The "Essential" series of greatest hits albums are designed not to provide new material, but rather to provide the well-known songs fans (and most other people) know.  The Essential Britney Spears falls into this category, offering plenty of songs on its two-disc album but nothing really new.

Released in 2013, The Essential Britney Spears has music from Spears' 1999 debut album ...Baby One More Time to her 2013 single "Scream & Shout" with Will.I.Am.  There are multiple songs from each of her albums (including a few lesser known ones), plus singles from assorted sources: the Austin Powers in Goldmember soundtrack, the aforementioned single, and even songs from previous greatest hits collection.
Unfortunately, as with previous collections The Essential Britney Spears offers plenty of what came before.  While the two-disc format has plenty of room for all the hits and some smaller songs, there's nothing here that hasn't been released before.  There are no live tracks, no covers (apart from a mediocre version of "My Prerogative"), not even any sort of megamix.  The Essential Britney Spears does provide her greatest hits, and a few lesser known songs, but nothing beyond that.

Overall grade: C
Reviewed by James Lynch

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