Although Britney’s newest single, “Work Bitch,” wasn’t supposed to hit radio until September 16, a low-quality version of the song leaked yesterday, prompting Spears’ label to drop the polished version immediately. The song features little of the adventurous production we’ve heard from recent Spears tracks like “Till the World Ends,” but “Work Bitch” wisely keeps it simple. Spears has never been known for her vocal talents, and she commands the track by doing her best RuPaul impression.
Rumors were that the song was going to sample the iconic drag diva’s “Supermodel,” and it’s fascinating to see pop stars borrow back from the drag culture they help inspire. It’s pop imitating drag imitating pop. As if she’s lip-synching for her life, Spears advises us on the importance of working hard to get what you want, “You want a Lamborghini? You better work, bitch.”
The track itself is perfectly attuned to Spears’ strengths as a performer, letting her fierceness and the thumping club beat do the work — or rather, the “werk.” Will.i.am experimented with Spears’ talk-singing abilities on “Scream and Shout,” which was — in some ways — her strongest performance in years. The singer/producer (of Black Eyed Peas fame) has largely been given the reins to her new album, and her wisely lets her kick back and have fun.
Spears rarely gets to vamp it up, and the delightful tackiness is reminiscent of her best tracks, particularly “Toxic” and “Gimme More.” The result sounds like a club remix of the Spice Girls in the best possible way, bringing 90s pop disco to today. Britney hasn’t sounded so in control of her own career in a while, and the confidence is infectious. As she sang on “Scream & Shout,” all eyes are on Britney, and she knows it. You can listen to the song on Vevo below.