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LISTEN: Britney Spears' 'Work Bitch' drops early after leak
The throbbing, autotune-heavy single has been expressly designed for dance clubs

There's a new normal for any major singer releasing a breathlessly anticipated pop single: Announce a date for a big, splashy release well in advance; despair when the song leaks days before your countdown draws to a close; shrug and release an official version of the song early to capitalize on the publicity before it's too late.

The latest victim of a suddenly accelerated release schedule is Britney Spears, whose new single "Work Bitch" — which the singer had relentlessly teased last week with a countdown clock pointing to Monday night — was released early on Sunday after a low-quality leak beat her countdown clock by 48 hours.

Does "Work Bitch" live up to the hype? The answer probably depends on whether or not you're a Britney Spears fan. The single doesn't break any new ground, but it does demonstrate what Britney Spears does best: Throbbing, autotune-packed anthems that are explicitly designed for heavy rotation in dimly-lit dance clubs. "Work Bitch" is undeniably successful on that score, but only by nakedly echoing Spears' previous hits.

Though the new single has been available for less than a day, it's already amassed well over a million views. And as for the leak, don't feel too bad. Britney seems to be over it:

Scott Meslow is the entertainment editor for TheWeek.com. He has written about film and television at publications including The AtlanticOutside Magazine, and Think Progress.

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