ust weeks after Britney Spears announced that she was taking an extended break from her career to focus on her family, she’s plunging into work on a new album. A spokesperson from Jive Records confirmed that Spears is in the “very early” stages of Mona Lisa working on an album, which is not yet on the label’s release schedule.

In a surprise visit, Spears played a rough mix of a song from the album Thursday night on KIIS-FM in Los Angeles to get some fan reaction. “We got a call on the request line from Britney Spears saying she wanted to come by and play her new song,” KIIS-FM music director Julie Pilat said. “Then she showed up and world-premiered her new song,” which is called “Mona Lisa.”

“It definitely has the raw thing going on it,” Spears said during her station visit. “I recorded this song when I was on tour, right before I hurt my knee [see “Britney’s Fall: The Never-Before-Seen Footage”]. It was done, I think, four or five months ago. My band, we didn’t use ProTools or anything with it. It’s all live. There’s a lot of stuff you can do to make it better. It’s going to get better. It will get better — this is a really, really rough mix.”

Spears dedicated the song — a slinky, midtempo number with a descending synth line that recalls ‘NSYNC’s “It’s Gonna Be Me” — to all the “legends and icons out there.” The song’s lyrics begin, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve got a story to tell/ About Mona Lisa, and how she suddenly fell/ See, everyone knew her, they knew her so well/ Now I am taking over to release her from her spell.” The song continues to lament Mona Lisa’s “fall,” calling her “unforgettable” and “unpredictable,” and cautions listeners not to have a “breakdown”: “You will hit the freakin’ wall.”

Though Spears said she wants “Mona Lisa” to be the first single from the new album, she hasn’t yet decided on a title for the project, though she’s leaning toward The Original Doll. “It’s untitled right now,” she said during her visit to KIIS-FM. “It’s not even all the way done.” She also said that she hoped to release the album “probably before summertime, or maybe a little sooner than that.”

— Jennifer Vineyard

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