This weekend, songwriter Michelle Bell offered a glimpse into Spearstory (the history of Britney Spears) by leaking “Take Off,” an electro-kissed track meant for the “Toxic” icon’s 2003 opus In the Zone. In a 2014 interview with BuzzFeed, Bell reflected on writing the track with Spears. Citing lyrics that referenced a call for racial and sexual equality, she went as far as to compare the track to Michael Jackson’s “Black or White.”
It was an unexpected direction for the pop princess, whom the songwriter says was fighting to have her voice heard on the album. “I think people would have looked at her and thought she had something to say,” Bell said, adding that “it was ahead of its time.” Featuring writing from Bell and production by Bloodshy & Avant, the duo responsible for “Toxic,” the song’s message came years before Lady Gaga and Kesha spurred a renaissance of empowerment anthems with singles like “Born this Way” and “We R Who We Are.” An ahead of its time anthem from a groundbreaking icon — brilliant!
“They say get ready for the revolution, I think it’s time we found some sorta solution,” Britney emphatically chants over a funkified production lush with strings and electronica. Though clearly unfinished, the pop star showcases her full range and soars over the production with a relaxed sense of confidence. “This is my wish that we all feel connected, this is my wish that nobody’s neglected,” she sings. Though it ultimately didn’t make the cut for the album, “Take Off” offers a glimpse into the mind of the diva at a time when she was fighting for musical emancipation.
Bell has previously leaked some of the material from her sessions with Britney on her personal Tumblr page, treating fans to the electro-driven production of “Money, Love and Happiness” and a snippet of the string-driven “Peep Show” in 2012. Both tracks were in demo form and featured some of the hitmaker’s least processed vocals over left-of-center productions similar to “Take Off.” As Brit is gearing up for her first international tour in years it is refreshing to revisit some of her most creative years.
This article was originally published by Idolator