Thursday, July 28, 2011

Underwhelming From The Start: "From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart" (The Single) Fizzles.

The Good: Generally average pop ballad, Fair vocals, Remix and videos lend some value
The Bad: Poor use of the medium, Not stellar music.
The Basics: A mediocre single, "From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart" is saved from the trash pile by actually possessing two tracks not found on Britney Spears' debut!

Even when Britney Spears got her start, she was producing some pretty standard hitmakers as part of her regular repertoire. In addition to her easily danceable numbers, she produced a few decent pop ballads off her debut ...Baby One More Time. In the United States, her second pop ballad from her debut, and the final single from that album, was "From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart." It was released as a c.d. single, but it did not perform nearly as high as the other works she had produced before then and it peaked at 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. Given how many copies of the debut album had sold prior to that, one doubts Spears was disappointed.

The c.d. single of "From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart" seemed to sense the waning interest in songs from ...Baby One More Time and it attempted to compensate for that with a single that offered better overall value than some of Spears' earlier works. As a result, "From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart" has two music tracks and two music videos in Quicktime format. The result is a mediocre musical experience enhanced by a track not as commonly available and a multimedia experience that fans are likely to enjoy.

Still, with barely over eight minutes of music on the disc, "From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart" is not a great value or use of the compact disc medium. Neither song was written by Spears and she was not involved in the production or instrumental accompaniment on the disc. She does, however, provide the lead vocals and they are not horrible on either song.

"From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart" is presented on this disc as the radio edit, which chops out almost forty seconds of instrumental accompaniment from the album version. Spears sings the song plaintively like a wounded soldier in the war that is love and the song is slow and sad. Spears actually has a very natural sound to her voice on the very earnest lines like "From the bottom of my broken heart / There's just a thing or two I'd like you to know / You were my first love, you were my true love / From the first kisses to the very last rose / From the bottom of my broken heart / Even though time may find me somebody new / You were my real love, I never knew love / 'Til there was you / From the bottom of my broken heart." Proving that she could sell such sappy emotionalism allowed her to credibly expand from bubblegum pop girl to bona fide pop diva.

The other song on the c.d. single is the Jazzy Jim Hip-Hop Mix of "(You Drive Me) Crazy." More manic even than the album cut of the song, Spears contributed nothing new to the remix. However, this song actually did fairly well in dance clubs as the Jazzy Jim Hip-Hop mix turns up the bass and the pounding dance beat and becomes another Britney Spears standard.

Also on the disc are the music videos for "Born To Make You Happy" (which was primarily released in Europe) and "From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart." Both videos are in Quicktime format and the program comes on the disc. The music video for "From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart" tells a musical storysong about two romantic partners who were once together and miss their chance reunion. It's melodramatic, but it has a certain charm. The video for "Born To Make You Happy" is an unmemorable video of Spears singing.

All in all, there are worse c.d. singles: this one provides four things that are not found on the standard album for ...Baby One More Time, which makes it sought after by fans even now. Still, for the die-hards, there are other pressings which offer these two tracks and more. And, one hopes, someday Spears will compile a massive b-side collection at which time both of these songs will be available for even less money than they are now.

For other reviews of Britney Spears music, please check out my reviews of:
. . . Baby One More Time (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 visit my index page by clicking here!

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