At heart, despite our best intentions and all the post-punk shows we attend in Brooklyn, we all have a sick love for Britney Spears. Sometimes it’s mired in irony, sometimes it’s mired in nostalgia for your sixth-grade dance, and sometimes it’s fly-to-Vegas-and-catch-her-stage-show serious; no matter what, it’s there. But a key way to determine what kind of Britney fan you are (or to determine who’s fair-weather and who’s in it for the long hall) depends largely on what Britney Spears deep cuts make it into your iPhone.
Now, off the cuff, none of these are on my iPhone because I’m more in the nostalgic-ironic category (see previous Brooklyn comment). Still, if your love of Britney is earnest and true, then maybe you can pull out a few of these babies next time you’re sitting with some red catsuit-clad poser at Halloween or ‘90s fest. Because the truth is, Britney’s discography and song list is extensive outside of the standards like “Oops!” and “Baby One More Time.” I mean, at least that’s what the Internet tells me.
So, without any more delay, here is a quick cheat sheet of lesser-known works to prove you’re a true Britneyphile.
1. "I'm So Curious"
This is a B-side from the "Sometimes" single, and it's aggressively fine, has a nice little dreamy intro in there. It's really a throwback to a sweeter, innocent Britney, with lines like, "I don't understand, why you don't take my hand."
2. "Autumn Goodbye"
Just blast this and reminisce about your last-aughts-of-senior-year high school boyfriend. You know, the one you hooked up with before prom who you said you'd be faithful to through college, before the realities of university life kicked in. Fun summer though, just as fun as this song is.
3. "From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart"
My brother got me this single for Christmas the school store in 1990-whatever-it-was. It's not super rare or anything, peeps on YouTube are "still listening to it in 2016," but, if you haven't gotten around to this vintage Britney track, now's the time.
4. "Girl In The Mirror"
It's on the Asian edition of Oops, and it tackles a lot of Britney sadness. She's less proactive about making the girl in the mirror a better person than Michael Jackson was about changing the man in the mirror, but so it goes.
5. "And Then We Kiss"
There's a hot second when this sounds like it could almost be a rock song, and then it... doesn't happen, it goes full euro-twist. Still, not bad for an otherwise unknown track on Britney's B in the Mix remix album.
6. "Right Now (Taste The Victory)"
Never forget this weird track, perfect for playing soccer or drinking Pepsi.
7. "Someday I Will Understand"
Released as a single to the EP Britney & Kevin: Chaotic (which in turn was based on those crazy kids' reality show), it's reflective of a very weird (but important) period in Britney's life slash career.
8. "She'll Never Be Me"
This one's an unreleased B-side from Britney's self-titled album, and it's not a masterwork, but our girl certainly sounds confident that she's irreplaceable... and you need that in this industry.
9. "All That She Wants"
As long as we're talking about weird moments in Britney's career, let's just take a gander at this unreleased Ace of Base cover. It's a little sad, a little funny, and a little wonderful all at once.
This is a bonus track off some international versions of Circus, and there's an exciting tunelessness about this story (which details getting gobsmacked when approached by a hot guy at a club, even when you're romantically involved with someone else).
Sometimes it's daunting to remember that Britney recorded a demo of Lady Gaga's "Telephone." I won't touch whether I think it's better than the final Beyoncé version (JK, it's a hard no) but it's still interesting, in its own detached way.
If you didn't know all the words to these Britney hits, can you truly call yourself a Britney fan? Yeah, no, I don't think so.