Recording a song with boyfriend Justin Timberlake as a co-producer made Britney Spears “a little nervous,” she says.
The song, “What It’s Like to Be Me,” was recorded during sessions for Spears’ third album, due November 6. A track listing for the still-untitled album is starting to shape up, as are plans for a tour, which is set to begin October 26 in Miami.
At least three songs have made the cut and and are “definitely making the album,” according to Spears’ spokesperson at Jive Records. They include the first single, “I’m a Slave 4 U,” written and produced by the Neptunes, as well as two songs produced by Rodney Jerkins: “Lonely” and a cover of the Arrows’ “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” which Joan Jett & the Blackhearts rode to #1 in 1982.
As for the much-talked-about Timberlake track, Spears told MTV Latin America last week that her boyfriend contributes backing vocals on the song and that her singing on “What It’s Like to Be Me” is “the best vocals I’ve ever done.” Timberlake wrote and produced the song with Wade Robson.
“I have to say I was a little nervous at first,” Spears said of working with Timberlake. “I’m used to producers going in there and it’s like work. And I go in and I work and I do my vocals and work. And I thought that it was awkward at first, because I was nervous recording with him doing my vocals….
“But then I just totally forgot that he was my boyfriend, and I just said, ‘Britney, just do the vocals, don’t be nervous, don’t be retarded like this.’ But it ended up being fine, actually. At the very end… I got the best vocals I’ve ever done.”
Still under consideration are a host of songs Spears has been working on with producers Max Martin (who worked with Spears on such hits as “… Baby One More Time,” “Lucky,” “Oops!… I Did It Again” and “Stronger”), BT and others. One of those songs, “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman,” features Dido as a co-songwriter along with Martin and his writing/producing partner, Rami.
Martin also co-wrote a track called “Overprotected” on which Spears sings, “You’re gonna have to see through my perspective/ I need to make mistakes just to learn who I am/ And I don’t want to be so damn protected.”
While Spears is determining her track listing, her tour itinerary is also starting to come into focus. The first leg of the tour starts October 26 in Miami and runs through November 9 in Cleveland.
Spears also has a previously announced show in Las Vegas on November 18 that will be broadcast live on HBO. At that show, Spears is scheduled to join Cher in a rendition of the Sonny and Cher classic “The Beat Goes On,” which Spears covered on her first album.
Britney Spears Tour Dates, According To Jive Records: