Hot Video Alert: Britney Spears - Criminal
Britney Spears has done it again folks. I'm going to go right out and say it..."Criminal" might just be the best Britney video since "Toxic." While the song itself has had quite a polarizing effect on Britney stans, it's grown on my considerably since it's initial release back in September. Written and produced by Max Martin and Shellback and co-written by Tiffany Amber, a radio remix of the Femme Fatale track was released as Britney's fourth single from her seventh studio album. Chosen by fans as the next single via a Facebook poll, "Criminal" is definitely something different for Spears. The guitar-driven mid-tempo pop ballad incorporates a folky flute sound and lots of auto tune. While auto tune is nothing news for Spears, the instrumentation is definitely something fresh and new, making "Criminal" my new favorite Britney ballad.
Unfortunately for Spears, this different sound didn't quite make a connection on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, missing the Top 40 altogether, peaking at a disappointing #55. Here's hoping "Criminal" isn't it as far as Femme Fatale era singles go as, in my opinion, there's quite a few single-worthy tracks left on the album. There's been no news lately as far as a follow up single so who knows what's going on with that.
Now, for the masterpiece that is the "Criminal" video. Directed by Chris Marrs Piliero the video was shot in Stoke Newington, London and features Spears as an upper crust society darling stuck in an abusive relationship, that is until Spears' sexy real-life boyfriend Jason Trawick swoops her off of her feet and into a life of crime. Trawick plays the perfect, hunky bad boy in the video, introducing the seemingly sheltered Spears to his bad boy lifestyle. The video goes on to showcase Spears and Trawick as a modern day Bonnie & Clyde, going on a random crime spree around London, robbing stores and generally causing mischief.
The video sparked some controversy during filming and was criticised for "promoting gun violence," in an otherwise testy climate just after the 2011 riots that plagued London, particularly the area of London where the video was shot. While Spears and her camp dismissed the criticism, claiming that the video was merely a fantasy and that the song had been written years before the riots, we'll have to see next week how the single performs in the UK as it just came out today, December 11th. Check out the CRIMINALLY good video for "Criminal" below and download it on U.S. iTunes HERE. Look out for remixes by DJ Laszlo, Tom Piper & Riddler and Varsity Team, also out on iTunes HERE.
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