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Track Review

When I heard that Britney Spears had a new single out called "Ooh La La," my first (admittedly cynical) thought was, "Well, we know what that song is going to be about."

Turns out I was wrong. (Well, mostly wrong.)

Britney's latest hit—an infectiously poppy, up-to-the minute electronic dance music affair produced by Dr. Luke—comes not from one of her own albums, but from the soundtrack to The Smurfs 2. On it, she sings from the perspective of a young girl in love on the dance floor as she intersperses a list of all the things that don't really matter (looks, money, designer duds) with lines about wanting to dance till dawn with her beautiful beau.

"You don't have to look like a movie star," she tells the object of her affection, "Ooh, I think you're good just the way you are/ … You don't have to roll like a millionaire/Baby, I would go with you anywhere/We don't need no gold, we'll be shining anyway, you'll see." A bit later on we hear, "You don't have to wear no designer clothes/Just as long as we're dancing on the dance floor."

Speaking of the dance floor, that's where most of the song's narrative action takes place. "Nobody can get down like us/We don't stop till we get enough," Britney brags. "Break it down, show me what you've got." Lost in the beat-filled moment, she instructs, "Take my hand, we can go all night/And spin me 'round just the way I like/It feels so good, I don't wanna stop/So baby, come with me and be my ooh la la."

Now, remember how I said I was only mostly wrong? Well, you've just read the lyrics that raise some doubt.

Britney's obviously singing about dancing with a dude she digs. That's clear. Still, when a pop singer who's well known for saucy, naughty double entendres croons, "We can go all night/ … It feels so good, I don't wanna stop/So baby, come with me and be my ooh la la," I think it's also possible that someone could hear those lyrics as referring to certain activities that don't necessarily take place on the dance floor.

And even if that's not how kids hear it, should tiny-tot Smurf fans really be soaking up "dance with your date all night long" party messages … from Britney Spears?

Nudging aside those niggles, at least Ms. Spears' latest is one of the sweeter things she's done recently, affirming that even a crush doesn't have to depend on movie star looks, a millionaire's bank account or a Rodeo drive wardrobe.

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June 17, 2013

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Adam R. Holz

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