“Break the Ice” by Britney Spears
“Breaks the Ice” starts off with Britney apologizing to the addressee for keeping him or her “waiting”. This particular section has actually been interpreted as the songstress speaking to her fans.
And what she would be sorry for is the relatively-long duration between the release of the studio album this song is featured on, “Blackout” (2007) and the one that preceded “In the Zone” (2003), with nearly four full years lapsing between the two.
But with that out of the way, the rest of this track actually serves as a love song, or maybe we can even say a lovemaking kind of song.
Break the Ice
The term break the ice is usually applied to conversation. And what it generally means is that if two people are hesitant to talk to each other for instance, one would “break the ice” by speaking first and sparking an exchange. But that isn’t necessarily how Spears is using it in this song.
Rather it’s like she’s with a dude who is a little frigid. In other words, they are alone, but he is hesitant to make any type of move on her. Meanwhile she very much wants him to. In fact virtually the entire first verse is dedicated to just how much he turns her on.
And she wants to return the favor in the most-literal sense, i.e. assisting in ‘getting it up’. And we’re sure you understand what “it” refers to.
So what we’re dealing with here is a song with a motif. And that is the singer being tasked with coming up with as many metaphors, based on the above-illustrated situation, that allude to temperature, i.e. “ice”.
And again the addressee is the one who is ‘iced’ up, while the singer herself is feeling quite “hot”.
The Addressee has a problem?
Going a bit out on a limb here, it reads as if the addressee may be suffering from something like impotency during this moment with the singer. Or rather, she has his doubts concerning whether or not he can “rise to the occasion”.
So it’s like she’s getting so frustrated with his lack of aggressiveness that maybe she’s starting to believe he’s not making a move because of some physical condition.
But also considering that in the pre-chorus the vocalist points out that she and the addressee are “grown now”, maybe this is a teenage love she’s speaking to. And the reason dude appears “scared” is because he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Or perhaps he has grown so accustomed to their friendship that he’s finding it difficult to be her lover.
But all theories noted, none of them really matter to Britney. Whatever it may be that’s numbing him to her advances, she is determined to climb that mountain. And judging by the bridge, she does in fact achieve the goal of encouraging him to make her ‘feel kinda good’.
The music video to this song is animated, reportedly due to the fact that Spears was dealing with personal issues at the time.
That is to say that she was not keen on recording the initial concept, which was rather based on a remix featuring rapper Fabolous and contained a dance sequence, again due to personal issues.
So the video itself was made in South Korea and utilized a style reminiscent of nearby Japanese anime, complete with a storyline based on science fiction.
Further, the character Britney portrays on the clip was taken from one of her earlier music videos, “Toxic” (2004). And the director of the visual is Robert Hales.
Britney & co. made quite an event out of the premiere of said music video. They created a whole unique website, which was found at URL BlackoutBall.com for that express purpose (with the event itself being called the “Blackout Ball”).
And visitors, after overcoming a few hurdles, were allowed to enter a chat room where they could share the experience of viewing the video for the first time together.
Release of “Break the Ice”
This track was the third and last single issued from “Blackout”, Britney Spears’ fifth standard album. The song’s release date, via Jive Records, was on 4 March 2008.
Another track from the album, “Radar”, was originally intended to be the third from the project. However, Britney held a poll on her site, and “Break the Ice” was chosen instead.
Writing Credits and Recording
Keri Hilson, another popular female singer, had a hand in writing this song. And she worked in that regard with the track’s producers, Danja and Jim Beanz, as well as Marcella Araica.
Britney Spears recorded this song during her pregnancy while she carried her second son and child overall, Jayden James Federline (whom she gave birth to on 12 September 2006).
In fact she was very much pregnant at the time. And the aforementioned Keri Hilson was amazed by her work ethic.
This song utilizes a choir.
On the bridge/spoken interlude section of “Break the Ice” Britney Spears channels one of her music idols, Janet Jackson.
Chart Performance of “Break the Ice”
“Break the Ice” topped Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart and appeared on four Billboard lists altogether, including the Hot 100.
Additionally it made it onto the UK Singles Chart and overall appeared on over 20 major music charts around the world. Moreover the track has been certified platinum in Denmark.
A remix of this song was used as part of a video interlude during the encore of The Circus Starring Britney Spears, the creatively-entitled tour the songstress embarked on in 2009.