

The similarities weren’t enough to dismiss “Oops”, because if you copy a classic you might easily end up somewhere very good. Clone or not, “Oops” became one of Britney Spears’ signature tracks – a highlight of her tours and now her Vegas residency. But the resemblance meant that what “Oops” does differently – its startling gamble with its breakdown, its development of the singer’s persona, and the uses it starts to find for her voice – was overlooked.

But if Max Martin had somehow restrained from ripping himself off for Britney’s comeback, he’d have been the only one. “Oops” sounds a bit like “….Baby One More Time”. But by Spring 2000 half the charts sounded a bit like “…Baby One More Time”. British acts showed themselves especially keen students of Martin’s Cheiron studios and the new Swedish pop. It worked, too – several upcoming number ones come decked out with Cheiron-style crashing chords and floor-friendly melodrama, crowding out more authentically Max-factor productions from the Backstreet Boys or N’Sync. “Oops” was never likely to end the sound’s hot streak.

You need to look at a different Britney song to best understand how the Max Martin approach worked and how it could fail: “Satisfaction”, her Rolling Stones cover. Just as “…Baby” or “Oops” don’t, in fact, reveal more of themselves when covered by a dude with a guitar, so “Satisfaction” exposes the methods and limits of the sound by breaking a great pop record upon its wheel. The Cheiron style is built around an excess of emphasis – massive boldface syllables, power chords, and single steam-hammer beats all hitting in unison. Tightly choreographed formation dancing – freezing into shapes or throwing down on the heavy beats – completes the effect. “Satisfaction” shows what this can’t do – the Stones’ track doesn’t have the primary-coloured chords that Max-pop needs, and is front-loaded with Keith Richards’ riff, which Britney’s cover simply can’t find room for but – fatally – can’t replace either.

But listening to a misfire like “Satisfaction” leads to a better appreciation of Martin’s tricks and tics, too. In the great Cheiron numbers, the first half of a song uses the bombastic emphasis to crank up tension, which breaks near the end – often with a key change – to give the climaxes of their tracks their delirious potency, as every hook rains down at once like a videogame combo attack. Like glam rock, it’s an immediately recognisable, and not terribly subtle style, and like glam, it enjoyed a brief moment of unmatched pop dominance.

Digging into the Max Martin and Cheiron way of pop is important, because “Oops…I Did It Again” uses and plays with it so magnificently. For me, this is a peak of Britney and Max Martin’s early careers – just as good as its template, perhaps better. As a piece of classic pop songwriting, “Oops” is inferior – “…Baby” has that dynamite sixties melodrama going on, and it feels so complete and satisfying it’s irresistible. But “Oops” takes it as a model and vaults it, going beyond its aspirations to lay foundations for the rest of Britney’s career.

For a start, she actually sounds happy on it. Her singles had been a sequence of teenage agonies, with “Born To Make You Happy” pushing her melodrama to an unnerving limit. “Oops” goes in a completely different direction – now she’s the one in control while her luckless boy makes a fool of himself. “Oops” isn’t a word you say when you sincerely regret anything, and Britney clearly doesn’t. It means she gets to sing the song in a rather different way from earlier singles – breaking out a sarcastic snap that’ll end up as one of her most recognisable styles. She still flirts with melodrama – “To lose all my senses…” – but knowingly undercuts it, makes a joke of it – “that is just so typically me.”

This shifting vocal style finds an echo in the record’s production: this is the single that begins the journey to the cut-up, fractured vocal lines of Spears’ great mid-00s records. Take the sequence at the start of verse two: “You see my problem is this” – sly and crackly, confidential. “I’m dreaming away, looking for” – the callous nasal jab that’s her main “Oops” register. “Heroes that truly exist” – a multi-tracked swoon. The form of the song – Britney’s voice flitting between styles – mirrors the content – Britney as a girl gleefully trifling with her suitors. Max’s lyrics aren’t brilliant – when are they ever? – but Britney’s singing and his production are a potent combination.

As Diamanda Galas – a woman who knows a thing or two about the uses of the unnatural sounding voice – said with approval, “She doesn’t even sound human!”. Galas delightfully characterised Britney as a producer’s “sick dream”, a “radioactive worm”, and these unlikely compliments get to the implications of “Oops”. What “Oops” is doing with its vocals is picking up on the potential of Cher’s “Believe” – moving away from the idea that a pop single should pretend to be a recording of a single, replicable performance. On the instrumental side, this illusion had fallen away a long time before. In dance music, loops and cut-ups and stretching meant that vocal naturalism was strictly optional. But in pop, there was still an implied hierarchy. The lead vocal was more important than the backing, which was more important than the video, which was more important than anything else the star did.

“Oops…I Did It Again” doesn’t dissolve that hierarchy entirely. But it presents a strong challenge to it. Not just in the vocal – whose treatments are quite mild compared to later Britney Spears tracks – but in its most audacious trick, not writing a breakdown at all and instead churning to a halt, then cutting to video dialogue with a sudden “All Aboard!” As the “Oops” chords bubble softly around them, Britney and her doe-eyed suitor discuss the gift he’s brought her. Not just any gift: The Heart Of The Ocean, the necklace from the film Titanic. The dialogue makes this absolutely obvious to anyone who’s seen the film – which is most of Britney’s audience, you figure. And Britney’s response to this impossible gift of the most symbolically romantic object in the entirety of late-90s pop culture? A slightly exasperated, “Aw, you shouldn’t have.”

(Just to make it even more absurd and amazing, in the video, all this is happening on Mars.)

Britney doesn’t perform this section live – in a gig environment, “Oops” gets forced back into song-shape, which emphasises how much the section breaks that shape on record. It’s a deeply weird moment – not even a spoken word section a la the Shangri-Las, more like a skit stranded in the middle of a track. It’s simultaneously clumsy and swaggering – Britney casually hijacking the biggest film of all time – and it explicitly declares that “Oops”’ as a song is a soundtrack to its video. Which in the era of Total Request Live and its UK equivalents, was a fair acknowledgement of how fans would encounter it.

The spoken video breakdown isn’t a trick Britney, Max Martin or any of her other collaborators would revisit – it risks the momentum too much. But in this one case, it works. The dialogue is such a perfect capsule of the song’s theme, for one thing – look how far this guy will go, and look how awkwardly misguided that is. But also the interlude does the exact job a bridge would do and does it splendidly – pausing the song so it can return stronger. If the first half of “Oops” is a patchwork of new ideas and old, its climax is the Cheiron pop machine on booming form. Once again, the idea of the lead vocal as the core of the song is dropped – the back end of “Oops” is mostly carried by backing singers, with Britney contributing licks of vocal fry at its edge. It doesn’t matter – any more than it matters that, when the massed vox come in after the break,on a modified chorus, it’s the same payoff trick as on “Baby One More Time”. It’s still the most joyful trick around, and Britney and Max work it even better. The skipped beat on the title – “Oops I — DID it again to your heart!” is my single peak moment of this whole wave of pop. Even when I’ve listened to the rest of the song so much it can only sound harsh and draggy, that tiny, explosive pause pulls me back to loving it.

We’ll be seeing a lot more of Max Martin and of Britney Spears. None of their later work together – before or after her breakdown and comeback – has the bright, self-aware confidence of “Oops”, a collaboration between a producer and singer both flush with early success and keen to consolidate their position at the very heart of pop culture. It would soon be time for Max to find other singers, and for Britney to decisively break from the “…Baby One More Time” model. But “Oops” was never meant to be that break – its new ideas and laugh-out-loud cheek are a freebie. Its only job was to be a triumph, and it is.

10

Comments

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  1. 1
    Tom on 5 Mar 2015 #

    This takes Popular over the TWO THIRDS point (I think, by the way, that I messed up and BOMT should have been a 10, and maybe if that had, this wouldn’t be. Who knows? But this is one of my four or five favourite Britney singles on any day.)

  2. 2
    ciaran on 5 Mar 2015 #

    Whoa!

    Unbelieveable Jeff.

    You were true to your word anyway Tom.

  3. 3
    Tom on 5 Mar 2015 #

    Anyway, I shouldn’t equivocate. This was a bugger to write, but that was nothing to do with the song. (You’ll have at least one more 10 before 2015 is over, barring an accident of whim.)

  4. 4
    flahr on 5 Mar 2015 #

    I don’t agree, I’m afraid :( I think I preferred the tricks on “…Baby” and I don’t like Britters’s vocal style much on this either. Not that I usually have much problem with ‘nasal’ but maybe it’s because it’s a departure from her norm rather than what she always sounds like.

    Still got a great chorus, tho’. The spoken-word bit is wonderfully off-kilter though – particular props to the use of “the old lady” rather than “Rose” to ensure that you don’t actually have to have paid much attention to Titanic to get the ref.

  5. 5
    Billy Hicks on 5 Mar 2015 #

    Bloody.
    Hell.

    It’s neither the Britney #1 I’d have given the easy ten to (that would be the obvious), neither it is the 2000 #1 I’d give the easy ten to (that would be a forthcoming bunny), but I am kinda pleased that Sinead’s long run finally has a successor, as when BOMT missed out I did start to genuinely wonder if we’d ever get another top-marker ever again.

    My feelings of this song are the same as when I first heard it – thinking “Ooh, yay, it’s Baby One More Time” at first only to be horrendously disappointed when I realise it’s an inferior remake. But I can’t hate it, again it’s too evocative of a childhood era I’ve reminisced on these pages far too much already and too many positive Year 6 memories are intertwined with it for me to cast it aside too much. If it plays on a night out, I’m on that damn dancefloor.

    6, only because Lucky and Stronger are better.

  6. 6
    Ricardo on 5 Mar 2015 #

    I’d wager what most people (especially two sects of the world’s population) remember is Brit’s outfit in the video, though. :) Can someone say camel toe?

  7. 7
    anthony on 5 Mar 2015 #

    I love this song, but i prefer decadent brit, to early brit, which makes me feel guilty, in a joni mitchell free man in paris kind of way, but fuck is toxic amazing.

  8. 8
    Matthew K on 5 Mar 2015 #

    Such a great example of the Popular form – a true joy in the workings of pop singles, and an astute but not overladen analysis of how and why it achieved #1. Congratulations Tom – I will look forward to the print edition in 2020.

  9. 9
    mapman132 on 5 Mar 2015 #

    Well I didn’t see THAT coming until about halfway through Tom’s review. And even then I thought, nah he’ll give it 9 like he always does, until I got to the very end and…well, I always figured we’d get another 10 eventually, but uh, okaaaay….

    Anyhow, I’m not surprised to see the video mentioned so heavily in Tom’s writeup. I so associate this song with its video that I didn’t even realize the spoken word bit was part of the actual track until now (assuming it was a video only break). Like a lot of the hits we’ve encountered in 2000, it seems very much of its moment in time – not just the Titanic reference, but also Mars – I remember there were a couple of Mars movies out that year, and it seemed that now that we were in the 21st century, a trip to Mars was on a lot of people’s minds at the time. Due to planetary positions, a commonly mentioned target date was 2016. Ah, zeerust…

    Despite OIDIA being an Event Single with a capital E.S., it only reached #9 on the Hot 100. As mentioned in previous threads, American Britney fans (or their parents) were buying the album and radio play wasn’t as heavy as one might think (too bad TRL views weren’t included in the formula!).

    As you probably gather, I’m not nearly as enthusiastic about OIDIA as Tom, so I’ll go with 6/10.

  10. 10
    Matthew K on 5 Mar 2015 #

    Such a great example of the Popular form – a true joy in the workings of pop singles, and an astute but not overladen analysis of how and why this one achieved #1. I agree it’s the ur-Britney track from the early phase, even if my ageing brain provides a seamless mashup with BOMT whenever I try to recall either song.
    Congratulations Tom – I will look forward to the print edition in 2020.

  11. 11
    Tim Byron on 5 Mar 2015 #

    I always wondered if Max Martin was deliberately doing his version of ‘It’s The Same Old Song’ by the Four Tops here? (‘It’s The Same Old Song’, of course, being Holland/Dozier/Holland’s response after being asked to write another ‘I Can’t Help Myself’). Of course, Martin’s not one for interviews, so his thoughts on his process/his influences are a bit mysterious. But you have to imagine, given the sheer volume of his success, that he’s spent years carefully dissecting the product of various pop factories, and surely that includes Motown.

    Both ‘Oops…’ and ‘It’s The Same Old Song’ are both sequels using most of the same tricks as the previous hit (The Four Tops’ ‘I Can’t Help Myself’). Both have the title which can be taken as self-consciousness about unoriginality (despite lyrics on a different topic). And both are very enjoyable despite the obviousness (or perhaps because of?).

    Of course, many obvious, formulaic, sequel singles just don’t work – ‘I Got A Girl’ by Lou Bega comes to my mind, for example. I wonder what the difference between ‘Oops…’ and ‘I Got A Girl’ is; my gut feeling is that it’s about attitude. ‘I Got A Girl’ sounds like Bega’s saying, “hope you’re not bored yet…”, while “Oops…’ actively taunts anyone who has any issues with the brazenness of it.

    In 2000, I was 18 and at the peak of my rockism. In fact, I used to post to alt.music.radiohead, and I’m pretty sure there’s a record of me arguing against some poor Britney fan who posted there, where I go on about how Britney didn’t write her own songs and shouldn’t be taken seriously blah blah blah. But even then, I’m pretty sure I got the song stuck in my head a fair bit. And I kind of knew, then, that this was a bit genius in its way – it was the enemy, but it was only the enemy because it was so damn good at doing everything I despised.

  12. 12
    Mark G on 5 Mar 2015 #

    #10 the extended remix of #8

  13. 13
    Chelovek na lune on 5 Mar 2015 #

    Pop genius, undeniably. Maybe slightly weaker, as a composition, than BOMT, but the self-reverential knowing cheekiness of OIDIA (and the meta-textuality) goes some way to make up for it. 8.

    Great review, also!

  14. 14
    JLucas on 5 Mar 2015 #

    What a great choice for a ten. Your rationale is the same one I used for my possibly eyebow-raising top mark for Bag It Up. This isn’t a song for the ages, but it achieves exactly what it sets out to do, and it’s Britney being the best Britney she can be.

    We won’t be seeing her here again for a little while, and although her next two albums contained some of her best work, I don’t think she was ever quite this carefree again. There’s a sense that being a pop star was still *fun* for Britney at this point, which sadly won’t be the case for much longer.

    With all that said, I do prefer Stronger, a gloriously OTT Max-Martin-does-Gloria-Gaynor stomp. You signal ‘Oops I…did it again to your heart” as the peak of this wave of Max Martin pop, I think the “STRONGER than yesterday, it’s NOTHING but MY WAY” breakdown near the end of that song might just be mine.

    And of course the other big single from this album was ‘Lucky’, a rather strange, chintzy little thing on the surface that holds unexpected (unintentional) gravitas in the light of what happened to her in the years after this.

    8 from me, just because there are many Britney tracks I enjoy more, but I applaud the 10.

  15. 15
    Alan Connor on 5 Mar 2015 #

    I used to imagine a mashup with Woman In Love (the title phrases, anyway).

  16. 16
    Phil on 5 Mar 2015 #

    I’d actually never seen that video – and that at least is a work of genius. But I think you’re slightly wrong about the Titanic reference – what I like about it is the thought that a good slice of Britney’s audience wouldn’t have seen the film, and their friends would tell them about it. Instant playground buzz, in other words – very clever.

    As for the song, I find it very hard to hear past that foursquare Dit-dit-dit-dit beat, which for me sounds flat and childish for some reason – I know that there are more interesting things going on rhythmically above and below it, but the song still feels ploddy to me. It’s an enjoyable experience, though – never a dull moment. And you’re dead right about the vocals, & the construction of the single generally (I don’t say ‘the song’).

    I think you’re right: this and …BOMT are two brilliant pieces of work, which do a certain pop thing about as well as that pop thing could possibly be done. Which means one of them’s a 10 and one a 9; one of them’s See My Baby Jive and the other one’s IWICBCED, one of them’s Good Vibrations & the other one’s Heroes and Villains. The discussion of which way round it should be could be quite interesting.

    I won’t be taking part, though – I just don’t like either of them enough to devote much attention to them. On a purely subjective level, this one’s a 6 – which is averaged out from 10 (I can’t argue with this post) and 4 (I thought it was dreck at the time & it’s not sounding much better now).

  17. 17
    Tom on 5 Mar 2015 #

    #16 One of the things that’s very hard to estimate is reach of culture – how many people knew this song vs Titanic, for instance. Far more people will have heard OIDIA than bought it, obviously – especially as it was all over the video channels. (The link in the post leads to an excellent tumblr you should all check out, by the way).

    I suspect Titanic still wins it – it was the biggest move of allllll tiiiiiimmmmeeee plus it was out on video by that point so will have the home watching/sleepover watching factor to give it a second lease on life. I had never seen it (and have still never seen it, perhaps I’d hate this song if I did!) but I still picked up on the reference.

  18. 18
    wichitalineman on 5 Mar 2015 #

    Intreeging.

    The first time I heard this (I was driving through Chiswick for some reason) the vocal fry made me literally feel sick. Now I barely notice it. But that’s a good call on this being a step beyond Believe.

    The spoken part has a precedent of sorts in Jan & Dean’s 1963 US hit Dead Man’s Curve where the song is interrupted, via an ascending harp, to a scene straight out of General Hospital: “Well the last thing I remember, Doc, I started to swerve…” Similarly knowing and deadpan to Britney’s part on OIDIA’s breakdown.

    Good calls on Woman In Love (never noticed that) and It’s the Same Old Song.

    So it’s certainly part of a great pop lineage, and plays a very clever game. Not a 10 for me but like Tom I love its unshakeable confidence.

  19. 19
    Rory on 5 Mar 2015 #

    I first saw “Oops” on a hotel TV sometime in mid-2000, probably in Johannesburg, making it one of the late-’90s/2000 pop songs I associate with round-the-world adventuring. It’s my ur-Britney, so I have no problem with marking it higher than BOMT. Not my 10-Britney, though: that’s still to come.

    What a confident peak it is. The spoken-word interlude is a sign of that; who else would have the bravado to attempt it but a pop star at the top of her game? The song itself is irresistibly catchy; it may be very much of a piece with BOMT, but it’s the melody and lyric I always bring to mind first out of the two.

    In 2000 I was far too devoted to Millionaires, XTRMNTR, Kid A and the like to give Britney the attention I now recognize she deserved, but better late than never. 9.

    (This also gives me the chance to remove the antimacassar from the Max Raabe version, complete with spoken outro. Wunderbar!)

  20. 20
    Stuart on 5 Mar 2015 #

    Britney might not do the spoken bit live, but Jedward cheerfully did when they performed it on X – Factor.

    They did the dialogue to each other.

    The two brothers.

    Not a moment to be forgotten once seen.

  21. 21
    col on 5 Mar 2015 #

    Well said, Tom. It’s her best single for me, too—“Toxic” comes close but the sheer nerve and spectacle of this wins.

    I usually hate the “rock singer turns pop song into acoustic ballad” thing but the Richard Thompson version really works, because RT really gets into it and plays up the singer’s sociopathy.

    in re “Titanic” there’s no way the great, great majority of Britney’s teenage audience wouldn’t have seen the film. By 2000 it was on DVD and showing on TV nightly, and everyone over 5 knew what it was and probably could recite lines from it (this was in the US, mind; perhaps different elsewhere)

  22. 22
    punctum on 5 Mar 2015 #

    The difference between loving pop and patronising pop can be ascertained by how the artist treats Britney. Thus it is that the various strained attempts to convert “Baby One More Time” into a tortured, funereal ballad invariably read as glutinous, overblown and an indication of contempt towards both the song and pop in general; furthermore, since neither Travis nor Darius is Tim Buckley, they are incapable of making the emotional connection which the latter managed to find in, for instance, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (as preserved on his Dream Letter: Live In London 1968 album). The value of “Oops…” is, conversely, enriched by Richard Thompson’s good humoured but truthful interpretation as featured on his 1000 Years Of Popular Music collection; he clearly loves the song and manages to find himself in its deceiving corridors (“Britney’s classic reveals its own navel,” he remarks in his sleevenote), and by turning the chord progression into a Tudor estampie towards the end he indicates with a kind-hearted wink that everything comes from somewhere, no matter how far-fetched.

    The Britney/Stargate original is essentially “Daughter Of Baby One More Time” but none the worse for being so; its variegated angles of attack – the stuttering intro, the ‘phoned-in “You see my problem is this” before synths and beats hurl the song back into violent focus to accommodate her drawled “I’m dreaming away” – are inventive and involving, and there is plenty of room for the singer to examine her own internal ambiguity; she wants to think she’s merely a flirt (“I’m not that innocent”) who goes trampling over the expectant hopes of would-be Others (“That is just so typically me”) but nevertheless gets “lost in the game” – and then there is the record’s emotional crux with her plaintive “Wishing that heroes, they truly exist/I cry, watching the days”; as with its indirect ancestor, “I’m Not In Love,” she has a hard time convincing herself that she’s only in it for the fun, refuses to acknowledge her own capacity for getting swept away by emotional overhauls.

    The song then winds down into one of her dreams (“All aboard!”), the Titanic pastiche where the bold adventurer (portrayed by Max Martin himself) proclaims that he has gone down to the seabed to retrieve that ring, to which Britney responds with a smirkingly indifferent “Oh, you shouldn’t have” – in the video she is depicted in a spacecraft, which makes perfect sense; floating away into the ineffable but unable to unglue her boots from the roots of desire – before returning for a final chorus onslaught. Whoops. she’s fooled herself again, but underneath the supposed indifference loves it all – as do we.

  23. 23
    thefatgit on 5 Mar 2015 #

    Well, well, well! “Oops…” is probably one of my top 5 Britney songs, but it’s probably more to do with one of the chunkiest, most satisfying hooks in recent pop history. Britney defies you not to buy into her world of dangling her paramour on a string, like a cat with a new toy. It was my daughter who bought this, during her peak pop period; 12 years old and looking for someone new to emulate as Spice Girls were about to properly implode. “Oops…” was the one song that engaged her more than anything else at this time.

    For me, it’s a multi-layered thing. The vocal tic: that groan at the start of every line could be a dealbreaker for some, but not for me. It was almost a feline purr…she enjoyed her lover’s discomfort, she enjoyed that power over the fate of his heart. From a man’s perspective, it elevated her from dodgy schoolgirl fantasy into powerful femme fatale territory. The flame that us moths are doomed to immolate ourselves within. Of course, it does not help to objectify Britney in this manner, although many men did. “Oops…” is a singularly intelligent slab of feminist pop, with Britney firmly in the driving seat. With “Oops…” Britney is helping to change the game. (9)

  24. 24
    lonepilgrim on 5 Mar 2015 #

    this seems all of a piece with the growing dominance of CGI in movies – which makes the Titanic reference v. appropriate: the ‘star(s)’ of the piece caught up and shaped by a glossy, awe-inspiring environment.
    I like the idea of production teams remaking/remodeling previous hits – like car manufacturers. It may seem a step away from the currency of ‘authenticity’ and ‘soul’ that made some value Christina A’s talents more highly than Britney but I think it is to her great credit as an artist that she manages to protect/project her humanity through all of the digitally precise production.

  25. 25
    Tom on 5 Mar 2015 #

    The Richard Thompson version is a bajillion times superior to Travis, but I basically agree with Punctum (I think) that it’s even better when he does it as “Marry, Agen Hic Hev Donne Yt”!

  26. 26
    Kinitawowi on 5 Mar 2015 #

    Ubiquitous on the video channels at the time, I saw enough of this to know I didn’t particularly care to listen to it. Fast forward to now-ish, and bunging in Now! 46 to listen to it without the video is a very revealing listen.

    What it reveals isn’t good. The spaghetti-throw lyrical stylings; the three different concepts in one line at the start of verse 2 Tom highlights, trying on everything to see if something might stick. That spoken interlude in the middle of the song (which I’d always assumed was exclusive to the video); which exists in lieu of a proper bridge and cements it to its time period. It gets better towards the end – while BOMT got worse – but still never climbs to “great”.

    The video is where it all clicks; that’s where this song truly gets to be the Event it’s trying so desperately hard to be. Which made sense – the event in question was trying to convert Britney into Entertainer rather than Britney as Singer (or, god forbid, Britney as Musician). And it’s a fun watch. Everybody Hurts is a far more entertaining watch than it is a listen. But I’m trying to tackle this as a song; criminal when it’s a not-spectacular advert for the whole package, maybe, but the base elements need to hold up for the package to work (especially when, as later forays into other fields would reveal, the package doesn’t work).

    TL;DR: Romy And Michele’s High School Reunion may be my favourite film of all time, but I’m under no illusions that it deserves a 10.

    5.

  27. 27
    jim5et on 5 Mar 2015 #

    I would put this about an 8 – the obvious, unarguably Britney 10 is yet to arrive – but it’s great, and the Titanic bit absolutely makes it; the best chart spoken word bit since…Leader of the Pack?

  28. 28
    flahr on 5 Mar 2015 #

    You’re making Martin Fry cry big blubbery tears, Jim5et. FORGOTTEN SO SOON.

  29. 29
    chelovek na lune on 5 Mar 2015 #

    #28 nobody puts Martin Fry in the corner; that was surely a reference to the 1988 cover by he who was still then known as The Joan Collins Fan Club… (which, in its way, may have improved on the original’s spoken bit)

  30. 30
    Phil on 5 Mar 2015 #

    So you see what I’m saying, punters: he was the leader of the pack, but now he’s gone. It would no longer be true to say that he’s the leader of the pack, because he’s gone. I’m the leader of the pack now. I haven’t got a motorcycle, though; I’ve got a Sierra estate. It’s fairly nippy…

    Happy memories.

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