"...Baby One More Time"
Says Keith Garcia: "Going back all the way to the beginning, '...Baby One More Time' just solidifies that era. No other music video solidifies an era of music like this video. Every other video by any other pop star or boy band or anything was just always trying to emulate the weird magic that was captured in that one. Britney's at school and it's almost time to leave and so she has a little homeroom fantasy in her last few minutes before the clock strikes 3:15 of doing a sexy dance down the hallway in her schoolgirl skirt and changing into gym clothes and leading everyone in kind of gymnastic cheers. It's super- simple. There's probably someone she's in love with, probably someone she's not. It's hard to tell because there are a lot of hot boys that roam around that video. But ultimately that's the thing: It's not about hey, I have a crush on this boy, it's man, I just wanna take over the school. And our hearts, as music video lovers."
"I would have to say that 'Sometimes,' also off of that first album, is a really great video because that one was actually really fun and incorporated a little bit of a romance into everything; they went to a pier. It really increased the caliber of Busby Berkeley-style musical numbers. There's a lot of above-camera shots with choreographed routines that evokes that bygone period of the '30s. That video's just a sweet little thing. Everyone's dressed in white, there are hearts everywhere, and our little Britney's still innocent."
"(You Drive Me) Crazy"
"When I first started to realize that Britney could turn it out a little bit, when she started testing the waters of being saucy, I always remember the video that they did for '(You Drive Me) Crazy' from the movie Drive Me Crazy. Britney's a waitress of some sort? She gets to bring out her old Mouseketeer Disney show training and just be a fun, bubblegum-snappin' waitress with Melissa Joan Hart, who was in that movie. All of a sudden it goes from 'We're crushing on these guys' to 'We're gonna show these guys what's what' and then there's a big old dance breakdown. Britney's still wearing some kind of crazy shiny pants, which I always enjoyed that Britney learned how to dance with pants, and then a little shiny half-top. I remember just kind of being like, ooh, Britney, you're getting sexy here. Ultimately the video's clunky, because it's one of those videos where they were like, well, we have to tie in this movie somehow, so let's leave some room for scenes from the movie and oh, look, here's the movie stars Melissa Joan Hart and Adrian Grenier. Let's just let them stand around and do things like scratch on a record in the DJ booth. That video's not 100 percent amazing, but I do know that when it does come on I definitely stop and watch it. If anything, only for the dancing."
"Though it still is a little clunky, for what you're getting in your four minutes of musicdom, the video for 'Toxic' is still one of my favorites. Britney's some kind of femme fatale, super-spy, maybe villain? Maybe hero? It's really hard to tell. First she's a stewardess and then she's stealing secrets and poisoning people with lipstick. It's really hard to tell what the story is behind that video, but goddamn, it looks good. Most famously she's got an outfit in there that I've always really enjoyed. It's basically a nude outfit with diamonds all over it, and she's laying down kind of like a panther and it's a very close-up shot, probably because the outfit is nude and they didn't want to get too crazy. Britney was still innocent-ish at this point. That video's just got the whiz-bang of everything that song deserved and it's really fantastic. Big vote for 'Toxic.'"
"There are different ways to approach this. Do we go over her life and the various videos? When she shaved her head and got mad at the paparazzi and went a little bit crazy, the videos from that zone are interesting, but only because she's kind of like, guess what, I'm still a pop star but I have feelings. I always remember the 'Give Me More' video because I felt kind of bad because that's the video where all she does is dance around the pole. It was when she was in the middle of her too many drunken nights, probably some cocaine, hanging out with Lindsay and Paris days, and just before she kind of had a crash and got taken away to the hospital. I guess I always feel that when you're really trying to get attention, you go the stripper route. That video almost seemed like it was filmed on, like, a cell phone. Hey, Britney, put on this black wig and dance around this pole and yeah, I'll just film it. So she does it and then at the end of the video she takes her top off but she very teasily puts her arms up over her breasts. The whole video just feels kind of nasty, and not in a good Janet Jackson way, but in just like an, oh no, oh Britney, can we help you out here? I'll add that video simply because that was the video that was the alarm call of Britney, get it together. Maybe that just opens up the era of everything that came afterwards, which was: Britney's doing better, y'all. She's getting it back on track."
"Work Bitch" "Let's take it all the way to her more recent video 'Work Bitch.' She's gone on record to say that that was a hard video for her to film because now she's a mother of two and being sexy to her wasn't what she really wanted. I love that her producers just said, you know what? We're just gonna cut out the middleman and go straight to the gay audience by making a song that's actually a club remix in essence. It's also empowering. Yeah, you want a hot body? You want a Maserati? Yeah, you better work for it. Okay. That's a good lesson to take. Things shouldn't just be handed to you. That video in itself is actually I think a level of sexy that even though she's not trying to be sexy because she has her weird MILF fears, it ends up being sexy because she's refreshed. Britney's gonna come back saying, You know what? I'm ready for this, I'm ready to remember my roots and I'm ready to get back to dancing and I'm ready to bust out some jams and I've got a female army of women and I'm gonna whip one of them and we're all gonna dance in the blazing sun and it's crazy. That video I think ushers in this new zone of Britney that, with her Vegas show and everything, I'm very excited to see to see what direction she goes into. She's lived a hard life already and she's still so young, so let that video be an indicator that there's still a long way for her to go."
The Britney Spears Sing-Along Dance Party begins Friday, January 17 at 9:30 p.m. at the Alamo Drafthouse, with a special encore performance at 9:30 p.m. January 31. Tickets, $12.50, are available on the Alamo Drafthouse website.