Natasha Lasky, "Britney Spears's Blackout" (Bloomsbury, 2022)

Summary

Britney Spears barely survived 2007. She divorced her husband, lost custody of her kids, went to rehab, shaved her head and assaulted a paparazzo. In the midst of her public breakdown, she managed to record an album, Blackout. Critics thought it spelled the end for Britney Spears' career.

But Blackout turned out to be one of the most influential albums of the aughts. It not only brought glitchy digital noise and dubstep into the Top 40, but also transformed Britney into a new kind of pop star, one who shrugged off mainstream ubiquity for the devotion of smaller groups of fans who worshipped her idiosyncratic sound.

Britney Spears’s Blackout (Bloomsbury, 2022) returns to the grimy clubs and paparazzi hangouts of LA in the 2000s as well as the blogs and forums of the early internet to show how Blackout was a crucial hinge between twentieth and twenty-first-century pop.

Natasha Lasky is a writer and filmmaker living in Chicago, USA.

Natasha on Instagram.

Bradley Morgan is a media arts professional in Chicago and author of U2's The Joshua Tree: Planting Roots in Mythic America. He manages partnerships on behalf of CHIRP Radio 107.1 FM, serves as a co-chair of the associate board at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and volunteers in the music archive at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Bradley on Twitter.

Your Host

Bradley Morgan

Bradley Morgan is a media arts professional in Chicago and author of U2's The Joshua Tree: Planting Roots in Mythic America. He manages partnerships on behalf of CHIRP Radio 107.1 FM, serves as a co-chair of the associate board at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and volunteers in the music archive at the Old Town School of Folk Music. His forthcoming books are "Frank Zappa's America: Music, Satire, & the Battle Against the Christian Right" (LSU Press, Spring 2025) and "U2: Until the End of the World" (Palazzo Editions, Fall 2025). He enjoys listening to records with his ginger cat Rusty. Bradley Morgan on Twitter.

View Profile