Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Britney Spears & Iggy Azalea – Pretty Girls

Get used to seeing these names…


Maxwell Cavaseno: Charli possessing Britney’s body sounds like Fergie, good to know. Iggy is still one of the most sonically repulsive entities on earth. This, we knew from jump.

Katherine St Asaph: Here is a complete list of features from Britney Spears’ nearly 20-year career: “Me Against the Music” with Madonna, “I Got That (Boom Boom)” with the Ying Yang Twins (bet you forgot that one, huh?); “Drop Dead Beautiful” with Sabi, “Big Fat Bass” with, various remixes with Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Ke$ha, “It Should Be Easy” with will again, “Tik Tik Boom” with T.I.; “Chillin’ With You” with Jamie Lynn; this. If you put them on a graph, there’d be one mini-cluster around In the Zone, which came out after a commercial disappointment, that breakup, the first of those tabloids, a restaurant failure, a hiatus, a career Crossroads; then a lot more clusters post-conservatorship, post-lifeless blankness. A reasonably good indication of how far artists are from their imperial phase is how much bullshit their releases are packed with, such as gimmicky music-tech tie-ins (like the bubblegum cross-promotional ads and email street-teaming on …Baby One More Time, or or this nonsense here: “On May 3, 2015, Spears announced she had teamed up with mobile-app-based transportation network company Uber to give fans an early listen of the song. For six hours between 3pm-9pm PDT on that day, requesters in Los Angeles were able to ride select Britney-themed vehicles called Bees while listening to the song and have a chance to win surprise gifts and tickets to her show, Britney: Piece of Me in Las Vegas.”), or superfluous features designed to goose viewcounts or boost careers. It’s hard not to feel bad for Britney being used like a railroad switch to stop the derailing of Iggy, even if the song is ass. Weirdly, the instrumental is GREAT, the Invisible Men transcending their “Fancy” hackwork by adding more synth cowbell and chorus twinkles; it harkens back to the unnecessarily, gloriously elaborate pop playgrounds of David Frank, or for that matter Blackout and Femme Fatale. And buried on the verses is some pretty ace girl-group call and response, which makes sense when you consider this was written by and probably for Little Mix. But to get to either you’ve got to pick through tuneless harmonies, shoehorned Australia callouts, disastrous lyrics (“they’re buzzing around me like flies”?) and overly au courant pop-misandry, the most chemistry-free big-up from rapper to singer in recent memory, and Iggy Azalea slipping out of accent at the beginning of her verse and hiding it beneath production fog. In 2013 no one on Britney’s team had any idea what her career should be, and now in 2015 they have even less; forget Rolling Stone, the true tragedy of Britney Spears is that the once-unarguable pop princess has become the goose girl.

Alfred Soto: OK bass sequencer, OK call for solidarity in the chorus, better Britney than the “Tom’s Diner” cover, below average rapping. Don’t ask me if it’s going to do well — at this time last year Iggy Azalea’s album looked like an expensive flop.

Edward Okulicz: The problem here is that the instrumental to this is OK, the song on top of it is boring, Britney is actually trying which makes that a waste of time and effort, and Iggy Azalea is on it. I try to see the good in Iggy, and I came around to “Problem” in the end, but her bits on this song just validate all previous criticisms of her talent. Sure, she can sit down and write an album and deliver some verses, but taking this after “Problem” and all the hilarious YouTube clips showing that she can’t freestyle just demonstrates how un-versatile she is. You could cut out a few of her lines here (and she has a lot of them) and replace them exactly with equivalent lines from “Problem” and you wouldn’t notice much as she’s more or less just fired some new words into a template. Iggy Azalea is a cookie-cutter rapper in the literal sense of the word, and restricted to a guest verse here and there would be ignorable. But as is, it feels like one artist latching on to another in a bold grab for relevance, though I’m not sure who’s the pilot fish on “Pretty Girls.”

Crystal Leww: The cruelest thing about “Pretty Girls” is that when you stream it on YouTube, an advertisement for Britney’s Vegas residency plays first and that advertisement is soundtracked by “Toxic,” one of the perfect pop songs of the last two decades. Iggy Azalea is not good on this song, but Britney is also in particularly poor form, going from spineless, gooey, and forgettable on “Perfume” to paranoid, disjointed, and even less compelling on “Pretty Girls.” Britney is neither her normal sweet or normal robotic self, and it’s actually hard to tell where she ends and Iggy begins. That feels bad to admit.

Thomas Inskeep: This wants badly to be “Fancy Part 2,” and fails just as badly; when your song has nine co-writers, you should do your best to keep it from sounding like it. Also, Britney, I know you can’t fucking sing, but enough with the Auto-Tune, really.

Will Adams: You know shit’s dire when Sophia Grace’s attempt at RnBass is more convincing than yours. The incompetence of “Pretty Girls” to be anything but a terrible career move is mind-boggling. The peddling of Britney as this bo$$y club diva that’s been happening since “Scream & Shout” and “Work Bitch” continues to fail, not least because she can’t even get through a line without five different voices; except here you can actually hear the different takes spliced together. Then there’s the watery production; at least “Fancy” knocked a little bit. And then there’s Iggy, a point-against which I doubt merits explanation.

Mo Kim: While browsing the cookie aisle at my local CVS last week, I stumbled across a package of “fudge-dipped mint cookies.” Any true ‘Murrican will know that there is one fudge-dipped mint cookie that reigns above all others, and it’s called a Thin Mint. Even so, success breeds knock-offs, and I can already hear the voice on the supermarket intercom three weeks from today: “Announcing ‘Lavish,’ now made with imitation Charli XCX and 50% less Iggy Azalea!” It’ll probably coincide with the introduction of Eggy Eggs, a terrifying and poorly thought-out mascot created solely to promote the store’s new line of breakfast foods to kids. Everybody will grumble about originality and commercialism as they order their bacon-wrapped BritMuffins, but sometimes food is just something you need to wash down a good cup of coffee with. (I should also mention that they were very good cookies, and nothing is more appetizing to a broke college student than the prospect of saving an entire 81 cents!)

Patrick St. Michel: I can’t find a single fan fiction featuring these two together, leaving me even more confused why this exists.

Jonathan Bradley: I can only think that Britney, on hearing “Fancy,” demanded of an underling, “get me on a track with her!” Good help is hard to find: obviously Spears was referring to Charli XCX.

Reader average: [4.14] (7 votes)

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18 Responses to “Britney Spears & Iggy Azalea – Pretty Girls”

  1. Well, let’s make some notes here.

    -linking a biased tumblr post wasn’t any more amusing the second time

    -Iggy does not have many lines here. Her verse is like 20 seconds long.

    -Charli wrote for Britney Jean but her tracks were rejected…

    I get it, Iggy is a bad lyricist but bandwagon hate is so yawn-worthy.

  2. Iggy interjects twice at the start and gets half the pre-chorus. In terms of a sub-3 minute song she certainly gets enough in to justify the “&” billing as opposed to “featuring”. It’s not that her bit is bad, it’s that it’s the same bit as on “Problem”.

  3. Yo my post is still funny though

  4. yep, the person who previously wrote “Someday soon we as critics will have to reckon with the uncomfortable yet present trend of Iggy Azalea becoming the best thing on her singles, but this really isn’t the time” sure is bandwagoning on that hate wagon

  5. (forgot to link, it’s from here:

  6. also I would have given the iggy/jhud track at least a 6 but I decided to spend the night playing board games with my friends instead, sorry about that (everything else today I’d written previously this week)

  7. Katherine, I hope you got longest road.

  8. I never get longest road – my one asshole friend always (and I mean always) goes for it, usually at the expense of her victory.

    side note – Catan night with TSJ writers sounds like the best thing ever

    side side note – i’m embarassed at how much i like that sophia grace song

  9. hey now, don’t disgrace sophia grace

  10. see I’m the asshole friend who doesn’t go for longest road (no point) but takes a easy-to-moderate route and spends the rest of the game fucking people’s routes over

  11. no shade, i actually adore her and best friends is obviously the spiritual successor to this S Club 7 gem –

  12. My husband refuses to play Settlers, or for that matter any game at all, with be as a result of a particularly nasty territory fight in a 6-player game.

    Also, I have totally in the past been that jerk who, in Ticket to Ride, claims either Houston-New Orleans or Vancouver-Seattle on her first turn without actually needing it.

  13. LIKE BEES TO THE HUNNNY might be my favorite line of the year so far, so addicting and fun, shame about the rest of the song tho

  14. My wife plays Settlers like Jack Donaghy on that one episode of 30 Rock and always destroys me at it but we don’t play very often (and not just because she beats me all the time — come to think of it she beats me at most games; I’m starting to suspect that she is much smarter than I am).

  15. I’ve never played it :3

  16. Belatedly re nine co-writers: three of those are The Invisible Men and four of them are Little Mix (plus one more is their regular writer), so it’s mostly the product of groups working as groups, surely? No one bemoans the six plus writers on Arcade Fire songs.

  17. i see that she’s still trying to make “iggy igz” happen

  18. Wait, what about Don Philip? “I Will Still Love You” from her first album.