By Josh Schonfeld

For nearly 17 years, Britney Spears has been churning out certified hits without even trying. Now, it looks as though her free ride is over. By teaming up with fledgling rapper, Iggy Azalea, Spears seems to have officially jumped the shark. The bratty duet, entitled “Pretty Girls,” fails to live up to its hype as the song of the summer that some suggested.

The track begins with a Fergie-style fade-in as Spears starts right in on the mildly catchy chorus. Spears then barely manages to fit in all the lyrics in her verse, struggling to get out phrases such as, “from Australia ‘round to LA” and “Just you watch, they’re so predictable.” Not only are these lyrics not the sing-along type, they also are nearly incomprehensible with the amount of effects layered on Spears’s vocals. The pre-chorus talking about “bees to the honey” gives us our last hope that the song can be salvaged.

One of the high notes is the line, “Tell me is it true all these men are from Mars? / Is that why they be actin’ bizarre?” Coupled with an interesting intergalactic vocal effect on Spears’s sing-talking on the word, “bizarre,” the line is probably the only innovative portion of the song. The track then continues along with more syllables than you could possibly imagine before Azalea emerges.

Surely, Azalea can help fix this mess of a song, right? Wrong. Instead of matching Spears’s hard-hitting (yet poorly delivered) verses, Azalea decides to take a nap. Gently rapping her own name a few times and talking about her ass, Azalea ends her snoozefest verse with a weak reference to Spears’s iconic debut, “…Baby One More Time.”

We’ve lived through some lazy Britney singles in the past, namely “Radar,” “Piece of Me,” and “Hold It Against Me,” but “Pretty Girls” takes the cake in every sense.   The one redeeming quality to the song is the beat and even that is a rehash of Azalea’s “Fancy,” except with annoying bells added. If this is the best Spears can come up with nowadays, she might as well stay in Vegas and live off her previous hits. Song of the summer, this is not.

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