Justice For is a new recurring series on BreatheHeavy where we look at songs/videos that should have received more attention, but didn’t.
To celebrate Britney’s seventh studio album, Femme Fatale, turning eight years old this week, we decided to shine a light on one of the album’s glimmering creations, “Inside Out.”
BreatheHeavy has an energetic history with the track. Producer Dr. Luke (this was prior to his name becoming synonyms with filth), co-produced the song with Max Martin (“Baby One More Time”) and Billboard. He revealed the title to fans on February 5, 2011, in a not-so-cryptic Tweet. It was love at first fansite.
Luke actually campaigned as much as the Britney Army did to make “Inside Out” a single. A fan Tweeted at the time, “Inside Out has its very own Wikipedia page, thats how much of a kick ass song it is…lets put pressure to see it as a single,” and the producer’s public response was “agreed.”
Another follower doubled down. “So was it decided early on that Inside Out wouldn’t be a single? INSANITY that it wasnt on the tour, wasnt a single, etc.”
Luke responded again: “i agree…. i love that song..” (Receipts)
Luke’s feelings were shared by the Britney Army, and since 2011 fans have moved on from the electro breakup anthem staying out of single status, but we haven’t forgotten. It’s worth mentioning that at the time, Britney posted a poll on Facebook asking fans to vote for the fourth official single between “Criminal”, “(Drop Dead) Beautiful” and “Inside Out,” and “Criminal” took home the win. I’d like to point out more people voted for Hillary Clinton than Trump.
Luke, Max and Billboard co-wrote “Inside Out” with Jacob Kasher Hindlin (he also co-wrote “Ooh La La”) and Bonnie McKee (Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream). McKee also contributes background vocals on the track, along with Myah Marie, an infamous character in Britney’s post-Blackout discography.
The song details love’s bittersweet purgatory. Britney’s relationship is on the brink of destruction, yet there remains an undeniable physical attraction. So much so, that despite the inevitable emotional turmoil, she find an excuse to link up with her man to lay it down in the sheets.
If you’ve ever been in love, but know it won’t end in Happily Ever After, “Inside Out” is too relatable. It’s not hyped enough to be a banger, but not slow enough to be considered a power ballad. It was a dizzying, icy tune before chill pop was in season.
“Inside Out” is versatile. Sonically, it could’ve easily fit on In The Zone,Blackout, or Circus, but walks a fine line between being polite and overtly sexual. That balance makes it radiate on Femme Fatale, a record filled with dubstep-laced bops about the tail-end of a dissolving relationship. Interestingly, Britney’s engagement to ex-fiance Jason Trawick ended not long after the era concluded.
Justice for “Inside Out,” because it whole-heartedly deserved to be in the spotlight and receive a video treatment. But regardless, Britney and co. gave us a shimmering audio gem that fans will forever cherish. Happy birthday, Femme Fatale.