Break The Ice turns 8 today! This iconic track was picked by critics as the best possible lead single off Blackout instead of Gimme More, due to the opening lines of the track where Britney states she is back and should not have kept us waiting.
Regardless of the critics perception of the opening lyrics, the initial intention was Britney apologising to a love interest. The song was co-written by Keri Hilson who explained the lyrics to MTV, ‘It’s about two people, a girl and a guy and the girl is saying, ‘You’re a little cold. Let me warm things up a bit and break the ice.’ She added that she was impressed by Britney’s work ethic, ‘When we were arranging the vocals in the studio at her house, she was about 8 months pregnant and she was standing up in the vocal booth, just banging it out. Three weeks later she had the baby.’
The song was written by Marcella Araica, Nate Danja Hills, Keri Hilson and James Washington (Jim Beanz) who were also responsible for the smash hit Gimme More. Digital Spy asked Keri if she wished that she had kept the song to herself, she replied, ‘ No way! When I am writing a song for another artist, I purposefully make it not for me, otherwise I get too attached. I mean I do not party the same way Britney parties, we don’t go to the same clubs and we do not have the same influence. If you tailor something to Britney, you know it would not be anything Keri Hilson would sing.’
The video was the first animated music video for Britney, which features Brit as a superhero in a futuristic world. It was made in South Korea in Japanese style anime, directed by Robert Hales.
The break in the song, where she sings, ‘I like this part, it feels kinda good,’ is a nod to Janet Jackson’s hit ‘Nasty’.
Britney had planned a dance sequence on a chair for the, ‘Break The ice’ video, but the video was never shot, due to personal problems at that time, so the idea was scrapped and an animated video was made instead. Britney was unhappy about how her last 2 music videos turned out and wanted to take control and she immediately booked in dance lessons for the new music video. Unfortunately, things took a negative turn and it was not used.
The owner of the Millennium dance hall, Robert Baker, mistook the name of the song for, ‘Hot As Ice’, which is coincidentally the name of another track on her, ‘Blackout’ album said, ‘After the dance class wrapped up at 7pm, Spears, who has rehearsed at Millennium three times since last Friday, spent another hour and a half working on a dance routine for her single, ‘Hot As Ice.’ She seemed focused and getting back into her old life, focusing her energy on creating and dancing.’ He followed on to say, ‘She rehearsed an amazing dance routine with a chair.’ He followed on to praise Britney and how she seemed to be back to her usual self and confirmed that the dance routine was not similar to her, ‘Stronger’ video. This also created a lot of confusion, whether her new single would be, ‘Hot As Ice,’ or in fact, ‘Break The Ice,’ with the latter proving to be the confirmed single. Then again there could have been a last minute change.. Another day another mystery.
Although we received the album version of, ‘Break The Ice,’ the intention was to release a remixed version of the song featuring rapper, ‘Fabolous.’He said, ‘It was a great joint. We will have to see in the future if it happens again. We weren’t able to do a video because of what was going on with her at the time, but I would love to do it again.’ Fortunately, we still have the version below..
The video concludes with, ‘To Be continued,’ which has left many wondering whether the video would have a follow up. Although never clarified, it seemed the continued version was the, ‘Kill The Lights’ music video. The video was an official, fan made video, that won in a competition hosted by Britney’s record label.
The video was a very similar concept to her ‘Toxic’ video and many believed this to be a continuation of the superhero, in cartoon version. Fans soon then started to believe that, ‘To be continued,’ meant that there would be a cartoon spin off from the video, based on the Toxic and BTI character. Obviously, this did not happen..
The original recording of the track was rumoured to include extra lyrics that were removed in the final edit. You can hear parts of these lyrics in remixed versions of the track, for example the Wideboys remix where she says, ‘Can You Take This.’
‘Break The Ice,’ was also not released in several countries, Japan being one of them..
Let’s celebrate this epic milestone by watching the music video:
‘Break The Ice,’ followed on to be one of the favourite performances on Britney’s Vegas residency, so it would only be appropriate for us to celebrate by watching the performance here:
Happy 8th Birthday!