Britney Spears has taken her charisma and quirkiness times a hundred, in her new video for ‘I Wanna Go’. The subject matter of the song is well disguised in its insanely catchy whistles during the pre-chorus and breezy beats, but by now it shouldn’t shock anyone it is her deliberately updated version of ‘Touch Of My Hand’; meaning it is about inhibiting oneself and masturbation (‘I’ve been told who I should do it with, to keep both my hands above the blanket, when the light’s out‘). The video also hides it well, by every now and then making random references, which make sense when the song is best understood (i.e. sea shells, and the pouring of milk at the song’s climax).

The video extensively alludes to pop culture in the likes of Spears’ debut film ‘Crossroads’ and Michael Jackson’s iconic video for ‘Thriller’, and captures Britney being inappropriate, by telling off the press at a conference, grabbing a fan’s butt-cheek after signing a copy of Femme Fatale and flashing a cop. There’s also a side-story taking on her done-to-death theme of the paparazzi, this time depicting them as Terminator cyborgs; its a refreshing twist.  There is a lot going on in the video, which makes it compelling to watch. It conveys how Spears cannot be freed from the media, but it is a good spin off on the typical allusions to paparazzi done by herself and other pop contemporaries.

The camera angles are excellent, and it seems non-calculated for a Spears move. On the contrary, the video comes across as genuine and not forced on her. The simple concept fits, and even allows her to discharge all those negative sentiments towards the paps in the midst of the video, as she strikes a fab pose before crashing the camera on the ground; her expression couldn’t have been more real. It is relieving to be able to see this side of Spears once again, without cue-card speeches or absent minded choreography that only serves as a catering element to the fans, but at the same overshadows the pop artist everyone fell in love with in the first place, becoming a distraction from the woman behind the fantastically produced music.

Once again the video gets the treatment of not dubbing the obvious, as ‘Hold It Against Me’, which recounted Spears rise, downfall and comeback in the industry. This time ‘I Wanna Go’ gives a piece of Spears’ mind on the paparazzi, on how insistent and vicious they can be, while showing her true feelings towards her lack of privacy, which is quite obvious, but the interesting part is it at times seemingly tinges at what looked like the situation with Sam Lufti; evident in how the character who saves her from Terminator-like paparazzi cyborgs, turns out to be what she did not expect. For those of you who don’t know your Britney Spears history, Lufti came out of nowhere and followed Spears throughout 2007, claiming himself as her manager; it was later revealed he was one of the causes of Spears’ meltdown and brief career setback, due to the influence he exerted on her. But past is past, and the video is easily enjoyable for what it is.

Dance routines are not present, but Spears gets away with it since one is instead treated with playful flirtation and her infectiously loud humor, introduced in backstage footage from her early years in showbiz. The visuals are just as care-free and sassy as the song, and fit to it like a glove. It is good to see Britney enjoying herself, and not taking herself seriously for once. Spears’ facial expressions are priceless and bring about her humanity, which seemed to have been lost throughout the years of extensive media exposure and scrutiny.

Spears looks timelessly young, the only flaw in the video may be the wardrobe selection, which misleads the video to think its an Avril Lavigne video. Either way, Avril Lavigne could never.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Watch Britney get her groove-freak on below!