A close look at Britney’s beloved Danja-produced songs.
Britney’s tenth studio album, executive produced by Justin Tranter, could feature new songs crafted by producer Danja. According to an unearthed publishing on Danja’s profile on Primary Wave, touted as one of the largest independent music publishing and talent management/production/entertainment companies, Danja has worked on multiple new songs with Britney. The posting is filed under the year 2019, likely because that’s when his profile was updated to include Britney’s new songs. Primary Wave has since deleted the posting, but the Internet is forever!
After news broke, the world of Britney erupted in celebration. It felt like the universe handed us a crumb of sustenance in a time when we are starved for new Britney music. Better yet – Danja and Tranter recently met up at a pre-Grammy party.
It’s important Britney and Danja’s new tunes, if they ever see the light of day, sound reminiscent of the old stuff, but with a fresh take. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and dive into the songs Britney and Danja cooked up together. I hope you’re hungry!
When Britney admits in the opening line that her body feels like an inferno, the listener is tossed into a sweltering sauna of *** and 808s. Her breathy pleas and sultry sound gyrate over Danja’s pulsating, cinematic production. She confesses that the anticipation of a roll in the sheets is so intoxicating that she feels high. If you could take ecstasy through song, it’s “Perfect F–ker.” I mean “Lover.”
I have it on good authority that when Blackout leaked the summer before its official release, Britney’s favorite track was “Get Naked.” No word on whether she’s taken a liking to another track more in the time since, but probably not. Even though Brit never performed it in Piece Of Me, she highlight it in one the show’s interludes (justice for Chase Benz). The glorious beauty of “Get Naked” is that the song doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t, like “If U Seek Amy.” Britney incessantly demands to see ******. She gets lost in a hazy fetish fantasy where skin is in, eventually admitting she, too, is game to play. “I just wanna take it off,” she purrs. Things escalate as her confidence hits the roof when she sings, “if I get on top… you’re gonna lose your mind.” The song also eerily soundtracks some of her darker days when Brit was notorious for swapping outfits inside a club or going without them altogether.
Hot As Ice
Out of all of Danja’s Britney tracks, “Hot As Ice” sounds the least Danja-ey, if that makes sense. That’s very promising for B10 (again, if Team B doesn’t cut them), because it shows how versatile of a team they are together. “Hot As Ice,” originally titled “Cold As Fire,” is a wild journey of buzzing chirps and gaspy background vocals. It’s three minutes of Britney bragging about how cool, err, hot she is. She dips through dizzying innuendo throughout, and if that’s confusing, she’ll break it downnn, break it downnn for the dumb dumbs. We’re a decade and some change away from the song’s inception, but the lyrics remain a staple: 1.) She’s a living legend and 2.) You can look but definitely don’t touch.
“Blur” is Britney’s most underrated Danja track and unlike anything she’s ever recorded and officially released. I can’t imagine 2019 Britney releasing such an honest, relatable, feel-bad track, and that’s a shame. Her icy vocals describe a flurry of confusion – there’s a disconnect between her present moment and the series of events that took place the night before. She clearly got way, way too blitzed in the hours prior. She wakes up next to a strange man and isn’t sure if they hooked up or not, and is so hungover she can barely function. What’s refreshing about “Blur” is that it shined a light on Blackout Britney, but in the Circus era where Team B managed to get the Britney Brand™ back on track. She asks some important questions: “What’s your name, man?” “Can you calmly hand me all my things?” “Who are you? What’d we do last night?” “Where the hell am I?” We love a relatable queen.
Britney tapped Danja for Circus, and though they recorded five songs together (that we know of), only two made the record. Curiously, Primary Wave claims Danja and Britney made “Kill The Lights” in 2007 for Blackout, so it’s unclear if “Abroad” was recorded after or during those same sessions, but it does tend to lean more towards the sounds of Circus. The guilty pleasure pop gem isn’t about ***, or alcohol, or men. Britney is just excited to travel and experience new people, places and things. On the surface, it’s cute and candid because we know our girl loves her trips away from the Calabasas castle to Hawaii.
After a closer look at the lyrics… “Abroad” is actually quite a sad song disguised with a swirling, perky beat and angelic vocals. All she wants is a great escape. “Looked in the mirror today / Thought I had so much to say / But now that I’m face to face / I feel like runnin away.” And it’s most definitely autobiographical: “I don’t speak the language, but they know my name here.” Elsewhere, Britney admits she’s sick of it all. “I need a change of pace / To see some different faces / I need to get away / I need a break from u / I need a break for me / Gimme a break from here / Somewhere that I can clear my head / I’m goin abroad.”
We haven’t seen or heard from Britney since she announced her indefinite work hiatus, so perhaps she’s enjoying that much-needed holiday.
Kill The Lights
Britney is one of the most photographed people in history, and it nearly destroyed her. But it didn’t. The lyrics bring attention to Britney’s love-hate relationship with fame. On it, Britney commands to be left alone, then a moment later tells the photographer she’s ready for her closeup. “You don’t like me / I don’t like you, it don’t matter / Only difference / You still listen, I don’t have to,” she croons over a hip-hop tinged beat and chilly, cinematic production. “They all wanna see what you’re made of / What you’re gonna do,” B sings in the song’s climax. “Is life gonna get the best of you?” If you listen closely, you can hear Britney answer your questions: “No,” she quietly quips. Britney can do as she pleases, and here we are… waiting with bated breath.
Break The Ice
I’ll never forgive who organized Blackout‘s tracklist for not placing “Break The Ice” as the first song of the album. “It’s been awhile… I know I shouldn’t have kept you waiting, but I’m here now” still feels as relevant now as it did then. The subzero song finds Britney flirting with the opening moments that unfold when sexual tension is at its peak. What’s different about “Break The Ice” compared to the rest of Danja’s elite Blackout bops, is that his production shines the most here. Synth horns blaze over Britney’s breathy vibrato before a titan team of background singers, the kind of vocals you might hear at a church powered by the Holy Spearit, take the tune to stratospheric heights. Interestingly, “Break The Ice” shares a theme with “Cold As Fire.” On both, Britney plays with contrasting degrees to entice the listener. And since light is a form of energy, and energy creates heat, it also shares a likeness to “Kill The Lights.” Mind blown?
I love that Danja gives Britney mad props on his tracks. He introduces the living legend in the song’s opening lines then fires up a video game-themed beat that spits electro fire and chaotic alarm chimes. “Get Back,” rumored to be the original lead single, is a cocky, female anthem. On nearly every line, she boasts; guys are just a little too slow and a little too stupid for her. It’s best they stick to being human ATMs and buy her a stiff drink instead, otherwise make like a tree. Britney deviously toys with dumb dudes on “Get Back,” to the point where she bows out and lets the beat drip into slow motion so Danja can spell it out: Iffff yoouuu cannntttt taaakeee ittt theennn geetttt bacckkkkk.
“Gimme More” is Britney’s most iconic song. Yes, I’m very aware of “Baby One More Time,” “Oops!” and “Toxic,” but no thought-piece, article, tabloid cover or song could explain the world’s insatiable appetite for Britney better than “Gimme More” could. On paper, it’s an innocent banger about Britney wanting to party in a nightclub, but after closer inspection it was a battle cry. The words “They want more? Well, I’ll give em’ more,” felt like a threat, and sums up Britney’s historic fall from fame. In 2007, her world crumbled, and despite our fav nearly losing everything, we wanted more. “Gimme More” isn’t just a ridiculously catchy pop jam, it’s a rebellious F U. And props to Danja for creating the most iconic line in Britney’s discography, because forever and always… “It’s Britney, *****!”