Monday 2 November 2009

Britney Spears: 3

It takes a special kind of music video to make the prospect of having a threesome with Britney Spears seem unappealing. Yet try as she might to seduce in her just-released clip for “3," the viewer can't help but wonder what's on TV instead.

The video’s back-to-basics approach seemed to have potential director Diane Martel told Life & Style magazine about it two weeks ago. “I think it’s her next sexy video,” Martel said. “It’s a very simple video for her — I don’t think you’ve seen her this much under a magnifying glass. Everything’s really strong and playful.”

Simple, yes; playful, not quite. Zoom-in shots of Britney’s robo-perfect face alternate with vague movements that suggest trying to dance after taking too much NyQuil. The long pull-up bar she hangs off could have immortalized a prop like “Stronger”’s innovative chair sequence did, but instead Brit listlessly dangles while a few other dancers half-heartedly thrust in random directions.

On the other hand, the yawn-inducing video matches the sex-less lyrics of this tune promoting her Singles Collection compilation. “1, 2, 3 / Peter, Paul & Mary”? Out of all the sexy trios in entertainment (Destiny’s Child, Charlie’s Angels), songwriters Max Martin, Shellback, Tiffany Amber decided on the aging family-friendly folkies? That’s like using Bob Dylan to sell lingerie.

If the video displays a lack of imagination, however, the Twitter-ific promo leading up to it is marketing gold. By tweeting out still photos and five-second clips in the weeks leading up to the release, the Spears team generated hype unseen since the days when people actually cared about music videos. If only the end result had matched up.

Verdict: 1/5 stars

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