Nothing much to say. The video is solid, reverberating the fact that Britney is indeed back!
Not even a second into the song the first thing that lashes at you is her body. Ben Mor (Director) makes this the focal point of attention for the introductory shot doesn’t he? Well, with all good reason, given that the shot has the camera panning out while leaving us suspended in disbelief as we take in Queen B’s tantalizing bodily transformation. You remember that time when Britney came out with her single “Gimme More,” and before viewing it for the first time we were all psyched up with anticipation fed on starved hype? So eager were we to see her again it was like as if the Gods of Olympus were coming back to reclaim the world or something! Of course you remember. You were expecting that once-in-a-lifetime comeback, fit only for a blazing phoenix burning her way back to the music spotlight from the dusty has-been ashes. And…and..well instead you got an eager beaver plump white chicken, clucking away at the VMAs-to the delight of TMZ-ish tabloid vultures.
Yeah, well this comeback bitch slaps back; so well done Brit. I’ve always liked her pop Highness to be honest, and it relieves me deeply to know that she is sane now, and actively taking control of herself, her children, and her career. She has come back to us with a serious mental composure that could/should inspire anyone who is in a rough spot in their life to go kill off the “in” in insanity. Though a mother, there is a sex appeal that Britney channels through this video that makes you lift an eyebrow (no wonder it was banned in England till an edited cleaner version was made available by RCA Records).
Ironically, though the song is a female anthem that encourages the woman to work for what she desires, the video has everything a “guy” desires—sexy women, sexier cars, leather, twerks, money, fun and fame.
The song itself is more conducive to be a club banger than a pop hit. Its heavy reliance on the EDM styled tunes is unmistakable, given how the background beats remind you of floating high over an electronic rave. The base heavy beats will do well for suggestive moves on the dance club floor. You know Will.i.am is also behind it (rolls eyes); you can almost hear him and his constant lack of creativity because, well, if you haven’t noticed his trademark almost-always-the same thumping electro beats that are heard in probably every single Black Eyed Peas song ever released (Boom Boom Pow, Pump It, Imma Be, Don’t Stop the Party, My Hump etc.) then there’s something wrong with you and your unhearing ears. Britney’s vocals don’t seem to carry the song to great heights, and that’s okay because the tune and chorus are both catchy enough to have your mind’s radio go into record mode to give you ample playbacks on your commute to work or sing pitchy high during that hour long shower.
The quick step dance moves also give the video its oomph by increasing the video’s pace as the song races through the different frames. The choreography for Britney has improved significantly, reminding us more of the days of “Toxic” and “Slave 4 U” while helping us forget fiascos like “Gimme More”. When you think dancers in entertainment you think Michael Jackson, Shakira, Janet, J.Lo, Beyonce, Paula Abdul etc. Britney’s never been known for her stellar dancing, but here you can definitely give her a T for trying, and an “A” for amazingly better than what you did in your last comeback. Also, I don’t know if it was just me but the desert dancing scene for some reason reminded me of the Spice Girls and their set in their number 1 hit “Say You’ll Be There” (others have made allusions to Ciara’s video). The multitude of sets and different scenes in this music video give it an interesting alternating current that has the song energized by its quick succession rapid transitions, buzzing away to and fro like a live wire at the mercy of a Britney power surge.
Fun fact: Many have pointed fingers at the out-of-nowhere English accent that runs through the song. Yes, it is there, and it works well as a prop for satirically drawing up polished class lines of the upper crust per se, who we assume are enjoying this type of flashy lifestyle that Britney is describing. But reviewers always halt when confronted as to why her accent breaks down when Britney pronounces “France” like someone would say “ants”. Some think it’s her American accent resurfacing unconsciously, undermining her execution of a consistent mock-Brit accent. No, this is not so. It is definitely purposeful, mainly because her pronunciation has to rhyme with “fancy”, “mansion” and “France”. It might be jarring to the ear, but necessary for the rhyme.
But what about that entire overdose of product placement? Britney’s own Fantasy perfume, Beats by Dre’s new product the Pill, Planet Hollywood, and the other name dropping mentions of Lamborghini, Bugatti etc. Some of them seem to be necessary for the lyrical thrust of the song, while others, I’m sure, have to be commission based additions. Makes you wonder how much that costs doesn’t it. Well too bad, you better work b**ch, to find out!
Reviews for the song have been generally positive. The benchmark of music reviewers, Rolling Stone, gives it 4 out of 5 stars and remarks that the song is “the perfect nü-Britney blueprint.” E! on the other hand is just plain happy because it’s “so friggin’ great to have Britney circa 2001 back”.
Overall, for the impressively toned comeback that took me by surprise, the song receives an 8.6/10. But more importantly, what did you think of Britney’s latest piece of work? Adieu.