Pop Perspective: Britney Spears’ “Work Bitch” Reviewed By The Idolator Editors

Mike Wass | September 20, 2013 2:17 pm

At Idolator, the editors share a passion for high quality pop music. Occasionally, our tastes align completely. Other times… not so much! So, in the spirit of debate, we’ve developed a feature called Pop Perspective. Basically, all four of us dissect a particularly noteworthy pop event, and give it a rating out of 10.

That way you’re getting a full spectrum of views and we can all vent. (It’s cheaper than therapy!) The latest pop milestone to be dragged under the Idolator microscope is Britney Spears‘ instructional new single “Work Bitch”. Is it another era-defining pop anthem like “Toxic” or an unholy mess like “Scream And Shout”?

Head below to see what we all have to say!

Robbie Daw — 2/10

RuPaul‘s iconic “Supermodel (You Better Work)” is a glittering slice of early ’90s house, brazen pop and in-your-face attitudinal drag queen sassery that, in spite of operating on those particular levels, manages to be play to the mainstream.

Its place in pop culture history cannot be denied and, despite really only eking out this one noteworthy Hot 100 chart hit, Ru still has managed to become a longstanding, beloved figure across the world. On the other hand, Britney’s limp, tuneless “Work Bitch” — well, that just sucks. She’s far better than this.

Mike Wass — 5/10

Britney always reminds me of the awkward girl at the school talent show who gets a standing ovation because people don’t want to hurt her feelings. That’s the only explanation I have for the generally positive reviews of “Work Bitch”, particularly when her own fans seem wholly underwhelmed (see its current iTunes position).

It just feels like we’ve heard this before. Brit has been dropping “bitch” in songs since the far superior “Gimme More” and already messed around with embarrassing accents on “Scream And Shout”. One of the main reasons the 31-year-old has remained on top since the ’90s is her ability to switch things up — jumping from bubblegum pop to R&B, before bringing electro to the masses with Blackout. So this laziness is out of character.

“Work Bitch” is dumb fun and will soundtrack a million drag shows but I want the other Britney back. Especially now when Miley Cyrus appears to have snatched her wig as America’s messed-up sweetheart.

Carl Williott — 8/10

Thank GAWD we got the real Britney and not some Brit-borg programmed by will.i.am. Spears goes through a Minaj-like amount of accents, but they all convey a swagger and silliness that only Brit can pull off.

Another thing about her voice: I’m thinking Charli XCX‘s inflection has rubbed off on Brit (bringing things full circle, since Spears’ early coo is clearly a reference point for Charli). When she sings “Spread the word, spread the word” as well as the backing vox on the “higher and higher” bridge, I hear Charli’s sneering, nasally reach for the rafters, recalling the refrain of “Glow”.

I just wish the song was more melodic, as I’m tiring of jacked up electro’s takeover of pop. In terms of dance floor heft, though, this “Greyhound”-lite track absolutely kicks “Applause”‘s ass. So at least Britney is sending off the poptronica fad in style.