“Take Off”: Britney’s Self-Empowerment Anthem From the ‘Original Doll’ Sessions
“I know you need to hear this. Why won’t somebody feel this?”
At this point, nearly every rumored track attached to The Holy Spearit‘s mythical, #SomethingMorePersonal Original Doll sessions from just over a decade ago has since seen the light of day over the years in one form or another, from “Mona Lisa” to “Ouch” to “Money, Love & Happiness” to “Peep Show.” (Well, except we still need rebellion-snippet.mp3 in full.)
Now, after actual years of teasing by the song’s co-writer Michelle Bell, “Take Off” has, well, taken off onto the Internet at last.
The In The Zone-era demo was produced by “Toxic” dream team Bloodshy & Avant, which possibly explains why it sounds somewhat similar to their “Sweet Dreams My LA Ex” with Rachel Stevens (also crafted with Britney in mind), delivered with the playful, swaggering sass that characterized the Princess of Pop’s most rebellious recordings at the time, including “Chaotic” and “Do Somethin’.”
“This is my wish / That we all feel connected / This is my wish / That nobody’s neglected.”
And as for the song’s intention? According to the songwriter, this — much like “Work Bitch” — is one for all her gay boys…and anyone else facing discrimination for that matter.
In an interview three years ago with Buzzfeed, Bell described the song as “about being tolerant about gay people” (!), claiming it was an ahead-of-its-time empowerment anthem. (We love an ahead-of-its-time recording.)
On “Take Off,” Spears sang about tolerance, love, and peace. Bell called it her version of Michael Jackson‘s “Black or White.” “It was about being tolerant about gay people. It was gay people, discrimination, basically loving yourself and being connected,” Bell said. “I think it was ahead of Lady Gaga. I think people would have looked at her and thought she had something to say. It was ahead of its time. She talked about war and how war is wrong.” In 2013, Bell tweeted some lyrics from the song: “They say get ready for the revolution / I think we oughta find some sorta solution.”
“They need to wake up, stop living illusions.” Talk about Purposeful Pop™. She even tackles race relations (!): “Know what they say about mixing the races / And in the end we got the same faces.”
For this one oh-so-RuPaulney line alone, we are forever indebted to Miss Michelle Bell: “My mama told me, got to love yourself first / And if you disagree, get off this damn Earth.”
Feeling low? Dejected? Overly self-conscious? Be thankful we now have this pearl of wisdom from Godney herself: when in doubt, be like a rocket, baybeh. Take off and fly away to find your space.