Single Review: Britney Spears – ‘I Wanna Go’

“‘I Wanna Go’ is a resounding success in terms of quality compared the previous two ‘Femme Fatale’ singles”


Digital Release: July 31, 2011

Physical Release: August 1, 2011

Glancing back ten years to 2001, it’s hard to think that Britney, who had just released the immensely successful ‘Britney’ and was hailed by both critics and the general public as the new up-and-coming pop icon, would ever have to play catch up. There are still many pop starlets who catalogue of hits seems feeble and anaemic compared to that of Britney Spears’ impressive pop collective, so to have witnessed ‘Hold It Against Me’ slip by an almost apathetic UK audience as nothing more than the equivalent of album filler, pointlessly occupying the Top 10, and then witnessing ‘The World Ends’ fail to break even the Top 20 was something of a surprise. It wasn’t a particularly bad nor unexpected surprise though, considering both songs were absolutely dire chunks of indigestible trash-pop with the most pathetic dubstep influences’ imaginable. Her tying to genre-hop the ferociously staunch underground club culture as a certified pop artist with expensive auto-tune and extravagant American song-writers behind her was an insult on the veterans as well as the fans of thoroughbred electronic subgenres.

Thankfully though, there’s a recognisable shard of Britney circa. ‘Blackout’ on ‘I Wanna Go’ with it’s nigh-on anthemic chorus. It’s production is typically Max Martin and even with some influences of dance, such as the vocal re-triggering which features prominently in the chorus, it’s still aware that it’s a simple pop tune and stays confidently grounded without giving the impression it’s something it’s not. Naturally, there’s more vocal processing than an entire Cheryl Cole album, only it’s overbearing and sounds like a team of skilled sound engineers would still take months to dig out her raw vocals underneath it all.

The song speaks of wanting to go “all the way” whilst mentioning the all-important “takin’ out my freak”, a dialectal idiom popular in American sub-culture presently. ‘I Wanna Go’ should be commended, though, for resisting the temptation to cite “the floor” as the peak of interest and excitement. Instead it chooses the bed, but at least it’s a small change to stolid lyrical convention.

As an anthem with the desire for freedom at the centre, her excitable delivery and the small nods that suggest at least some thought was put into the production (such as the whistling during the bridge, which has the ability to entertain or irk) and the enviable catchiness of such riotous fun, as well as knowing which genre it belongs to and humbly serving the targeted audiences, ‘I Wanna Go’ is a resounding success in terms of quality compared the previous two ‘Femme Fatale’ singles. But in the bigger picture, the song gets lost under a myriad of throwaway pop songs all of which are given far better UK promotion and radio airplay, so don’t expect ‘I Wanna Go’ to have a notable chart placing come Sunday.



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