Pop's reigning teen queen, whose third album hits stores Tuesday, sums her predicament up best on the new ballad I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman: "All I need is time/ A moment that is mine/ While I'm in between."
Unfortunately for her, she's not getting any down time soon, as her record company strikes while the iron -- as in her career -- is hot.
Paired with previous Swedish collaborators Max Martin and Rami on several songs, Spears shows little growth on such fluffy dance-pop numbers as Overprotected, Cinderella and Bombastic Love, which sound like NSYNC or Backstreet Boys rejects.
As for her cover of Joan Jett's I Love Rock 'N' Roll, let's just say it's about as good as her version of the Rolling Stones' Satisfaction from her last album.
Instead, it's where Spears contributes as co-writer that her material is the strongest.
Highlights include the harder-edged Lonely, Let Me Be and Boys, on which she declares in Madonna-like fashion: "You're a sexy guy, I'm a nice girl/ Let's turn this dance floor into our own little nasty world!"
But the standout Spears-penned track is the disco-inflected dance number Anticipating, featuring the funky guitar sounds of Nile Rodgers (Chic).
Boyfriend Justin Timberlake sings backup on the album-ending dance-pop song What It's Like To Be Me, which he co-wrote. (More on Britney Spears).