Ray Kay’s video for the new Britney Spears single, “Till the World Ends,” can’t seem to decide whether it’s about the end of the world, or just a hyper-exclusive, (literally) underground New Year’s Eve party.
Of course, today’s uncertain economic times have led to a resurgence of apocalyptic-fantasy dance party songs and videos unmatched since the AIDS crisis, nuclear-scare, Reagonomic-nightmare mid-1980s. The Mayans may have provided a handy day-and-date marker, but the fear is all-American. So it’s unsurprising that tonight, Britney’s gonna party like it’s 2012.
Bejeweled Flash Gordon jumpsuit plus half-length flak jacket? Genius.
Of course, the Mad Max/Repo Man trash aesthetic allows debasement without the necessity for debauchery (which may be why “Till the World Ends” co-writer Ke$ha loves it so much). And at first the video hints at a love story amid the chaos, even switching briefly to a POV shot from Britney’s perspective:
So is it romance? Well, not exactly:
Let’s be honest: it’s still a Britney dance video. So we’re not looking for monogamy – ”we’re looking for vaudeville camera-wink flirting:
“Look at this guy! What is going on in my video?”
Not to mention terrible visual puns:
Get it? “I’ve never felt like this before on floor 4B?
All of which is to say it’s great fun!
Welcome to 2013, Britney! It’s morning in America!