I must admit that "Criminal" wouldn't have been my next choice for Britney when picking out her next single. However, the reworked radio version's chorus sounds much better than the original, and is primed for listeners. Is it enough for Britney to get to #1 again, after fellow competitors Lady Gaga and Rihanna have fallen short with their most recent singles? Good question! :D (Don't think you'll find the answer to that, but you can find my review in the full article!)
There are many solid single choices that could have been made from Femme Fatale and have yet to be made (including "Drop Dead Beautiful", "Selfish" and "Up n' Down", to name a few), but Britney's fourth choice for a single is with "Criminal". Why did she choose it? Probably because it's a slower, mid-tempo song, and we need a break from all of the dance-pop we've been getting from Britney so far this year.
With that being said, did she go too far? I think not. Although the melody doesn't contain whistling, a huge cliche for this year, it is incredibly fun to whistle to. The uniqueness of Britney's emotionless voice in the chorus makes her feel as if possessed by an otherworldly demon who wishes to infect us with the best music possible. And, in conclusion, everything about this song makes you feel like you're getting high with a bunch of dopers.
Who wrote this? I'm actually surprised to say Max Martin and Shellback, two producers who normally produce fist-pumping beats and stay away from the "slower stuff", very rarely trekking into the middle ground that "Criminal" covers. It's surprisingly covered very well, though, as "Criminal" is totally infectious after just a few listens.
The lyrics, although repetitive, are able to get the emotion of the song off quite well. Although liking the song seems like the wrong thing to do at times, you know everybody's doing it. Just you wait - this song is like the Occupy Wall Street movement, and is sure to spread across the world.