Written by By D et And O h , CNN Home
Britney Spears is back with an album as pop music icons merge perfectly in a post-apocalyptic London, where she and Cara Delevingne walk around in their underwear and the Umbrella singer keeps a bedroom on loan from Benedict Cumberbatch.
The 13 track 14th album is a “sort of return to my good old self. The Britney I fell in love with in 1999,” wrote the singer, 35, for CNN Home
And it’s that teenage sweetheart sound that’s boosted the record to Number One on the US Billboard album chart. The songs are hard-hitting. Heartbreaking. Funny.
CNN Home caught up with the platinum blonde popstar to talk about the new album, her dogs and whether she’s gonna drop that fragrance, Playtime.
CNN: When did you realize that you’d hit the jackpot again with this record?
Britney Spears: It’s really surreal. In the beginning I was like I can’t believe this. It’s so random. But as soon as the songs started being put together I was like, ‘This is really good.’
Like no one else in the world, who knows what is happening in your life, knows what you’re doing, has your back, but is friends with you, knows where you are, has compassion for you and is just rooting for you in everything and holds your hand, and knows what you’ve been through. … This record is really about what you go through and what you do and the situations you go through and the ups and downs.
I think we’ve all been through some things in our lives and people are like, ‘Well, that’s just what happens when you’re living your life.’ The truth is it’s just life and there are only so many times that you’re in a relationship that’s working. I’m writing songs for the guys I’m with right now who are doing so good with me and making me laugh and love.
All that is kind of happening right now and I have two boys with my boyfriend and they’re so great. We’re really happy and it’s about that right now.
One of the tracks is about escaping a funk. Did you really escape from a funk on this album?
Yeah. I was kind of wandering around for a couple of years trying to figure out what I wanted my life to be like and what I wanted my music to be about. Then after being under conservatorship I realized I really had to find myself again, really got myself back together and then really started to sing about my own life again, all the great things that are happening in my life. So yeah, this album has a real emotional feel to it.
Who did you want to collaborate with? Who do you find to be your musical muse?
I have a long list of people I want to collaborate with that I’ve worked with in the past, but a few are still available and have also been great for me. For example, Taylor Swift, and I think she is such a star and such a great artist, so inspiring, and who I got to watch grow up and kind of feel like a kid watching her work from the very beginning and just wanting to get her under my wing and then watch her grow up as an artist so I really was kind of inspired to work with her and that whole team.
From left: Macy, Jax, Lux and Charlie visit London earlier this year. Credit: Henry Browne
Which song on the album was the toughest to write?
No, I actually wrote the song, ‘The Story of Us’ as a collaborative effort with my girlfriend. So it was kind of taking the guy who I love the most and taking him out on the road, this summer.
He comes on this road thing with me, we perform it, I perform it, his show, we perform it, I tour with him and then we spend the last two weeks just falling in love with each other and I write this song and then we have to finish it. We have to make it a great song and then we had to show my friend some romance too.