B-Sides: Here’s Why “State Of Grace” Is Britney’s Best Unreleased Track… Ever

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Drift away into a mystical world of love carefully crafted by the princess of pop.

Though Britney’s Blackout album is one of her worst-performing records sales-wise to-date, it’s undeniably her best, most cohesive body of work. There’s a treasure trove of unreleased tracks Queen B recorded post-Original Doll for Blackout, and in BreatheHeavy’s new series, “B-Sides,” we’re going to take a closer look at some of these shimmering gems left in the studio mines.

The headline… “State Of Grace” Is Britney’s Best Unreleased Track… Ever. It took a lot of mental energy to make that decision when “Sugarfall” and “Let Go” exist, but “State Of Grace” flexes Britney’s stunning vocal abilities unlike most of her entire catalogue. She’s either not comfortable to hold a note longer than a couple of seconds, or doesn’t want to, but “State Of Grace” is jam-packed with slinky, opulent notes that simmer, truly embodying the name of the song.

Don’t get me wrong… I love me a Britney club banger about bagging boys or feeling so hungover that you can’t even deal, but “State Of Grace” is none of that. Instead, she’s entranced with the pure ecstasy of falling in love.

The song is co-written by Steve Anderson, Steve Lee and Lisa Greene. Greene is also reportedly responsible for a handful of other Britney submissions, including “Insatiable,” and an electro-ballad titled “Grow.” But here’s where things begin to make a lot more sonic sense. The trio are also the creators of In The Zone cut, “Breathe On Me,” one of Britney’s most iconic non-singles.

Fans’ first glimpse of the song pre-dates Blackout. During a ride around town in 2007, paparazzi caught Britney listening to a demo of her new tunes, including “Baby Boy,” “Let Go” and what fans believe is the full version of “Rebellion.” It also contained a sampling of “State Of Grace.” The cameramen start shouting at Britney to say a couple of words about her forthcoming album, but she remained unbothered, skipping track by track until she zooms off. Curiously, none of the songs ended up making the final cut, which makes me wonder just how many of these leftovers are still hidden away.

What attracts me most to “State Of Grace” is Britney’s attempt to define what love is. Think about how hard that actually is – to quantify something that only exists in our consciousness, but is essential to a sound life. It’s an enduring force that changes lives forever, yet we’ll never physically smell, hear or touch it – only in your mind’s eye can you conjure up a meaning, and Britney has an entire song dedicated to capturing that magic in a bottle.

“Love is a state of grace,” she sings over magnetic, dreamy production that puts the listener in a deep state of hypnosis. Brit then references Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, because it appears love travels faster than the speed of light. We love mathney. “Transcending time and space / No other way I can describe,” she croons. What else is love? “Insanely beautiful and almost mystical… cause you’re mine.” Rather, miiiiiiiiiiiiine.

“State Of Grace” sheds light on Britney the vocalist in a way that many of her other songs simply don’t do, and for that it remains a precious piece of pop music – her best unreleased track. The song’s fabric is a delicate silk sheet that’ll caress your wandering soul in the darker hours, a wave to wash your problems away, and a reminder that love isn’t a four letter word, or a small gesture, or a dozen roses… it’s a state of grace.

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