Monday, September 16, 2013

Work Bitch: Five things Britney's doing on her comeback single

1) Saying, "I'm back"
Work Bitch is an event single. A scene-setter. An ice-breaker. A fanfare. A statement of intent. It is not designed to be an airplay hit (the constant repetition of the word "bitch" should be your first clue there) or a vital component of Britney's impressive back catalogue. No matter whether you love it or hate it, you've noticed it, and that's the whole point.

2) Showing everyone who's boss
The lyrics aren't going to win anyone a Pulitzer Prize but Britney's message is pretty clear: "I worked hard to get where I am, and I'm not about to relinquish my crown". You want what she's got? Well, you'd better put in the hours. What's more, she's older and wiser than the girl who sang Piece Of Me six years ago. Back then, it was all defiant resilience; now she concedes that the suffering was partially self-inflicted. Basically, it's the 2013 update of this speech:

3) Not really singing that much
To be fair, there's less autotune than you'd expect, and Britney covers an entire octave over the course of the song. But the main motif is a repetitive leap between two notes (E4 and B4, music nerds) and there's a lot of talky bits. Speaking of which...

4) Doing her comedy British accent
Chim-chimeree baby one more time. Lorks-a-lummee!

5) Working with

At heart, Work Bitch is a great throwaway dance single. Much, much better than you'd expect from that production credit, and the "call the guv-ah-nah" line is demented genius. It'll be as hard to escape as Scream and Shout was earlier this year - but easy to walk away from once all the fuss dies down.

More importantly, Work Bitch heralds a Britney Spears album that features collaborations with William Orbit, Naughty Boy, Sia and Charli XCX. As abrasive and attention-seeking as the single may be / definitely is, there are some solid gold pop nuggets heading your way.


Britney Spears - Work Bitch

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