Britney’s ‘Femme Fatale’ Turns 8: We Reflect On “He About To Lose Me”

Mike Nied | March 25, 2019 2:27 pm
Flashback: Britney Spears' 'Criminal'
Britney's 'Criminal' didn't deserve to flop. We look back on the underrated bop.

Britney Spears reminded us that no one does dance-pop quite the same way on 2011’s Femme Fatale. Out 8 years ago today (March 25), the club-ready opus features no shortage of fizzing synths, roaring bass (it’s always getting bigger), racing beats and flirty come-ons. And its tracklist is generously sprinkled with some of her biggest hits to date. Lead single and dubstep-popularizing “Hold It Against Me” debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100. Co-written by Kesha, “Till The World Ends” did almost as well with a peak inside the Top 3. Meanwhile, the whistle-laden “I Wanna Go” earned her a third consecutive Top 10 placement on the Billboard Hot 100 in one era.

The Pop Princess took a risk with the LP’s underrated final single “Criminal.” Unfortunately, it didn’t pay off. Eschewing the hard beats in favor of the fantasy-inducing sounds of a flute, the folk-inspired mid-tempo didn’t hit it as big on the charts. However, the track is one of several that proves Femme Fatale wasn’t just a soulless collection of electro-pop. “How I Roll” is a delectable oddity, and “Trip To Your Heart” delivers a moment of wistful almost-balladry over shimmery beats. And, true to form for Britney, several examples of the album’s variety exist only on its deluxe edition. Chief amongst those is “He About To Lose Me.”

Produced by Darkchild, the moody electro-ballad finds Britney pining after a guy at the club. “I’m touching hands with someone seriously beautiful,” she coos as she loses herself in the rush of emotions. There’s only one problem – she’s already committed to another man. “I’ve got someone waiting at home. He says he in love, but lately I just don’t know,” the diva admits. Moving into the chorus, it sounds as though her current beau is about to go. Amidst a record of carefree hookups, the bonus track offers a more contemplative moment. Here, the living legend ponders what happens the morning after and realizes she is playing with two men’s hearts.

As an added bonus, it also features one of Britney’s best vocal performances on the tracklist. Highlighting the deeper side of her voice, she effortlessly brings the lyrics to life and captures the difficult situation. Because of this, “He About To Lose Me” emerged as an instant fan favorite. However, it never got enough love. After being performed for the first few days of the Femme Fatale Tour, it was cut from the setlist. Now, it lives on as a memory of what could have been. Join me in revisiting one of Femme Fatale’s unsung heroes below!

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