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Single Review: Britney Spears – Work Bitch

Photo: Elle Magazine / World Of Britney

Every Britney single is going to be a comeback, isn’t it? Since her journey to and from the wilder side of life, it feels like nobody quite trusts her anymore. Back in the day, all she had to do was announce a single and everybody knew it’d be the next big thing but now, it feels like her name is bigger than the music. As a pop fan, it’s always scary to see one of the big names teetering on irrelevance but as long as the gays have air to breathe, her records are going to sell. And that’s exactly what will happen – ‘Work Bitch’ is going to do great and will succeed based on the strong support system Britney has built for herself in her fiercely loyal fanbase, but whether it’s any good is an entirely different matter.

The track is well aware that Britney’s recent successes have been dancefloor ready – ”Till The World Ends’ and ‘Scream and Shout’ have informed the new sound and ‘Work Bitch’ takes it, as popstars should, to the maximum. Will.I.Am’s presence is as clear as can be as the track pulverises the hammering beats – this is no longer a pop track pretending to be dance, it’s going all out on the club front with the only thing keeping it in pop territory being the tongue-in-cheek lyrics, the other-worldy middle eight and Britney herself. It takes a few listens to really appreciate the vibe of the track; Spears is charting in a time where almost all dance tunes are either novelty one-hit-wonders, or impassioned crying-at-the-disco numbers which is all well and good, but ‘Work Bitch’ isn’t playing the same field as either of them. The only tears it will cry is if someone breaks in to it’s big mansion or shades it’s hard-earned abs.

It might be a disappointment to some, expecting something more unique and innovative from the much-hyped princess of pop. ‘Work Bitch’ does sound fresh and current, instead of paving the way for the next trend, we can agree, but it doesn’t feel as if that is even her role anymore. Britney has already done her work. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving up hope for a career-changing single release sometime in the future, but as she struts over her name on the Hollywood walk of fame, it’s clear that she’s already an icon and always will be. It’s not that she’s fading out of relevance (few could accuse ‘Work Bitch’ of being a safe single choice) but rather, she’s willing to do what she wants, enjoy the music she makes and not care about whether it’s going to change the pop landscape. For the rest of her life, whatever people aim at Spears, all she has to do is slap ‘Toxic’ in their faces and watch as they bow down to it’s greatness. It isn’t about proving herself anymore.

As a fan, ‘Work Bitch’ isn’t going to change your life – unless you’re a Britney stan that has been crying out for a club anthem pondering through the tribulations of working hard to achieve the Maserati and ‘hot bod’ you have always dreamt of, ofcourse, but it is brilliant for what it is and it does it’s job as lead single perfectly. It will get people talking and it will keep Britney’s names on your lips. Most incredibly, if we stretch the timeline back to the ‘Circus’ era, ‘Work Bitch’ is the first time we’ve been Britney sound like she is actually fully invested in this project. No longer bothered about catering for the masses, instead there’s a real sense of herself and her own humour in this song and, in turn, that’s all the masses wanted from her anyway. ‘Work Bitch’, and hopefully the upcoming album, is a beautiful case of serendipity.

Photo: Elle Magazine / World of Britney
Words: Simon McMurdo

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