Britney Spears "Womanizer"

Britney Spears "Womanizer"
From now until January 13, I'll be featuring my favourite tracks of 2008, some of which have already appeared in Click Hear throughout the year, some of which haven't.

I'm not going to use this time to talk about Britney's big comeback and how she managed to save her career this year; I already took care of that in my review of Circus, an album that becomes more rewarding with each listen. Seriously!

To be honest, I wasn't quite sold on yet another Britney record so soon after 2007's Blackout. The first single, "Womanizer," felt like too much, too soon, too fast, with a chorus that resorted to heavy repetition simply because, well, that's what she does (see "Gimme More").

It wasn't until the CW used it to flog Gossip Girl, focusing on this season's breakout character, Chuck Bass, and his unreal taste for promiscuity with disposable women. The moment I saw that clip, being such a GG fan, it all kind of clicked: this kind of senseless, empty fluff is exactly what Brit needed to get back on her horse.

Not since 2003's "Toxic" has she sounded so assured and significant. With the help of producers the Outsyders, Brit gave us the simplest of tunes built with the frivolousness and retro-futuristic slickness that has built the best modern pop music. Everything's pumped to the max: the production is high-gloss and stimulating, the beat is built from one of pop music's cheesiest tools (synthetic electric toms) and that chorus, no matter how you want to dress it up, may be inane but man, it is an addictive hook that is tough to kick.