Britney Spears is currently in the news for some unfortunate reasons: the state of her mental health and the tragic circumstances of that. But there was a time when Spears was one of the biggest recording artists in the world, and her popularity continues to this day.
There was a several-year stretch where Spears consistently put out massive hits. Spears even had a lost album that fans never heard. But what’s the story behind this lost album? Let’s take a closer look at Spears’ career and how one of her albums (for the most part) never quite made it into the public eye.
Britney Spears has had an incredible impact as a singer and recording artist
According to Biography.com, Spears first starred as a member of the Mickey Mouse Club on The Disney Channel. From there, she skyrocketed to success as a solo act in the late 90s and early 2000s. As a teenager, she became a worldwide sensation, reeling off smash hit after smash hit. Spears continued to produce hits, but a much-publicized marriage to Kevin Federline and mental health breakdown a few years later also drew headlines. A Hulu documentary this year outlined some of Spears’ struggles as she is reportedly under her father’s care in a conservatorship.
Britney Spears’ musical style
Early in her career, Spears became known for her squeaky clean image as an All-American teenager. As she grew older, she began to push the envelope more and more. The consistent throughline for all her work, however, was producing pop hits that would get major air time on Top 40 radio.
Spears’ earlier songs like Hit Me Baby One More Time and Oops I Did it Again always played with double entendres, but were generally thought of as upbeat songs to be consumed by the masses. Later hits such as Slave 4 U and Toxic had a slightly different, more mature sound, but Spears’ original style was always present.
There’s no denying Spears musical talent, even for those who aren’t huge fans of her music. But around 2004, one report showed that she may have wanted to lead her career down a very different, and possibly interesting path with an album that was worked on but never released.
Britney Spears’ lost album
In the late 90s and early 2000s, any song Spears’ put out was guaranteed to be a hit. That’s why it’s perplexing to think that an album of her could be buried. But that’s exactly the claim of one report by BuzzFeed.
According to the story, Spears called into a LA radio station. The DJ at the time thought it was an elaborate prank, but Spears showed up with her dog, her bodyguard, and a CD she claimed contained her new album.
Spears said her album currently in development, called Original Doll, was nearly halfway done. She then played a song called Mona Lisa for the station. The album never came out, but it was rumored to include:
- One track that served as an ode/apology to Justin Timberlake
- A song about tolerance and peace that sounded like Michael Jackson’s Black or White
- A general direction that tended to be more R&B than her previous pop ballads
Ultimately, the album was either never finished or released. Songwriter Michelle Bell speculated that the work veered further from Spears’ old catalog:
“I think the record label was like, no, you’ve got to stay the course you’re on, which was a strong pop star, a little longer…It’s a lot of pressure to keep that spot.”
It’s interesting to think of what direction Spears’ career would have gone in had she pursued this more experimental route. Sadly, the world will never know.