20. “Break The Ice”
Um, this video is entirely animated. Britney couldn’t even get it together to appear in the music video. So no.
This was supposed to herald the return of Britney Spears. After she was sent to the psychiatric ward and placed on a 5150, Britney’s money was put under a conservatorship, which meant having to say bye-bye to the days of shopping sprees and checking into 5 star hotels to have sex with a paparazzo. With her finances now under the control of her father, Britney was supposedly cured of her mental breakdown and ready to release her new album Circus. Directed by her trusted collaborator Joseph Kahn, the video opens up with Britney completely naked in a sauna and looking radiant. Then it shows her cooking breakfast for her boyfriend whom she suspects is cheating on her. Because Britney can’t resist dressing up in disguises and donning some wigs, the rest of the video involves her trying to seduce her boyfriend while masquerading as someone else. He unknowingly falls prey to her advances which confirms her suspicions and then she exacts her revenge on him when he gets home from work. The premise is classic Britney—portraying a femme fatale who can’t resist a costume change—and it’s a vast improvement from the offerings of the Blackout era. It’s hard to tell whether or not Britney is truly back or if she’s just on some spectacular meds but for the moment, the future looks bright.
The video for this amazing title track opens up with Britney spraying herself with what looks like her own fragrance (LOL) and getting ready to perform at an actual circus. The curtain then opens and all of a sudden she’s dancing around elephants and fire. It’s a cute idea and it manages to match the energy of the song. I still can’t ignore, however, my sneaking suspicion that Britney’s dancing days are over. Although there’s a routine complete with backup dancers, you can tell Britney’s head just isn’t in the game anymore. It’s a shame because some of her best videos (“(You Drive Me) Crazy”, “Oops…I Did It Again”) feature some stellar choreography. I guess if we want Britney back, we just have to accept that there’ll be some limitations.
23. “If You Seek Amy”
“If You Seek Amy” marks Britney’s first collaboration with Swedish pop producer Max Martin since her third album, Britney, in 2001. Thankfully, Martin hasn’t caused her sound to regress into bubblegum pop territory. Instead, he gives her a playful electrofunk song with a title that spells out “F-U-C-K me.” I’m not too clear on the video though. Britney appears to be hanging out in someone’s bedroom before she transforms into a 1950’s housewife who gets her picture taken in the front yard with her family and a freshly baked apple pie. Whatever. The song is cotton candy fun, so who cares?
“Radar” was a dynamite track that originally appeared on the Blackout album, but I guess since Britney was too busy being crazy to promote it, they decided to re-release it as a bonus track on Circus and make it the fourth single. Um, okay. The video is sort of like Madonna’s “Take A Bow” except way less interesting. Britney plays this chick who’s dating a really rich dude with a mansion in Santa Barbara. He’s hot, WASPy and gives her expensive jewelry, but Britney’s like “You’re boring me!” and develops a crush on a guy who’s on the same polo team as her BF. After one of their games, Britney rips off her million dollar necklace and seduces her crush in an outdoor hallway. Afterward, they literally run off into the sunset together. It’s whatevs.
Even though she released a greatest hit album five years ago, oops…Britney did it again by putting out The Singles Collection, which featured one new track called “3.” The video for it is pretty unremarkable except for the fact that we see a borderline cameltoe situation develop with one of Britney’s outfits. I’m guessing that’s the third party the song is referring to: me, my boo, and my insane cameltoe.
26. “Hold It Against Me”
“Hold It Against Me”, the lead single off of Britney’s latest record Femme Fatale, effectively sets the tone for the rest of the album. It’s a slice of weird, futuristic dance pop that sounds like someone rolling on Ecstasy in the year 2050. The video mirrors the song’s sound by putting Britney in a puffy white dress and placing her in a strange room full of video screens that are playing her old videos. She freaks out at some point and gets what looks like paint splattered on her white dress before finally collapsing. Meanwhile, there are a pair of moving lips just hanging out. The whole thing makes no sense but it looks cool, which kind of accurately sums up Britney herself. By the time this video came out, people wanted to believe that Britney was fully rehabilitated and although this clip makes a convincing argument for her comeback, I still think her spark is mostly gone and may never come back…
27. “Till The World Ends”
This video takes the meaning of the song quite literally and sets it on December 21st, 2012, otherwise known as the day the Mayans predicted the world would end. Britney and her small army of backup dancers seek refuge in an underground tunnel while chaos breaks out above them and decide to have a rave. Jesus, imagine if the world actually ended and you discovered that Britney was throwing an underground dance party? Screw saying those final good-byes to family and loved ones, you gotta dance! (Sidenote: one time I took Ecstasy and listened to this song, and I sincerely thought the world was going to end if I turned it off.)
28. “I Wanna Go”
Okay, this video is so strange and borderline funny. After telling everyone to f**k off at a press conference, Britney decides to rebel further and do inappropriate things like flash small children and grab an autograph seeker’s crotch. Then since she’s fed up with the asshole paparazzi, Britney starts to seriously injure them by swinging her microphone at their faces. Ruuuudeeee Britney but wait, it’s actually fine because it’s revealed that the paparazzi are cyborgs! Get it? Because no one with a human soul would ever think of taking a photo of a celebrity for money! They’ve had to have been aliens all along! Britney’s then rescued from the pissed off cyborgs by some ugly dude in a car who takes her for a joyride and pours a carton of milk all over himself for no reason. Unfortunately, he also turns out to be a cyborg and Britney’s like “OMG, everyone’s out to get me!” God, how many freaking videos involve Britney escaping the paparazzi? I mean, seriously. We get it, they suck, but we’re not the one who had sex with a few of them when they had a nervous breakdown, okay?
29. “Criminal “
Ah, what a nice coda to a long list of videos! In her latest single, Britney plays a girl who’s bored with high society and her abusive boyfriend so she takes up with a bad boy played by her real life babe of a boyfriend, Jason Trawick. Together, they rob convenience stores and have a ton of sex. Seriously, their entire relationship consists of guns and screwing. Everything comes to a climax when police surround them at their hideout and start shooting through the windows. They apparently don’t mind getting shot at though because instead of running for cover, they just decide to make out amidst the whizzing bullets. When police finally get in, they find that the couple is gone! Where did they go to?! Who knows, who cares. As long as it wasn’t back to the mental institution, I’m happy.