Well, it’s happened: will.i.am‘s “Scream & Shout,” featuring the Legendary Miss Britney Spears, has dropped. It ‘dropped’ over the weekend, actually–first as a snippet, and then as a tagged Excluusive, and then in full by early Saturday. And now it’s really here, following a premiere on On Air with Ryan Seacrest this morning.
Reaction to the song have been quite mixed, ranging from utter disappointment (“THIS IS BAD”), to vague interest (“THIS IS OKAY”) to full-on, delusional stannery (“THIS IS THE GREATEST SONG OF 2012, BYE TO ALL OF YOUR FAVES.”) 99.9% of the time, I’m in the latter category when it comes to any and all things Godney. But not today.
Today…something’s different. The truth lies around here somewhere. Let’s weigh out the pros and cons, shall we?
SCREAMS (OF DELIGHT)
It’s Brinney, innit! Britishney’s reared her darling lil’ head in different ways in the past, whether asking to use the loo or inside the studio (“Don’t Keep Me Waiting,” for example), but nowhere has she ever sounded quite so–well, regal. Fit for a Queen, as it were! “When we wahlk into the clob, awl eyes on uhs,” she proclaims, likely sipping tea and nibbling on crumpets in between takes in the studio. Sophie Ellis-Bextor could quite literally never.
Sure, you can barely hear it beneath will.I.am’s grating, terrible robot voice–but there she is! Crooning beautifully during the chorus, like an Angelney sent down to provide us with a slice of Heaven on Earth. Those fluttery, flaw-free vocals! She sounds amazing. A true star.
3.) Allusions 4 U
She may only have about 3 actual sentences in the whole song, but Queen B was smart with her selection of carefully curated words. You see, all of her lyrics are obvious nods to various passages within the Book of Godney: “All eyes on us” is an obvious allusion to “Circus,” “In the club” is an obvious allusion to “He About To Lose Me,” “boys” is an obvious allusion to “Boys,” and “everybody” is an obvious allusion to “Everybody.” She’s guiding us all to the light to see Jesus, and we all remain unworthy of her blessed teachings.
4.) “It’s Britney, bitch.”
No, really: The “It’s Britney, bitch” from “Gimme More”–arguably one of the most sacred lines ever uttered in pop music history–was copied and pasted into the song, just before the beat drop. And that’s great, even though it’s sort of the musical equivalent of hastily scribbling the word “PICASSO” over a kindergartner’s drawing of a shoe.
5.) Me Against His Music
For fans feeling any prolonged “meh”-ness after hearing the song, remember: It’s will.I.am’s stupid and/or amazing song, not Britney’s! He was the one who decided to give Britney 12 seconds and a faint backing vocal. That’s all his doing. One might even say…it’s his prerogative.
SHOUTS (OF HORROR)
1.) It’s not very much Britney at all, bitch
As we’ve already deduced, the Holy Spearit spent about as much time recording this song as Princess RiRi does on her weekly albums. To reiterate, Will: You had the opportunity to produce a song with Britney Spears, and you chose to HAY-HO-HAY-HO your way through for 4 minutes instead. No, really, her fans will love that! Everyone will! We love it!
2.) It’s (also) will.i.am, bitch
We don’t need to really go there, because you already know. will.i.am is to music as LMFAO is (was?) to–well, music. It’s bad, it’s childish, and it’s the kind of music that provides the sloppy soundtrack to every Facebook album called “GIRLZ NITE OUT!!1!”. I know, not everything he’s done is shit–but more often than not, it really is.
3.) The not-so-big fat bass
The beat is basic. I mean, sure: It’s a toe-tapper when played loud, but like…let’s be real. Really, REALLY real. That beat drop after Britney’s legendary line? WEAK. A drop is supposed to FUCK your body (Legendtina knows a thing or two about that–SAY!) This? This isn’t a fuck. This is one of those awkward, fumbling make-out sessions in a club at 4 AM where you’re like “OH! Hey, how’r–oh, your tongue’s in my mouth. Okay. That’s fine.” And Will’s sad “Aw, yeeeaah!”? will.I.CANNOT.
4.) Trip the station, change the channel
You know what makes songs with a swear word or two intolerable? Terrible radio edits! And that’s exactly what we’ve got here: On the radio edit of “Scream & Shout,” Britney’s otherwise fierce “You’re gonna turn this shit up” has been reduced to the infinitely tamer “You’re gonna turn, turn it up!” I mean, ugh.
Perhaps you love this song, and you’re screaming, shouting and letting it all out right now. Or perhaps you think that Britney deserves to be featured on something vastly superior. In either case: We’re going to get through this, together, dancing till the world ends. In the meantime, prepare for the upcoming music video, and pray for ample hairflips and armography aplenty.
I’ll support my Queen regardless, and will likely have “BUY SCREAM & SHOUT ON iTUNES!” tattooed on my neck by next Tuesday, but I’m not about to pretend like this song isn’t extraordinarily basic. (That being said, I’m contractually obligated as a lifelong stan to go buck wild at the club if it comes on, and so I shall.)
As I said before, the great thing about this song is that it’s got nothing to do with Britney’s own career. It’s just a little taste of our beloved living legend to pass the time until Album #8. So have fun cooking up Blackout 2.0 in the studio with Darkchild and Danja, B! And please: never, ever accept will.i.am’s invitation to record together again.
…even if you do look adorable dancing in his studio.