With her 2007 megahit “Umbrella,” ultracool diva Rihanna shielded pop fans from the soggy mess that unhinged diva Britney Spears had become. Likewise, her newly leaked song, “Bitch I’m Special” — which appeared this weekend along with Spears’s “Kill the Lights” — isn’t her answer to “It’s Britney, Bitch,” but a calm and collected channeling of some jerk dude in it for the booty calls. It’s a rough demo, but the heavy guitar and off-kilter hook make for a much grabbier track than her last leak, the Prince-sampling “Sexuality.” Britney, naturally, ain’t going down without a fight, and the ominous, measured “Kill the Lights” sorta brings it: “You don’t like me,” she squeaks, “I don’t like you. It don’t matter.” But pop royalty or not, it isn’t a good sign that it’s Britney who now sounds like the ice queen.
Rihanna, “Bitch I’m Special” [Pretty Much Amazing]
Britney Spears, “Kill the Lights” [Pretty Much Amazing]