“Till the World Ends” Britney Spears (#9 Hot 100, Week of April 30, 2011)
It’s really easy to trash Britney. But let’s give credit where credit is due. The girl made herself a brand and then put all the hard work of making her music into the hands of those best-equipped to do it. And she doesn’t even bother breaking a sweat to defend her artistic integrity. In a perverse sort of way, that makes her way more honest than a lot of people in the business.
This second single from Femme Fatale mimics the release pattern from Circus: a real bulls-eye after a somewhat unfocused and broadly aimed first single. “Hold it Against Me” was generic and derivative in all the wrong ways: the clever title was “stolen” (more on that in a later post) from a Bellamy Brothers song recorded before most of her fans were born or could remember anything, and the whole song was structured like a sleepwalking remix of a much more interesting song.
“Till the World Ends” traverses the same fun/apocalyptic lyrical terrain as Sean Paul’s “2012,” and the futuristic fuzzy club stomp is not the most original arrangement. But darned (gimme a break, it’s Easter) if it isn’t convincingly presented. Through the stifling Auto-Tune, Britney actually seems to care somewhat about what she’s singing about, and the whole wall-of-sound effect succeeds in making this an immersive four minutes of guilty dancefloor bliss. It took me a couple of listens, but I like. I really like.