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160. Dear Diary (2000)

(Spears, Blume, Wilde)

Album: Oops!... I Did It Again

Let’s get one thing straight: Britney Spears is a great songwriter. She had been writing songs since the …Baby One More Time era, though “Dear Diary” was the first Spears-penned track to make the cut on an official album. It’s super sweet but out of place. The production would have felt at home in a 1989 Debbie Gibson ballad (speaking of great singer-songwriters and producers!) but feels especially anachronistic here. Spears has an excellent falsetto voice which is used extensively on “Dear Diary,” but somehow it makes an already youthful song sound downright childish. “E-Mail My Heart” had equally sappy lyrics but was delivered with endearing conviction and earnestness that sells the song. We do get an iconic Britney growl toward the end, but the tone had already been set. It would have made for a nice bonus track but does not belong alongside the likes of “Oops!,” “Stronger,” and “What U See (Is What U Get).” We wouldn’t have to wait long for some excellent writing credits from Britney. Her next album would produce some absolute classics.

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Kevin Myers
Kevin Myers
12 Eyl 2022

one of my favorite growls of all time

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