Oh Britney. You've been simultaneously delighting and making us cringe since the shaved head incident of 2007. We've watched you climb back to the top with bated breath, waiting for some sort of entertaining slip-up. Until now, there hasn't really been anything to "hold against you" (I'm guessing only Femme Fatale listeners will get that). Her latest track from, um, The Smurfs 2 Soundtrack, "Ooh La La," is four minutes and nineteen seconds of equal parts bad Aqua homage and "E-mail My Heart" revisited.
Starting out with a surreal, Europop intro, Brit gives us a tinge of hope that this could be one of her best--until she starts singing. While her voice sounds just the same as it ever did, the cliche lyrics are over the top even for Britney. Espousing the empty themes (when you consider the source they're coming from) of not needing "looks" or "designer clothes" to have a good time, it's difficult gauge how this fits in with being someone's "ooh la la." In the first line of the song, Britney assures, "You don't have to look like a movie star, ooh, I think you're good just the way you are.../We don't need no gold, we'll be shining anyway." A simple, uplifting enough message--but it sounds terrible in the song.
As for the chorus, well, it's a bit of a mash-up of all Britney's usual staples from her greatest hits: "Can't nobody get down like us/We don't stop till we get enough/Come on turn it up till the speakers pop/Break it down, show me what you got." The lyrics of the chorus also somewhat date Britney, revealing how stuck in time her vernacular is in the early 00s. This point is reiterated when she sings, "You don't have to wear no designer clothes/Just as long as we're dancing on the floor.../Baby come with me and be my ooh la la." One might sooner take an invitation into a shooting gallery.
In her typical, not so succinct form, Britney explained the "meaning" of the song as best as she could by saying, "Like you make me feel like 'ooh la la' like when a guy makes you giddy... it's more of a feeling." But the feeling you end up getting is more like overdosing on a box of sugar donuts: Invariably leading to vomit from all the sugariness. With other contributions like Right Said Fred reinterpreting "I'm Too Sexy" as "I'm Too Smurfy," you get the sense of the quality level being promoted on this particular soundtrack. Let's just hope Brit's forthcoming album has at least a few offerings in the vein of "Till The World Ends."
Listen to the track below.