Britney Spears often gets a bad rap as a “singer.” She isn’t a meslismatic tour de force like Beyonce or a powerful warbler like Christina. What she is a beautiful ex-dancer with an okay, naturally alto voice who knows how to ride a beat. Britney’s trademark vocal inflections and ticks are what make her songs iconic. Think back to “…Baby One More Time.” Who else pronounces baby like “baybeh”? Or the more recent “haazay” in “Hold It Against Me.”
With that being said, more often than not, Britney does need quite a lot of help with the heavy lifting when it comes to singing. Usually the demo singer comes in with the producer and sings the song over the backing track.
After that vocal is laid, Britney comes in and sings an almost identical vocal, albeit equipped with Britney’s trademark deliberate way of purposefully over-enunciating the lyrics and throaty croaks. Then, the two voices are merged, layered, intertwined and distorted beyond recognition until it becomes unclear which is Britney and which isn’t.
This is an attempt to shine a light on the background singers who help make up the “Britney” that we know and love.
Yes, artists use background singers and studio effects all the time on songs to decorate them, but with Britney it seems different. Britney, within the last five years, has become elusive and her credibility as an artist is fading at this point.
From the non-singing, non-live singing, no dancing, no writing (recently), no producing and just an overall lack of creative input, one begins to wonder…what exactly DOES Britney Spears bring to the table?