Saturday, July 30, 2011

Another Uninspired Britney Spears Single: "Overprotected" Is Unremarkable And A Waste!

The Good: Multiple versions and the music video
The Bad: Song is unimpressive, Remixes are unimpressive, Short, Lackluster music video, Poor use of medium.
The Basics: Another blase single from Britney Spears, "Overprotected" underwhelms listeners with its remarkably similar remixes and a fair music video.

Britney Spears may be prolific in albums and singles, but I'm already sick of listening to the scraps I've managed to get in, the latest of which is the three-track single for "Overprotected."

"Overprotected" was Spears' third (or second, depending upon where in the world one lived) single from her third album "Britney." "Overprotected" was one of her first commercial flops in the U.S. and the irony is that most people never even heard the original version. When Spears released the track to radio, the "Darkchild Radio Remix" (one of the three tracks on the c.d. single) was the one that was picked up. As a result, the album version and the original "Darkchild Remix" (both of which are on the c.d. single) were less heard on the radio than the other mix.

With only three tracks occupying under ten minutes, "Overprotected" is a dismally repetitive c.d. single. The album contains the album version of the song, along with two remixes, one of which is barely different from the other. In fact, the Darkchilde mixes are not substantively different from the pop-dance original version of "Overprotected." None of the versions were written by Spears, nor does she provide instrumental accompaniment on any of them. The result is a very lackluster single which is generic pop with overproduced Britney Spears vocals on it.

"Overprotected" is another Britney Spears song about celebrity and the effects it was having on Spears around the time the third album was released. Spears presents all of the lead vocals and the vocals are not as annoyingly overproduces as her later works, though her voice still is tinny and includes reverb at several points. In fact, on the Darkchild remix, the vocals have more elements added to them to beef them up against the pounding drum sounds and the synths.

"Overprotected" follows in Spears's tradition of creating dance-pop songs, though this is one of her outings that is far less memorable than most of her early (or early from an album) releases. The song has a very typical bassline designed to get the listener up and moving, but does not have a memorable tune. This is arguably the start of Spears' obsession with the club scene sound (less catchy hooks, more "move your body" feel) and is the transition between her earlier "play innocent" persona and her later, well, skanky persona.

Lyrically, "Overprotected" is nothing extraordinary. With lines like "Say hello to the girl that I am! / You're gonna have to see through my perspective / I need to make mistakes just to learn who I am / And I don't wanna be so damn protected / There must be another way / ‘Cause I believe in taking chances / But who am I to say / What a girl is to do / God, I need some answers / What am I to do with my life / (You will find it out don't worry) / How Am I supposed to know what's right? / (You just got to do it your way) / I can't help the way I feel / But my life has been so overprotected" this is one of Spears' more introverted songs and it lacks the more universal emotionalism she arrived in the marketplace with. Unlike Eminem who can sing about being Eminem and make a million-selling single, "Overprotected" seemed to prove that Britney Spears fans actually wanted their bubblegum pop to be about emotions rather than just self-promotion.

The three-track single also comes with the U.S. version of the music video in Quicktime format on the disc. The video is a musical storysong about Spears and her friend slipping away from her bodyguards and trying to have a fun, girlish day out in the world. It is mildly interesting and fits the song well.

Ultimately, though, "Overprotected" is not an essential single even for fans of Britney Spears to pick up. With the boxed set of "The Singles Collection," the original "Darkchild Remix" is paired with the album version, so all this single truly offers fans is the music video (which is available on Britney DVDs) and the twelve second shorter "Darkchild Radio Remix." This is not enough to justify the expense or effort of hunting this disc down.

For other reviews of Britney Spears music, please check out my reviews of:
. . . Baby One More Time (single)
From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart (single)
Stronger (single)
Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know (single)
I'm A Slave 4 U (single)
Me Against The Music (single with Madonna)
Toxic (single)
The Singles Collection
The Singles Collection (2-disc CD/DVD with videos)


For other music reviews, please click here to visit my index page for an organized listing of all the c.d.s and singles I have reviewed!

© 2011, 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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