Sunday, August 08, 2010

Wasted Singles - Vol. 1

I guess the title of this post speaks for itself. How often do you hear a song and think why wasn't that a released as a single? If you're anything like me, the answer is all the time! In order to vent my frustration I thought I'd start collating some my favourite hits that never were from the past couple of years. Record companies usually get it right but occasionally I'm left scratching my head, wondering what the fuck happened. Kylie fans, in particular, know this pain all too well. I'm still bitter that her urban masterpiece "One Boy Girl" never received its moment in the sun! Anyway, my first selection will probably come as a bit of a surprise. It's no secret that Britney's enduring popularity is a complete mystery to me. She can't sing, has less charisma than a cardboard box and dresses like a single mother from Bankstown. Even Cassie Davis has more going for her! So it's one of life's great ironies then that my favourite person in the entire world stans for Britney. As a result, I've been exposed to dangerously high levels of Brit Brit and even learned to endure appreciate some of her music. I doubt the former Mouseketeer will ever top the brilliance of 1999's "Born To Make You Happy" but one track on her last album comes very close.

Baby, you're so unusual
Didn't anyone tell you you're supposed to
Break my heart, I expect you to
So why haven't you?


"Unusual You" is easily the best song on "Circus" (for the record "Kill The Lights" comes a distant second). Without that track the album would be a pointless re-hash of "Blackout" - only with deep and meaningful modern poetry like "If U Seek Amy" and "Lace And Leather". Oh and let's not forget the inspirational feminist anthem "Mmm Papi". In all fairness, none of my favourite divas are known for their hard hitting social commentary or insight into the human condition but "Circus" is a curiously soulless affair. I guess that's why "Unusual You" stands out like LeToya Luckett at a Beyoncé concert. It has heart. Songs about relationships generally fall into two categories - spiteful/empowering/depressing/uplifting (choose your own adjective) break up anthems or sugary sweet ballads that make you want to vomit. "Unusual You" strikes an interesting middle ground. The lyrics come from a rather bleak and world weary place but there's a guarded optimism that I find touching. There's something inherently relatable and real about the hopes and doubts expressed in the song - a rare accomplishment indeed. I particularly like Bloodshy & Avant's production. It's so dark and detailed. There are rumours that "Unusual You" started life as Miike Snow's "In Search Of" and while there are similarities, I'm glad Bloodshy & Avant decided to keep that for themselves. The world isn't ready for indie-electro Britney just yet! So why was the track overlooked in favour of shit like "If U Seek Amy" and that idiotic re-release of "Radar"? My guess is a mix of stupidity and contractual obligations. "Unusual You" was briefly promoted to radio in Australia as the fifth single from "Circus" but was pulled at the last minute to make way for "3". It's a shame because "Unusual You" shows a different side of Britney. A side that I think I could grow to like.

17 comments:

Andrew said...

"I guess that's why "Unusual You" stands out like LeToya Luckett at a Beyoncé concert. It has heart." OhNYD! lol

I completely agree with this song choice. Such a fantastic song and would've been a great single, if for no other reason than britney could actually sing it live had she ever been able to perform it. I love hearing her live when she can, lol. As for other unreleased britney songs, Kill the Lights springs to mind, And Then We Kiss, and I would've loved to have seen a video for Freakshow.

Miss Halliwell said...

You just reeled off my fave non-single Brit tracks. You whore.

I also love Shattered Glass...

But anyway, Unusual You is a fabulous song, really different from the usual Spears Songs and one which made it's way onto my homemade Britney Best thing.

Good idea this wasted singles thing...

I expect some Dannii...Toy Toy...and more ;)

XXXX

Chris said...

I love 'Unusual You' so much, it really was such a missed opportunity and actually could have worked with the 'Radar' video, which did not work at all otherwise.

x

The Prophet said...

You are the HOTTEST of all messes.

How can you say that Circus is a pointless rehash of Blackout when your second favorite song "Kill the Lights" sounds like a Blackout B-Side and is the only song that even sounds like its from the blackout sessions?

I think you should listen to Circus more because when we were in the can I played some songs from the album and you didn't even know what or who they were at first, so you must not have really listened to the album before and just judged it prematurely.

Anyway, it's great to see Britney love on Pop Trash and we need more of it!

"Unusual You" would've made not only a great single, but it would've been a hit too. I curse that she didn't release it.

Britney is so amazing, she has so many flawless classics that many haven't heard before!

The Prophet said...

And Radar is fucking amazing stop hating. Mike is the biggest undercover Britney stan I have ever met and I love it.

Mike, you need to just come to the light and admit that you stan for the LIVING LEGEND!

Anonymous said...

Unusual You is the best song from Circus and one of Brit's bets songs ever. I think it's safe and easy to say that the song shits on bey's whole career.

I am still bitter they did not release the song as a single, but well too bad.

as for britney being someone who can not sing, listen to her ballads, you may fins a new heart ur missing;)

Martin said...

Hmm, Britney should stick to songs about being a slut and dancing in clubs. She can't pull off anything with heart since she has zero passion or artistic desire anymore. Britney hasn't sung with "feeling" since Everytime. And besides, it bugs the fuck out of me that she sings "didn't anyone tell you you're sposed ta". ALMOST as grating as Sammy Fox's "Angel, Angel with a attitude". Grammer Nazi! Mmm Papi creamz all over this tuneless mess.

Hedgegoat said...

I wanted "Heaven On Earth" as a single from "Blackout". "Unusual You" would have been a great single. Heck if "Radar" got a second chance why not that!

Paul said...

Brilliant idea :) This feature could run and run! And actually I agree totally with your first choice :)

Aaron said...

Yeah - Very much so! - I'm peeved I didn't think of it first :P :P :P

Anyways, you're exactly right! - I'm a massive Britney fan, and I kinda think this was one of her biggest injustices single-wise. AMAZING track, great lyric, brilliant vocal and just think what she could do with the video! - I was thinking something like a crossover between Lady GaGa's LoveGame single cover and Natalie Bassingthwaighte's 1000 Stars with a bit of a Madonna Confessions On A Dancefloor album cover image :P

Anonymous said...

Amazing track, I completely agree. But Circus is a completely different album to Blackout, don't agree with the "re-hash" comment.

Circus is a very calculated, formulated sugary pop album (it's the left of centre tracks like Unusual You and Mannequin that really shine). Blackout is dark and dirty pop-r'n'b-club record, Britney is in her element (ironic, considering her world was in complete turmoil during it's creation). When I listen to Blackout, I hear the real Britney. When I listen to Circus, I hear producers telling her to sing something.

- Petro

michael said...

La Toya Wasted Single: On A Night Like This (ow!).

Mike said...

Jacques - I am NOT a secret Britney stan! Stop defaming my good name!

And Michael, it goes without saying that Toy Toy's legendary anthem "On A Night Like This" will eventually feature in this series!

John said...

Too bad you're not a Shayne fan...Paul and I can come up with three wasted singles just off of his last album!

Becca said...

who is your favourite person in the world?

Is it LaToya?

Or are you your favourite person? So you admit to stanning for Britney??

I think that Prophet is onto something here....

Brad said...

Yeah who is this mysterious favourite person? I commend he or she for opening your heart to brit brit!!

Daniel said...

Unusual You is without a doubt the best thing poor little Ms. Spears ever done - and I agree with whoever said that Heaven on Earth should have been a single from Blackout (it's the closest she'll ever come to sounding like Kylie, which surprisingly isn't a bad thing).

But, Mike, I'm SHOCKED that you aren't a Britney fan. The pop trash that bitch throws out is unbelievable - Toy Soldier, Freakshow, Ooh Ooh Baby, the aforementioned Mmm Papi and If U Seek Amy - she's practically a Pop Trash Demigod! Now, I'm far from being her biggest fan (I actually can't stand her), but there are a shit ton of her songs that, once they weasel their way into my head, never, ever leave.