On Tuesday, Britney Spears released “Criminal,” her fourth video from Femme Fatale, her seventh and latest studio album. “Criminal” is a quirky mid-tempo song featuring a folk-infused flute melody that gives it a distinctive edge. Oddly enough, the flute works quite well with Britney’s somewhat robotic vocals. It’s one of the better tracks off Femme Fatale and should enjoy a fair amount of airplay over the next few months.
The video begins with a short introduction in which we see Britney being abused in public by a man who appears to be her boyfriend, only to be rescued by her real-life beau Jason Trawick. The rest of the video features Britney and Trawick committing crimes, having shower sex, and making out while being shot at by dozens of police officers.
All of this makes for a fairly entertaining five-and-a-half minutes, and Britney looks better than she has in years. More importantly, “Criminal” has passion, an element which has been lacking in her other Femme Fatale videos. In her early days, Britney had an uncanny ability to connect with the camera, whether she was singing about love or Pepsi. In recent videos, this has been replaced by a coldness that has undermined efforts to connect with the viewer. Thankfully, in “Criminal,” Britney finally seems to have thawed out.
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