Britney Spears – “Mannequin”
Track #10 off of Circus, released 2008
Britney’s sixth studio album is absolutely filled with bops, some of which like “Womanizer” and “If U Seek Amy” being regarded as some her most outstanding singles to date. Throughout all of these hit singles, however, we have an array of tracks that are simply incredible and one that I believe deserves special attention is actually one that I haven’t seen many to be fond of. “Mannequin” is a futuristic and almost robotic sounding song about a relationship where the other person basically expects too much from you. Britney sings about doing her own thing while her lover mopes around, painting a picture of a partnership where these people just don’t seem to understand each other and the things they do. The track has been criticized for her vocals sounding “lifeless” but when it comes to the meaning of the track, that’s exactly how they’re supposed to sound. Here she’s clearly fed up with her partner’s complaints and literally tells them to cry all they want while she remains motionless. I understand that it may be labeled as “toxic” but on the other hand, the deeper meaning behind this song is simply that she won’t change for a relationship. Besides the overall content of the song, it’s sonically a masterpiece with a sound unlike any other that is impossible to recreate. It even had an instrumental break for the bridge which makes me think a music video was even considered for it and while that never happened, I stand firm on my opinion that if this was ever released as a single with proper promotion, it would have been a smash hit.