The title says it all -- that this third album is where it's all about Britney. Actually, the titles say it all: Britney is "Overprotected," she pleads "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman," tries to let us all see "What It's Like to Be Me." All three songs are pivotal moments on Britney Spears' third album, the record where she strives to deepen her persona (not the same thing as her character, of course), making it more adult while still recognizably Britney. That much was evident from the selection of the first single, "I'm a Slave 4 U," a sultry Neptunes-produced salute to Prince that is so far removed from the big, glitzy Max Martin productions that are her signature that at first it sounds awkward, even wrong.
You knew it was coming — the sassy girl backlash to that whole ‘N Sync/Backstreet Boys testosterone-lite thing. Hanging ten on the sugary wave is 17-year-old ex-Disney princess Britney Spears, who sounds so soulful and Whitney-assured on her self-titled debut, it’s downright scary. Was a deal cut with Satan? Nope — just Backstreet Boys’ writing/producing Svengali Max Martin.