Britney Spears

Britney Spears returns to form, reshapes her musicality, and has a damn good time doing so on Glory. We are not worthy…

“Here’s our invitation baby / hope it sets us free” pop legend Britney Spears coos on the introduction to her ninth studio album Glory. After months of elusively teasing the album’s release (and even more waiting and seeing on behalf of her belabored fans) it is finally here! Glory opens with a fragile outpouring of emotion from our beloved hitmaker; it’s a daring move, and one that promises big things. Luckily enough, Britney Spears is ready to deliver!

Britney Spears

The album comes at a crucial time in Spears’s career. After 2013’s lackluster Britney Jean, which promised personal cuts but delivered generic electronica, Britney Spears was at a turning point in her career. She could either evolve as a songstress or fade to the background in the face of today’s chart toppers. Her decision is overwhelmingly evident with Glory. Britney is on a mission; she’s coming back, looking delicious, and she’s on her way to reclaim her Pop Throne. After all, it’s Britney, bitch, and no one puts Britney in a corner…

Glory‘s lead single and buzz tracks proved that the pop icon was prepared to break some longstanding traditions surrounding her musicality this time out. The G-Eazy’s assisted lead single “Make Me…” eschewed her clarion call to the dance floor and coquettish moans in favor of something a little more… Vibey. She served a lush vocal arrangement over sweet synths, coupling her seraphic vocals with G-Eazy’s urban edge to achieve something new and cutting edge for her discography. Buoyed by a Top 20 debut, the track ushered in a new age of Britney Spears.

After “Make Me…” Britney managed to keep fans on their feet with a slew a promotional, instant grat tracks, each of which showcased the new and unexpected. She batted her eyes and twitched her hips over a production that blends the sass of urban pop with the jauntiness of doo wop on “Private Show.” The track saw some of her most ambitious and engaged vocals to date and vibrates with the energy of a playful striptease.

The ragtime inspired “Clumsy” saw her referencing her earliest hits and bedroom eyes over a more traditional EDM production, and her final promotional release, “Do You Wanna Come Over,” is probably the most Britney Spears of them all. Boasting a throbbing bassline and coyly delivered lyrics, Spears takes it from the dance floor to the bedroom for a healthy romp in the sheets.

Britney Spears

While each of the tracks introduced a new side of Spears, they admittedly presented a somewhat uneven glimpse at the album that is Glory. It was unclear how these disparate songs that incorporated such diverse, genre-hopping styles would blend into a cohesive album. Don’t you worry your pretty little faces though! With one listen to the entirety of Glory, those worries evaporate. Somehow Britney manages to combine the heavenly synths, throbbing bass, frenzied beat drops into one sumptuous bundle.

After opening with the organic and fragile “Invitation” (seriously, it’s one of her best ballads to date), “Make Me…” and “Private Show” follow, then we break into the aural “Man On The Moon.” With a writing credit from the emerald haired up and comer Phoebe Ryan, the track feels like a more resolved revisiting of Britney Jean‘s “Alien.” Cosmic theme? Check! Introspective lyrics about lost love? Check! A raw glimpse into the mind of one of the biggest pop stars of the new millennium? We’re three for three here, folks! Boasting a swirling production and heartfelt lyrics, Spears pines for a lost love while soaring through the deep reaches of the milky way.

Britney Spears

Next comes the highly anticipated Spears-Cashmere Cat collab “Just Luv Me.” The track has been a fan favorite since a brief snippet of the moody midtempo leaked in the weeks leading up to Glory’s release, and it’s fully mastered form is even more (dare we say it) glorious. “I’m not gonna ask you for nothing / just luv me” Spears vulnerably croons over atmospheric synths and smooth keys. It’s a surprisingly fragile call for love from the popstar who is renowned for disguising the more raw edges of her life in the public eye behind a pristine facade. Piercing the mystique, “Just Luv Me” is an easy standout on Glory. It’s rumored to be in the running to receive the single treatment, and it’s truly deserving of the limelight.

One of the most exciting announcements regarding the recording of Glory came when Britney Spears posted photos in the studio alongside Justin Tranter and Julia Michaels. The pair were largely responsible for crafting some of the biggest hits of the last year (Bieber’s “Sorry” and Gomez’s “Good For You”) and are easily some of the brightest young writing talents on the scene. As such, it should come as no surprise that “Slumber Party,” one of the first collaborations between Spears and Michaels, is a certified bop. The R&B and reggae infused slow burner is a laid back bedroom anthem, on which Britney’s vocals languidly caress her lover’s body. It’s like 50 Shades of Grey, but with a luxurious and velvety Red Room that hosts two lovers getting it on…

Britney Spears

While love and sex evidently played a large role in the development of Glory, it clearly wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies for the pop princess. Spears promised that there would be some “I hate men” tracks on the release, and the first of which is “Just Like Me.” Opening with an acoustic guitar, the track incorporates some trap-lite elements on the chorus and sees Britney walking in on her lover boy getting it on with her clone. Spears voice resonates with earnest pain and confusion as she pronounces that her lover’s side chick looks “just like me.” It’s a heartbreaking  moment for the Britney, who struggles to come to grips with the infidelity over the imaginative production.

After that heartbreak, Britney lets her body do the talking on the brazen romp that is “Love Me Down.” Boasting a lusty production and some feisty rap/sung lyrics, the “Slave 4 U” hitmaker is at her most come hither as she begs her man to “love her down.” She sounds at ease and confident as she brazenly rides the beat and delivers some moaned ad libs before losing herself in ecstasy on the post-chorus.

Britney Spears

Following her seductive evening Spears tries to erase a lover from her mind over racing synths on “Hard To Forget Ya.” The Bollywood-inspired production sets the scene for a massive pop moment from Britney Spears. It’s a refreshing moment that serves as a bit of a pallet cleanser before we move into another groundbreaking moment on Glory: “What You Need…”

Over the course of her lengthy career Britney Spears has flirted with a pop rock sound but never fully embraced it. She put a dime in the jukebox and proclaimed her love for old school rock on her cover of “I Love Rock ‘N Roll,” delivered a thrillingly biting cover of Alanis Morrissett’s “You Ought Know,” and recruited Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker to add an edge to Femme Fatale bonus track “Don’t Keep Me Waiting,” but she’s yet to fully embrace her rocker chic edge. Enter “What You Need.” Closing out the standard edition of Glory, it growls across the soundscape.

Britney Spears

“I got that good, good stuff you can’t erase” Britney cockily snarls across the production. Her proclamation demands listener’s attention, and her adorable pronouncement of “that was fun” in the final moments closes out the standard edition on a surprisingly playful note.

In true Britney Spears fashion Glory’s deluxe edition houses material that is just as good if not better than some of the numbers that made the official cut…

Britney Spears

The first of those is the Tranter and Michaels assisted “Better.” Easily Britney’s most current number on the album, “Better” is a delectable serving of tropical house that would burn brightly atop the charts. With production from Bloodpop, who also helmed Bieber’s “Sorry,” the breezy track is a refreshing release. Although rumors (that have since been proven false) originally linked Justin Bieber to “Just Luv Me,” it’s markedly easier to imagine the Purpose crooner lending a verse here. His pioneering of the tropical house movement would only add to the bright release and make it that much more likely to explode.

The standard edition of Glory showcases a decidedly global flare, and that carries over into the bonus tracks. “Change Your Mind (No Seas Cortes) sees Britney Spears dusting off her Rosetta Stone tapes to beg a Latin lover to get a little nas-tay over a striding production.

Britney Spears

Things get downright heated as Spears tells off a cheating lover on the barbed “Liar,” and it’s another stupendously brazen “I hate men” moment on Glory. Blending symphonic instrumentals with an urban country edge (bet you never saw that one coming), Spears tells her man to suck on her toe (figuratively) and proclaims that she “ain’t fucking with your dirty laundry” (literally, slay queen).

The track’s early aughts inspired production and self confident lyricism draws parallels to Britney‘s “Lonely,” and “Liar” has the potential to become just as beloved to her fan base. Renowned as one of the kindest and least dramatic artists in the industry, it’s surprisingly nice to see Britney bare her teeth a bit. It’s easily the single fiercest moment on Glory and possibly throughout Spears’s discography.

Britney Spears

Experimental, carbonated twerk anthem is literally the only way to describe “If I’m Dancing.” Britney’s vocals soar over a dramatically unhinged production, as she loses herself in her lover’s music. It’s an endearing and daring release, and the proclamation that she sees “candy-coated heart shapes” upon making eyes with her boy pushes it over the edge into pure, unadulterated pop magic. The track is Britney at her most playful and cutting edge, making it all the more endearing.

It’s Frenchney, bitch. In an homage to one of her most beloved albums to date, Britney Spears closes Glory out with an ode to a love so fierce that it kills the lights (and effectively refenerces TWO moments in Spearstory) on the darkly brooding “Coupure Electrique.” Delivered entirely in French, the track’s title literally translates into “blackout” and is as mysterious as her 2007 album of the same name.

Britney Spears

“I forget the world, when you make / make love to me, my love / like a power outage” Spears icily croons (in FRENCH, it’s multi-lingualney, bitch) over a production that growls and clicks across the soundscape. The resulting magic closes out Glory with a moment that is as enticing and mysterious as Britney Spears herself.

With writing credits on more than half of the album and her most engaged vocal performances in eons, Glory delivers everything that was promised on Britney Jean and then some. The pop icon has clearly rediscovered a passion for her music, and she embraced it in style. It’s easy to imagine Glory joining Blackout and In The Zone as one of the most beloved album’s of Spears’s career.

Glory is more than a return to form for Britney Spears. It’s a creative rebirth and an invitation to join her on her journey. With every crooned lyric, every ethereal synth, frantic beat drop, and every thoughtfully delivered lyric the pop deity beckons us a little closer. True to form, her spark is electric. It’s the word of Godney, and it’s a word worth listening to. The album is easily one of if not the best in her discogrpahy, and it’s a true contender for the best and most cohesive album of the year.

Britney Spears

Glory will be available for purchase on August 26! Pre-order HERE!

Jeremy Thurber

Courtesy of Jeremy Thurber

Jeremy Thurber finds musical redemption on his acoustic EP Deliverance

Los Angeles based singer songwriter Jeremy Thurber is a bright spot on the scene. The rising talent has had some success as a solo artist in the past, and his thoughtful lyricism has made him a staple behind the scenes. After writing for and performing alongside the likes of Meghan Trainor, Jake Miller, and Big Time Rush, Thurber has turned the attention back to his own work.

Now he has reemerged on the scene with his largely acoustic EP Deliverance. The five track release showcases Jeremy Thurber’s craft while simultaneously charting the blissful heights and heart aching lows of a relationship. It’s a journey to deliverance in the arms of a loved one, and as a result the EP soars on a lush emotional climate.

For Thurber, the rising star claims that he has found deliverance in a different lover’s arm; his music. “I was feeling like I wanted to quit” he candidly explained of his emotional climate before hitting the studio. With the encouragement of executive producer Gabe Lopez, Jeremy opted to solider on and found redemption in the recording studio.

Jeremy Thurber

“I sat down and wrote to just a piano; I forgot everything in the world and just wrote what I felt.” The resulting tracks comprise Deliverance and showcase the rising talent’s brilliant star power.

The album opens with the first single and title track. Armed with a piano and aural production, Thurber vows to be a lover’s salvation. “Count on me / you’ll never be alone again / I’ll be your deliverance.” Clocking in as the shortest song on the EP, “Deliverance” is nonetheless a touching effort from the crooner and a powerful opener.

Thurber takes it to the piano and offers up his heart and soul on the stripped back “Sacrifice.” The rainy day track proves that Jeremy would make the ultimate sacrifice for love and remains a stunning listen. His voice resonates with the pain of mistakes and the hunger to make things right. “It pains me to see the way that you hate me / what you want is to wrap this up, come on by / I’ll be your sacrifice,” Jeremy Thurber declares, boldly offering up his heart for his beloved’s happiness.

Easily one of the most magical moments on the EP occurs during the tender “Morning Glow.” Delivered in his sweet falsetto over a lush production of piano and seraphic synth, Thurber welcomes a lover to bask in the glory of a new morning after an evening together. “I’m living for this morning glow / our song is on the radio / I wanna take it nice and slow” he romantically croons to his beloved. It’s a delightfully tender moment on Deliverance, and it proves that Jeremy Thurber’s star power shines brilliantly regardless of the amount of production surrounding his voice.

On “I Swear I’ll Never Let You Go” Jeremy vows to adore his lover through the passing of the seasons. It’s another tender, piano led ballad that sees the crooner losing himself in the tide of his relationship. It’s a beautiful testament to a love that will endure, and it’s delivered with the utmost of devotion.

Thurber closes the release out with “Don’t Hold Me Back,” which is easily the most energized track on the release. Over a production lush with handclaps the artist makes a bid for balance within the relationship. Drunk in love, Thurber realizes that he could fall prey to his lover’s wiles and struggles to keep his head above water. Its placement on the EP provides a slightly unresolved ending to the relationship that we watched blossom over the previous five songs; however, it is nevertheless an enthralling conclusion to the release.

No relationship is without faults, and “Don’t Hold Me Back” delves into the darker aspects of love. It can open your heart to great adventures, but it can also hold you in the mire of mixed emotions. That track proves that every relationship doesn’t have to have a perfect ending to have a positive impact on your life. Jeremy Thurber tackles a difficult topic with care and proves himself still able to find redemption.

Jeremy Thurber is serving something seriously impressive on Deliverance. The crooner has established himself as a reliable hitmaker and has proven himself more than capable of delivering consistently evocative and powerful releases. The EP is a striking collection of thoughtful pop gems that are lush with pure emotion. Each track displays his ability to layer sound and emotion to create a diverse soundscape that vibrates with life and personality.

Deliverance has effectively introduced the world to the rising talent that is Jeremy Thurber. It’s a starkly beautiful effort that truly encompasses the dizzying power of love. Along the ride Jeremy Thurber delivers seemingly effortless musical perfection. He fearlessly wears his heart on his sleeve, and the result is a powerful journey towards redemption.

Stream Deliverance in full below then let us know what you think about Jeremy Thurber’s latest effort!

Keep up to date with future projects from Jeremy Thurber by following him online. He can be found on FacebookTwitterSoundCloud, and Instagram!

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is beginning her pop music return with the announcement of new single “Perfect Illusion.” Hope you’re ready to put your paws up, Little Monsters…

It’s official! After months of speculation, Lady Gaga has announced her return to the pop scene. The “Do What U Want” songstress has been exploring other creative avenues since the release of her fourth studio album ARTPOP in 2013. That’s all changing come September, as that’s when she’s planning on releasing the lead single for her upcoming album.

The song’s titled “Perfect Illusion,” and we’re effectively shook.

Lady Gaga

The “Edge of Glory” songstress made the announcement on her social media accounts, taking over her Instagram with a colorful banner. Little is known about the single other than the tentative release date; however, rumors are rapidly abounding about both “Perfect Illusion” and the accompanying album.

The impending album has seen Gaga team up with a slew of writers and producers to craft a massive return. It’s been said that Gaga returned to the studio with RedOne, who worked closely alongside her on many of her top releases.

Gaga’s also teamed up with Mark Ronson, who claims that their collaboration has birthed some of his all time favorite music ever. “It’s incredible – I love it” he stated in an interview with Beats 1 earlier this month.

Thanks to some super-sleuth work from PopCrush, it is looking like one of those tracks may in fact be “Perfect Illusion.” In May of this year Ronson shared a photo in the studio with Lady Gaga, Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, and Bloodpop. The photo was simply captioned “Illusion,” so it’s safe to assume that these may be the masterminds behind the project. Considering Bloodpop’s involvement with Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and Ronson’s foray atop the charts with “Uptown Funk” last year it’s safe to say that big things are coming!

Although it’s currently undetermined, rumors have been swirling that Lady Gaga may make an appearance at the upcoming MTV Video Music Awards. Although it seems unlikely that she’d premiere the single ahead of an official release, the songstress may be generous enough to share more details at the event!

What are you expecting from Lady Gaga’s highly anticipated pop return? Weigh in on the impending release of “Perfect Illusion” in the comments below!

Maggie Szabo

Courtesy of Maggie Szabo

Maggie Szabo longs for the precious glimmer of love on hot new single “Gold.”

Canadian songstress Maggie Szabo is back on the scene with new music, and the soulful crooner is ready for some loving! Maggie’s story has always been one of passion. Growing up in the artistically charged town of Dundas, Canada, the songstress made the move to Nashville after graduating high school to pursue a career in music.

Her journey continued on to Los Angeles, where she is now churning out hits and allowing her sound to evolve under the city’s bright lights.

Last time we checked in on Maggie Szabo she was dancing away her heartache on the emotionally fraught “Forgive And Forget.” After learning that her lover had strayed, she was faced with the difficult decision of forgiving him and learning to love again or moving on and facing an unknown future. The piano-led ode to a broken heart perfectly captured her unrest in the face of the seemingly impossible decision, and its stark honesty was moving.

Now the rising talent is back on the scene with new single “Gold,” and it’s evident that she isn’t ready to let go of a chance at love! “‘Gold’ is a song I wrote about being in looooove,” Maggie Szabo buoyantly said of her new single. “That feeling reminds me a lot of gold; it’s beautiful, valuable, and highly coveted. That really inspired me to write this song!”

She went on to explain her reasoning behind the song, adding “I wrote this song because love is like GOLD! It’s something everyone loves, something everyone wants, and I was inspired to write a fun song about it!”
It’s safe to say that the songstress has more than delivered on her promises! “Gold” is all sorts of fun and uplifting.
“Give me some of that gold” she brazenly proclaims over a powerful production (which was delivered by AG) in the opening moments of the track. The “Forgive and Forget” siren has seemingly moved on from her heartbreak and is ready to find redemption in a new relationship!

Szabo’s voice effortlessly soars over the lush instrumentation. She executes runs with ease and assumes a love-starved quality to her vocals. This is the voice of someone who has had a taste of her lover’s embrace and refuses to let go. The playfully demanding track sees Maggie Szabo at her most in charge, and we can’t get enough!

We at PopWrapped are ecstatic to have teamed up with Maggie to bring you a first listen to her new single! Give “Gold” a spin below!

“Gold” is yet another impressive release from the rising talent, and it showcases an entirely new side of her musicality. Easily her most pop-rock oriented release to date, Maggie Szabo proves that she is capable of delivering more than a soulful ballad. The “Forgive and Forget” songstress knows her way around a rocking production, and her voice is perfectly at home on the more playful soundscape! It’s another hit for us, and it only gets better with each additional listen!

Keep up to date with future projects from Maggie Szabo by following her on FacebookTwitterYouTubeSoundCloud, and at her website!

Do you think that “Gold” will be the rising talent’s big break? Let us know what your thoughts are on the single in the comments below!