This is what happens when you sprinkle breadcrumbs of rumors around the Internet (and yes, we are equally guilty of this) and expect them to bake in plain air into baguettes. In other, less labored words: Britney Spears’ next single is not “Inside Out.” Nor is it “Trouble For Me.” In the words of Britney herself, backstage at the VMAs: It’s “Criminal,” the last track on Femme Fatale. We were all wrong.
Popdust has subjected you to enough grumbling about “How I Roll,” so we’ll get right on to just talking about “Criminal.” Britney has taken the super-bold step (please note sarcasm) of releasing a Max Martin/Shellback song as her new single. It has actual guitars, or something approximating them, which is in fact a step away from both her previous singles and most of Femme Fatale. The track doesn’t even contain any particularly cool sounds! But as a bad-boy track, it at least makes a bit more lyrical sense than “Judas” and is more vulnerable than her past few singles, which is probably a good career move. There. Speculation over. Let’s wait four months and get it right, huh?