Music

A Time for Poptimism: ‘Oops!… I Did It Again’ Is a Musical Escape from Reality

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The year was 2000. White eye makeup was all the rage and Britney Spears had just dropped the highly anticipated lead single to her second album, “Oops!… I Did It Again” March 27.

Twenty years later, white eyeshadow may not be a booming fashion trend, but the bouncy tunes of “Oops!…” remain.

With the happenings of the world right now, it’s a good time to harken back to some classic, upbeat pop albums. This series, “A Time for Poptimism,” will look at different albums whose whimsical, happy nature can bring warmth to this uncertain time. And “Oops!… I Did It Again” fits the bill better than any to kick it off.

The 12-track album is an unapologetic, bubblegum pop triumph reminiscent of a time of innocence and pure nostalgia. Plus, it held the record for the largest opening week sales in the U.S. for a female album (at 1.3 million) until 2015, when Adele’s “25” shattered the record with 3.4 million first-week sales. 

Each track bustles with an irrepressible personality. “Oops!… I Did It Again” takes listeners back to the first week of summer as a kid — full of excitement, energy and hope.

Spoken interludes tie many of the songs together and serve as a tongue-in-cheek, cutesy addition to the campy album. Hearing Spears and friends gossip about boys eviscerates all of life’s problems and simply takes listeners back to a time of peace and happiness. The voicemail at the end of “What U See Is What U Get” is a perfectly dated, iconic testament of the album’s cheeky nature.

There will always be time for moodier, introspective music. But for now, comfort is key and nothing’s more comforting than the soothing teen pop of “Oops!… I Did It Again.” 

Let your worries wash away as you sway to the beachy bop “Don’t Let Me Be The Last to Know.” Remember the simplicity of middle school crushes with the dreamy closer “Dear Diary.” Most of all, remind yourself that you can get through this time of uncertainty with Spears’ empowering anthem “Stronger.”

“Oops!… I Did It Again” is a shimmering time-capsule preserved. It’s hopeful, happy and full of heart (well, except for the American version of the album, which excludes European-exclusive track “Heart”). It’s the necessary sunshine to sprinkle onto these cloudy days.

“Oops!… I Did It Again” is available to stream on all streaming services. A special-edition reissue in honor of the 20th anniversary will be sold on Record Store Day, an annual event that celebrates independently owned record stores. The release — which has been delayed to June 20, 2020, thanks to the spread of the coronavirus — will feature four tracks previously unreleased in America, as well as remixes.

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