When Godney Found God: On The ‘Britney Jean’ Snippets

by Bradley Stern


As you might have noticed, the Britney Jean iTunes snippets leaked last night. That’s not very surprising, considering the album’s out in about two weeks.

I’m not going to do a formal review of Britney‘s album snippets because, well, that’s sort of like watching one-third of a movie and then deciding whether or not it was any good. But after listening through a few times, there is something I’m fairly confident about: I maintain my theory that Britney Jean is a largely religious record.

The term “Godney” just got way real, y’all: From “Alien” (“The light in your eyes lets me know I’m not alone”) to “Now That I Found You” (“I have felt the love! I can see the truth! I believe in faith!”) to “Brightest Morning Star” (“I lift my hands and pray”), to “Hold On Tight (“I just want to fall into His arms tonight”), there are some fairly unsubtle Christian undertones on the album. I’ve had this theory (err, fear?) for a while now, around when I heard “Passenger” — which is sort of Britney’s own “Jesus Take The Wheel” when you listen carefully.

From her recent God-oriented reading material, to shooting “Work Bitch” in the desert to be “closer to God,” to going to church every Sunday with her boyfriend, I think Britney actually went to the light and saw Jesus. Rolling Stone‘s latest article about the album sort of confirms what I’ve been saying when they ask Sia about “Brightest Morning Star.”

“Britney was extremely sweet,” says Sia. “She came in with the title ‘Brightest Morning Star’ and told me that’s how Jesus found his way. She wanted to write a kind of gospel song that wasn’t ramming it down your throat.”

That being said, she’s still got that boom boom: There are still plenty of songs that don’t fit the Religiousney bill — “Perfume” and “Don’t Cry” are break-up ballads, while songs like “Work Bitch,” “Tik Tik Boom” (a reworked GRL demo), “Til It’s Gone” (which sounds like a David Guetta banger), “It Should Be Easy” (which just sounds like a will.i.cant song) and “Body Ache” (which sounds like a “Scream & Shout” regurgitation) are evidently #SomethingMoreUrban bangerz “for the gays.” And as for “Chillin’ With You” with Jamie Lynn? Well, who knows.

But as far as the personal tracks are concerned — after all, Britney Jean is being so heavily marketed as “the personal album” — it seems like we’re about to meet Gospelney for the first time since “Someday (I Will Understand).”

So, that’s the early verdict of what’s to come: Half Urbanney, half “Go to the light and see Jesus!”-ney.

What do we do with this kind of truth? Are we ready for this side of Britney Jean? How am I supposed to know what’s right? (REFERENCE). I don’t, really. I don’t know how I feel. I need time. Love. Joy. Space. I need to hear Britney Jean in full. In the words of Brit Brit…we’ll just have to wait and see.

‘Britney Jean’ will be released on December 3. (iTunes)

  • Chase Gran

    Oh no. The Christian undertones ARE quite obvious. This may be Brit’s worst move in a long time. But at least she did it on an album that isn’t being heavily promoted. I doubt it will carry on to future albums.

  • http://www.vertigoshtick.com Vertigo Shtick

    I think you covered this issue perfectly, Bradley. A journalistic coup.

  • nick perles

    Finding someone who supports you doesn’t necessarily have to be religious. Just saying.

  • MarkB

    From what I heard I largely prefer the Personal/gospelney songs than the club ones. I can’t wait to hear it in full!

  • cutiegoat

    I thought the the claims about the religious influences were far fetched until I heard the bonus track snippets. They are like Britney’s CCM EP. This surprises me and yet doesn’t. I am surprised Britney would be allowed to record an actual personal record, not just 2 personal songs and the rest sex/club songs. But I am not surprised because it has been obvious that Britney is just so over the life of being a famous pop star. I honestly believe her future albums will be low key affairs where it can really just be about the music and about promo, sells, and all the other things pop fans have a bizarre obsession with.

  • Jonathan

    I have nothing against her releasing a religious record. So far to me, Britney Jean almost feels like the album she would have released following “Someday (I Understand)” had everything not gone terribly terribly wrong in her life. It’s like alternate-reality Blackout. The vocals, the melodies all sound like a continuation of sounds and techniques she hasn’t really visited since Britney and Oops I Did It Again. “Til it’s Gone” particularly sounds like something straight off Britney, but with a more modern production–maybe even a spearitual sister to “Before the Goodbye”.

    Overall I’m very excited–my faith in the record has been restored :)

  • Matthew

    Many of these songs are beautiful ballads, and as mentioned in the Sia quote, Britney isn’t looking to “ram her beliefs down your throat.”
    Keep in mind that regardless of one’s own personal beliefs, religion can be a wonderful thing for somebody who feels the desire to seek it out, it can be grounding and bring out one’s introspect. We all seek a sense of wellbeing in life. Some studies have demonstrated a correlation between spirituality and a person’s sense of happiness. Spiritual healing can be powerful for somebody who’s dealt/dealing with internal struggle & emotional turmoil. Britney wants to feel well just like any of the rest of us, and if she’s praying and it’s bringing her wellness, then good for her.

  • Jack G.

    I’m absolutely LOVING all the snippets (and the leaked full songs as well)! Brightest Morning Star took me by surprised at the first listen, but man it grew and now it’s one of my fave britney tracks of all time (i can’t explain it?). As far as the club bangers I can’t wait to hear TIK TIK BOOM, Body Ache, Till it’s gone in full! Those tracks sound awesome! Overall I would give the Snippets and leaked tracks 9/10 because the songs have meaning (FINALLY) and there’s emotion and i love that britney cowrote most of the songs! I can’t wait to buy the album and listen to it in HQ!!

  • Sam

    I’ve been trolling since this album campaign began, after the snippets I can say it doesn’t sound like a bad album, it’s just a terrible selection of singles from RCA

  • dosomethin2nite

    I don’t think that that’s a bad thing. I mean, she’s been through a shit ton of stuff. And I don’t mean a couple of bad days..she literally went to hell & back. It’s a miracle she made it out alive. And now that’s she’s in a better place & has finally realized what’s important in life, it makes sense that she would talk about where she drew her inspiration from to come out of the “darkness”. And btw, this is coming from a non-believer lol I’m just happy she’s found an outlet to help her battle her demons & find peace in her life. Mental health is such an important factor in our lives. She lost it & now she’s found it. Good for her. And all those songs sound incredible!

  • Tayy

    More than half of it sounds like a re-issue of #willpower. I’m excited but nothing stands out. I know there’s only 30 second clips so it’s harsh to judge, but right now I’m not loving it. This combined with the era with the utter lack of promo just leaves me with the worst taste for this era. I stan for Britney harder than any bitch, but really, if you don’t want to do it, don’t. Your just ruining your legacy.

  • nick perles

    I hear a lot of vocal stylings like back in the day too. Really great point of “Before the Goodbye,” which I always though was a really interesting, different song.

  • Teo

    If she’s not “ramming it down my throat” the religious part I’m ok with that. What I really like is the vocal approach of this record, it’s great to see she’s stepping out of her comfort zone.

    I’m gonna love it, that’s a given. I mean, Till It’s Gone is everything!!!

  • Marie

    Oh lord…http://www.breatheheavy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/ipass.jpg

    I’m feeling more nervous wreck than Spearitual this era, tbh.

  • Marie
  • Matt

    I’m just going to pretend she’s singing to the vanilla candle gods or something because these tracks do absolutely nothing for me, whereas the ballads and midtempos are actually intriguing.

  • Luis

    Why is this so bad? She’s not forcing you to believe it. And the songs can mean any spiritual/ religious message. Some people believe in something and there is nothing wrong with that.

  • Kit

    I don’t believe in god yet everyone of the jesusney songs I’ve heard have felt inspiring and uplifting regardless. You don’t have to be religious to enjoy some positive shit because they did a good job not “ramming it down” our throats. She’s found what makes her happy, and I like hearing about it. I’m not worried. I love everything so far.

  • Chris

    I haven’t been so excited for a BJ in a long time! But all seriousness, Britney has brought back Vocalney and Personalney (to me she sounds very Britney era-ish). This is indeed the personal album she promised and I’m loving the diversity!

  • Chase Gran

    Well most of me wants Britney to do what makes her happy, but a part of me loves what she has stood for in the past. The good girl gone bad. “Living in sin is the new thing.” I don’t want that Britney to go away! Or was it all a lie and just a marketing scheme in the first place? :(

  • http://twitter.com/yayjulian yayjulian

    Fuck him with a broomstick.

  • http://twitter.com/yayjulian yayjulian

    It’s all marketing. She said interviews that she feels uncomfortable being sexy because she is mom now.

  • XXX

    honestly, I don’t see anything urban about the uptempo songs at all… They’re some kind of dance-will.i.am-shit, not urban…
    I seriously hoped for an “in the zone” 2, cause, for me, it’s the perfect mix of songs for an album…
    in this one you can clearly hear the influence will.i.flop and it’s not good.
    now go, downgrade me, but I’m not willing to say that it looks like a good record, when it clearly isn’t. It doesn’t sound any better than “Prism” and that one at least has “walking on air”, “dark horse” and “ghost”…This will be Britney’s “Lotus” and y’all know it…

  • Galli

    Britney doesn’t realize that she is a pagan at heart. The religion that Britney belongs to pre-dates Christianity by thousands of years. It has no dogma but it is not ashamed of the body. Christianity has turned snakes into figures of evil but the true evil is its perversion of something that, although amoral, is an emblem for our own awakening consciousness. Britney at the 2001 VMAs was performing the ritual of this incredible change, honoring it accordingly. Britney, you seek enlightenment not realizing that you embodied it heart and soul, all along and that without the darkness, without the suffering, it means nothing at all. You were sent to bring us back the pagan consciousness and help convert years of Christian patriachal repression. You DID show us the ways of the past. You were the one. Don’t reject her now. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbvQYSzOmJk

  • nick perles

    It’s an evolution. She’s grown out of that now and we have a mature Brit now who can still make us dance.

  • J

    What’s with the “fear” of Britney releasing a religious record? Britney stans wanted a personal record and Britney delivered… It’s just religious because that’s personal to her.

  • http://britney-galaxy.com/ Manuela

    If you want to listen to it please use this link: http://britney-galaxy.com/listen-britney-jean-album-sampler/