Every year Tel Aviv attracts at least one major star that enables the Jewish state to flash a big middle finger to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
From Lady Gaga to the Rolling Stones to Justin Timberlake, the White City is no stranger to top-notch talent.
However, a big chunk of people who come here tend to arrive after their time in the spotlight has begun to fade.
Robbie Williams, Ricky Martin, Mariah Carey, Bon Jovi and, certainly, Tom Jones and Englebert Humperdinck all belong in that category.
But Britney Spears, or “Brit” as she is known to her fans, is in an odd in-between phase in her career. She is still a mega-star to be sure, who sells out her marquee show in Las Vegas on a regular basis.
But fans flock to her not to hear what she has yet to produce and create, but because they are eager to bask in early 2000s nostalgia, that being the period when she was the biggest star around.
When interviewed by Channel 2 this week, she revealed that the frequent accusations of lip-syncing during performances aggravate her.
“A lot of people think that I don’t sing live,” Spears said.
“Because I’m dancing so much I do have a little bit of playback, but there’s a mixture of my voice and the playback.
It really pisses me off because I am busting my ass out there and singing at the same time and nobody ever really gives me credit for it.”
But does it really matter if she sings live or not? Her fans – this writer included – are coming to have fun, to see her give her all. We want to see her dance, we want to see her execute multiple costume changes brilliantly and we want to shout out words to her hits, like “Hit Me Baby One More Time” and “Crazy,” at the top of our lungs.
Like her mentor and Queen of Pop, Madonna, we are here for the show, not the vocals.
For the uninitiated, below is a top five list of her most catchy songs that I hope to be able belt out next week.
5. “Stronger” This song off her sophomore album, Oops... I Did It Again, is emblematic of a newer, grittier Spears who attempted to shed the squeaky-clean image she debuted with. For the most part, this blend of sexy and independent is an image that carried Spears throughout her career. It gets extra points for being a great motivational song when attempting to burn calories on a treadmill.
4. “Womanizer” There’s nothing Brit enjoys more than ragging on good-fornothing men. “Womanizer,” released in 2010, is an anthem to women everywhere who simply don’t have patience for men oozing arrogance. The song fits all the criteria needed for a solid Spears hit – specifically, it will pump people up on the dance floor and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
3. “Oops... I Did It Again” Probably the most famous song in Spears’ arsenal other than “Baby... One More Time.”
Released 17 years ago, the song feels like it’s from a simpler, more innocent era of pop.
The Titanic reference alone is enough to make it seem like a relic. Yet, the song continues to endure – on the radio, in pop culture references and in day to day conversations. If one isn’t a Spears fan, most at least can recognize this ditty and that alone makes it warrant a place on this list.
2. “Circus” “There’s only two types of people in the world/The ones that entertain, and the ones that observe/Well baby I’m a put-on-a-show kinda girl,” Spears sings sultrily in the opening lines of “Circus.”
It’s an honest bit of self-reflection from a consummate performer. For nearly two decades Spears has remained triumphant in the ever-fickle world of pop because of this very fact. And what of the song itself? Released after her personal life took a dark turn and resulted in being under a conservatorship supervised by her father, the album reflects the dog-and-pony show Spears’ life had become until that point. The intention behind the song doesn’t render it heavy and depressing though, it is still danceable and fun.
1. “Toxic” Spears hasn’t had the best of luck in her dating life, and her songs are an honest reflection of that. Released in 2003 on her In The Zone Album, this number is Spears at her peak. From the very first note of a twangy, electric guitar it is clear that this song is nothing but campy fun.
The video, too, is a sight to behold, with Spears assuming several different roles (one involving a nude, diamond- encrusted suit). As the only song to earn a Grammy for the iconic singer, “Toxic” deserves a mention on that merit alone. But its mesmerizing beat, breathy vocals and pure desire for those listening to have a good time solidifies it as the best song of her career (thus far).