Discussion in 'Comeback corner' started by Toxicated, Jun 24, 2006.
It really is, it's bizarre.
I don't think it's a coincidence that now her kids are older she's not playing along. They're basically old enough to go see her when they want to see her, and no one can stop them. The emotional blackmail around the custody probably doesn't work quite as well with teenage boys, although they probably didn't think that one through.
As was discussed previously, a conservatorship as a "hybrid business arrangement" doesn't really work for the conservatee as they only work to provide for their conservators. If a business partner/manager is what she needs, let her hire one and live the other parts of her life like a normal person.
My feelings towards the Circus album will forever be conflicted because of how quick it felt like they shoved Britney back out into the limelight and expected her to go on a world tour after dealing with so much trauma. But I was giving it a fair weather play this afternoon while exercising and Unusual You will forever be the crown jewel of that album. God, what a goddamn song.
This is where I'm at as well. I doubt Britney burned through hundreds of millions in the space of a year. Wouldn't be surprised if the "she was nearly broke!" narrative they love to wheel out was just another lie.
I think I've seen it argued as a double-edged sword in that performing and being "active" in that sense was part of her "normal" as in it could have provided her with a sense of security and normalcy amid all the obvious/clear negative parts of fame, but who knows. That whole period of her coming back to visibility after the cancellation of "Radar" from Blackout then Circus being on its way right after "Womanizer" is always just such a weird spot in the whole history of things. Like, it was a literal 180 both in optics and activity.
I fully believe Circus is something Britney pushed for because working was all she's ever known and she doesn't or didn't know how to slow down. I think she says something along these lines in For The Record? I look at it similarly to how she decided to put on a series of shows in the midst of 2007. Circus always seemed like a bunch of songs she was recording for fun and therapy until someone (probably Larry) saw she had a decent amount of tracks recorded and it turned into a full on project, which would explain why all the singles were recorded near the end. Even Jamie, as much as we aren't here for him now, seemed a little put off by how fast everything was happening. There was also the added element of Britney possibility wanting to "prove" herself with the tour in order to get out of the conservatorship, which we know never happened even though she had proven herself. But in terms of just optics it's still like... not even a year ago at that point she was locked up in a hospital twice and now she's on a worldwide promo tour?
If I’m being honest, I kind of struggle as a fan how to view her career after 2007 in general, in light of all these recent developments. Could we have been/be more responsible consumers of her music if we demand there’s more transparency in how it is/was made? Though we probably have the excuse of being literal children at the time, I think what opens a can of worms is how these TV shows, touring companies, labels, etc can somehow be seen as complicit when they have armies of lawyers who surely would have seen what a strange arrangement the conservatorship is... and still signed on Britney for all these deals.
She said herself that her life as a pop star is basically all she knows. Even when things were at their darkest in 2007, early 2008 she was still heading to Millennium Dance to create choreography for Hot As Ice (with Break the Ice being her current single - only Britney). Even Jamie (like @mindtrappa referred to) says in For the Record "I like to go fishing, she likes to sing and dance". She called it therapy for her. That doesn't mean she needed to be out doing it again professionally - so the tour and all that could be a legitimate eye brow raiser - but she always appeared to be fine with doing the albums. And on Circus she paired up with Danja, Bloodshy and Avant, Nicole Morier - people she enjoyed working with. The idea in those early days - and people are on the record saying this - was to create normalcy for her. And normalcy for Britney was being an artist.
I will say this - despite all the stuff that seems so shady - she never had a terribly full schedule, certainly not after 2011. I saw someone say in here a few weeks ago (well intentioned, I know) that they hope eventually she hires all women who will take into account her desires to be with her children and not work so much, but the people surrounding her have done just that. It's the reason the Vegas residency happened in the first place. In fact a lot of pages of this forum are people wishing she had done more - more videos, more promo, more performances, toured instead of Vegas - so to see people now feeling that she was overworked feels a little disingenuous (even if its not conscious). She has been a part time pop star for a decade.
I think it’s worth mentioning too that although her net worth may have been $300million, that’s not what she would have ‘blown through’ as that’s her overall net worth not her cash assets.
For example Madonna is worth like, what, $800million? But she doesn’t have $800m in cash sitting in the bank, that’s her assets, her deals, the value of her recordings, properties, art collection and so forth.
I completely agree it’s sketchy that’s she seems to ‘only’ be worth $60m, but her true net worth could still be in the hundreds of millions?
I believe court documents state it’s already inclusive of her real estate and business investments. Some fans have been following some suspicious activities of money being moved around in trusts and certain corporations, but it’s still mostly speculative and I guess we’ll have a clearer picture from the next court date with Bessemer.
On topic, I think career-wise (not saying finance-wise), they’ve done a decent job. Even before all of this new wave of mythologising of Britney, she was already regarded as a pop icon and like what was said, they found a way to lessen the workload for her.
I don’t doubt they have been talking about what she wants, but the problems with the arrangement arises in the power imbalance. When she wants something to change, it seems to go through such an arduous process and a lot of fighting, while if it’s the other way around, it’s possible for it not to be met with the same resistance.
If there's one thing I will say for the conservators, it's that coming up with the residency idea was a good thing. It opened up an entirely new market for older but still viable pop acts and was the perfect choice for Britney since it gave her her an opportunity to perform without the grueling schedule and physical demands of touring. Plus it was a financial windfall.
And it gave her the stability of being able to perform whilst also taking the kids to school.
I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s insight into the Circus era!
On the other hand however, I do think that something that hasn’t been really discussed is how her artistry seemed to be declining with each era under the conservatorship, which yes, thankfully found its way back in some form for Glory.
Britney in her prime was extroverted and was very much part of the Hollywood circuit. She seemed a bit like Madonna in the respect that she got inspired by the sounds and art around her. From several accounts, she spoke to the writers and producers about her life experiences, which they then used as inspiration for her music.
While sometimes questionable in terms of taste, there was this life that Britney breathed into her performances that she just pulled it off, anyway. I can’t help but feel that with the restrictions, the work involved in being a popstar remained (albeit lessened), but the fun part of meeting new people, hanging out with dancers, making the lavish, ridiculous purchase now and then, etc was taken away. I mean, even from her Jonathan Ross, she casually mentioned that she had to work around the conservatorship to create Glory, whatever that means.
Not to say we’ll get prime Britney back when she’s finally free, but at least from a fan, I can acknowledge that there have been changes in her music and performances since it started.
I see where you’re coming from but some of this is also comparing Britney Spears the adult and mother of 2 to the Britney Spears who was college aged. Going out and partying with her dancers simply may not have been a priority when she was 29 the way it was when she was 19. This is the woman who told her choreographer she wouldn’t do certain moves because she’s a mom now.
I guess that’s part of it and with or without conservatorship, it really was the right move to lessen the partying post 2007. But I’d note that even that situation with Brian, it was I think a year after the conservatorship was made permanent. And we did see her go noticeably more sexual again in 2016. Her confidence and competence onstage was really on and off, which I think is a fair observation to make as a fan.
I think it’s just the principle of losing the freedom for spontaneity which she herself alluded to in For The Record. This is going to be projecting on my part, but just empathising with her, I can imagine it would feel a lot harder to feel inspired or confident as an adult, knowing that you can’t really sign a contract on your own and you’re required to collaborate with someone for both your personal and professional decisions. And as far as her art goes, a lot of confidence and conviction is needed to really sell her songs through the performances.
Femme Fatale and Britney Jean were taken away from her, by her own admission. It's not a coincidence that the three albums she had most involvement in are her best albums (In the Zone, Blackout and Glory). I fully believe the more involvement she has in her music, the better.
I think her onstage performing ability is influenced by other factors that I don't want to/am not allowed to get into.
The thing is I think Britney said early on she wanted to do something like that, as well as being a mother. All of which came true to what she wanted and did.
Here's the 60 Minutes Australia special.
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