Baby One More Time
Britney Spears Is Back: Vegas Residency, 'Work B***h' & New Album
A just-announced Vegas residency. A brilliant, campy new single. An album in the works. Welcome back, Brit.
It’s time to put an empty coffee can labeled “Vegas” on your cubicle desk. (And while you’re at it, please drop some change into mine.)
Britney Spears announced a two-year residency in Las Vegas Tuesday morning on Good Morning America. “Britney Spears: Piece of Me” will follow in the footsteps of similar shows from Celine Dion, Elton John, and Shania Twain, all of which were wildly popular. Spears will perform 50 shows a year at Planet Hollywood, and is rumored to be receiving $15 million each year for her 50 days of work, which would be an ungodly amount of money if it weren’t being given to the pop goddess of our time.
If the effervescent, spicy quotes Spears gave during the announcement are any indication, we’re in for a treat! “I love it here,” she said. Calm down, Brit! “The energy here is really, really good.” No really, calm down.
Performances are set to start December 27, and tickets go on sale Tuesday. There has been no comment yet on how the dry Vegas air will affect Spears’s legendary singing voice.
Spears promised that “Piece of Me’ will include a survey of her greatest hits—and if I’m going to spend a month’s rent on a trip to Vegas to see her I better hear “Slave 4 U”—as well as new material “to keep it fresh.”
The first of that new material we’ve heard is “Work Bitch,” which was officially released Monday at midnight and officially added to the iTunes playlist of any sane person at 12:01.
The song couldn’t be more campy if it tried, which is to say that it is precisely the kind of music that Britney Spears should be making. She’s past the point in her career where she can believably record a Katy Perry–esque song like “Roar.” She doesn’t have the vocal chops to be earnest and raw, like Pink. Her best strategy is to embrace the silliness of her celebrity, which is precisely what a song with a title like “Work Bitch” accomplishes.
Backed by a jackhammer beat and the kind of booming crescendo that creates a Pavlovian urge to dance—already responsible for multiple embarrassing unconsciously-dancing-at-the-desk incidents—the song is destined to for 2 a.m. drunken chant-a-longs, especially considering its catchphrase-ready lyrics: “Go call the po-lice / go call the guv-a-nah,” for example, or, “You wanna live fancy / live in a big mansion / party in France? / You better work bitch.”
The song went straight to No. 1 in 36 countries.
As The Guardian pointed out in a rather hilarious review of “Work Bitch,” early reports from Spears’s recording sessions for her next album, which will be released on December 3, hailed it as her “most personal album ever.” She recorded with producer William Orbit, who was responsible for Madonna’s introspective Ray of Light, and songwriter Sia tweeted about a “beautiful and heartbreaking” ballad they wrote together. Excuse the surprise, then, that the first release off of this “personal,” “beautiful and heartbreaking” album was titled “Work Bitch.”
But Spears promises that there’s more in store. “Breakups suck, man, they do,” Spears told GMA’s Sam Champion, assuring him that there will be material about her split with ex Jason Trawick on the album. The star was actually more … alive than we’ve seen her in a long time during the interview, gamely participating in a lightning round about having her first kiss with Justin Timberlake, being embarrassed by her “Oops! ... I Did it Again” dance, and how much she loves performing.
All kidding aside, we worship Spears, which is why it would be really great if you would just drop a few quarters in that coffee can, because we really need to get to Vegas.