I'm a child of the Britney Spears generation. The 1999 album Baby, One More Time was one of the earliest soundtracks of my youth, and I can't let "Sometimes" hit the '90s on Nine station without belting along. I'm not alone in Spears' earliest album inspiring some serious nostalgia — after all, there hasn't been a Halloween party since 1999 where someone hasn't dressed up in the school girl outfit from the "Baby, One More Time" video. Spears' later work may have been more adult and edgier, but it doesn't hold a candle to the singer's debut album... mainly because of the inspiring pieces of life advice that the album holds.
I'm telling you guys, the 17-year-old Spears really was the voice we listened to. The profound words of wisdom from those 11 songs inspired an entire nation to send e-mail to one another's hearts and to love the person who drives us the craziest. Analyzing and interpreting these lyrics proves one thing: Spears had a hell of a lot of "important" things to say that we completely missed because we were too busy listening to her intoxicating voice. Here are the most inspirational quotes from Spears' most intriguing work, because she never gets the philosophy credit she truly deserves.
"Loneliness up ahead, emptiness behind/ Where do I go?" — "From the Bottom of My Broken Heart"
Here, Spears is reflecting on the eternal human struggle. We live a lonely life only to plunge into oblivion when our time comes. It's no wonder her heart is so broken.
"The earth is movin' but I can't feel the ground." — "(You Drive Me) Crazy"
Another comment on humanity, obviously. Spears is pointing out just how little knowledge human beings really have about the world we live in, and how we choose to turn a blind eye to our mortality.
"'Cause living in a dream of you and me is not the way that life should be." — "Born to Make You Happy"
Spears is reflecting on some of the existential questions asked by films like The Matrix. Should we choose to live in a more pleasant reality, or confront the harsh world that actually exists around us? Spears gives us her answer in this song cleverly disguised as a love ballad.
"And for us there is no end in sight/Each day that I spend around you/Passes by too fast" — "Thinkin' About You"
Here, Spears juxtaposes the ideas of time slipping away and being able to hold onto it forever. Spears is talking about a problem of our generation — the idea that we live life as though we will all live forever until we suddenly realize that our time has been wasted on meaningless, unfulfilling things.
"My loneliness is killing me" — "Baby, One More Time"
The lack of human connection is killing us all — emotionally, anyway.
"And all I do is check the screen to see if you're OK" — "E-Mail My Heart"
Here the singer is speaking to the human connections lost by our reliance on technology. It's a message that we all need to hear more of in our wired-in world. Thankfully, artists like Spears are here to deliver the hard, unrelenting truth — no matter how difficult it is to digest.
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