Music video: Britney Spears & Iggy Azalea - Pretty girls

After the train wreck that was Britney Jean and a Vegas residency which see's Britney performing with as much charisma as a Chinese Lucky Cat in a Chinatown buffet restaurant window, the princess of pop (Queen to some) is back with a new single which does away with the tired EDM cliché's of songs such as "Work bitch" and replaces them with faux urban hood cliché's instead. Also, she has Iggy Azalea in tow, who not only contributes a barely there rap on the song, but also co-directed the video. Think "Fancy" 2.0 and you're pretty much on track as what to expect from this song and video.

First thing's first. The song. "Pretty girls" is basic. It is the alpha and omega of basic. Over the years Britney's singles have become known for offering that something special. Whether it's the stellar production on a song like "Hold it against me", a Max Martin Pop 101 master-class in a song like "Oops!...I did it again" or the Oh shit, I did not think Britney had it together well enough to drop this ism's of "Gimme more".

Nobody ever expects a Britney single to touch on world issues and social dialogues. Sure, there have been a couple instances: "Lucky" and "Everytime" to name a couple. But generally, Britney is not that kind of pop star. Blackout was proof of that. But even so, "Pretty girls" is incredibly vacuous. If the intention of the song was to poke fun at the whole 'Pretty girls' culture of using your looks for nothing more than to get free entry into a club and get boys, then it's completely lost here. Britney could have used this as a platform to flip a bird at the naysayers who poke fun at her weight, her hair, the fact that she's not done up to the 9's when she goes to grab a Starbucks and a cart full of beef jerky from CostCo. But she didn't. She delivered exactly what the song says on the cover. A song about pretty girls...just being pretty and nothing else.

The video itself was cute. Britney looked great. The best she's looked in quite some time. We have become accustomed to seeing Britney look glass eyed and uncommitted in music videos for years now. But this was the first video in a while where Britney had a spark in her eye and seemed to be having fun. There were even moments where Britney was putting in work and flicking that weave like she was back in her heyday. Given Britney's tumultuous journey, it was genuinely nice to see that the old Britney we thought was dead and gone is still in there some where. The product placement was an absolute mess. The Samsung Galaxy S6 advert which was slapped in the middle of this video was as unashamed as Iggy thinking she was necessary anywhere on this song. But product placement has long become a fixture of Britney's videos. It comes with her territory.

Britney is still miles away musically and visually from where I feel she should be at this point in her career. "Pretty girls" is a lead single which serves no purpose other than to let fans know Britney is still going to continue doing music, to draw a line indefinitely under the Britney Jean era and to try and get Iggy some success after the nose dive her popularity has taken since people officially got fed up with "Fancy" and her complete disregard of the matter at hand in her response to when Azaelia Banks broke down in tears on Hot 97.

Let's see where Britney's next album goes from here and hope that Larry Rudolph gets a decent A&R for the project. Less and more Danja, Pharrell Williams and Max Martin void of Dr. Luke would go down a treat.