Spears's new single is embraced by bloggers and critics as it hits radio airplay charts

By Aaron Parsley
Updated August 31, 2007 05:00 PM
Anthony/ Pacific Coast News

Less than 24 hours after its official radio debut, Britney Spears‘s “Gimme More” is lighting up request lines and pleasing fans who haven’t heard music from the pop star since 2004.

“From the time I signed on today at 10 am, people were requesting it like crazy,” Shelley Wade, a deejay on New York’s Z100, tells PEOPLE of her first broadcast since the song hit the airwaves Thursday night.

“Gimme More” was also on the top of Z100’s ‘Interactive 9 at 9’ countdown within an hour after it first played Thursday and at the top of Wade’s ‘High Noon Countdown’ again Friday. (Both lists are based on listener requests.)

Mediabase, which ranks songs based on the number of spins they get, had Spears at 61 by Friday afternoon, putting her just below artists like Amy Winehouse and Timbaland and just above winner Jordin Sparks.

Part of the demand to hear the song can certainly be attributed to celebrity watchers who are curious about how the pop star’s return to music will go over – especially after witnessing Spears’s rollercoaster year, marked by late nights out, erratic behavior, stints in rehab and a brewing custody battle with ex Kevin Federline.

But the song, which features the singer’s classic breathy vocals, a danceable beat and sexy lyrics, is listener friendly, according to Wade. “It doesn’t sound like [her last big hit] ‘Slave 4 U’ but it reminded me of that because it made me dance,” she says.

Still, Wade believes the elusive comeback isn’t hers just yet. “She can do it if she, in her personal life, can keep the drama at bay for just a little while.”

Wade is looking to Spears’s reported performance at the upcoming Video Music Awards to see if the momentum will continue to build, leading up to the album’s release on Nov. 13.

“If she can bank on the excitement that everyone’s giving her with this song right now and really come with an exciting performance, when the CD debuts in November, I think she could be at number one,” Wade says. “Last week people were saying she’s a trainwreck, and this week they’re saying, ‘I like this song!'”

Here’s a roundup of online reactions to the song:

• The blog Blueprint to Buddha’s Life writes: “I can’t lie, I actually love this song. The beat is addicting as hell and reminds me of Justin Timberlake‘s songs on his album.”

• Bethonie Butler on EW.com’s Popwatch blog agrees. “My snap judgment: I don’t hate it! I actually kind of (come closer) like it. The best part of the song isn’t Britney ‘singing.’ It’s her opening line: ‘It’s Britney, b—-!’ . . . This is definitely a dance track – one I could admittedly be seen singing at the top of my lungs on the Van Wyck Expressway.”

• Blogger Perez Hilton, who leaked the track on Thursday night, is a fan as well. “It’s not bad. It’s not amazing. But it is very good, considering our girl’s a little rusty.”

• Another snarky blog, Dlisted, also had a positive reaction: “It’s not completely terrible.”

Finally, PEOPLE.com readers gave the track a thumbs-up: As of Friday, 58 percent said “Gimme more!” while 42 percent voted to “Give it back!”