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Track Review

Britney Spears’ latest eyebrow-raising dalliance with naughtiness is as simple as it is shameless. Come on over, she tells one guy … and then another … for a threesome.

"One, two, three/Not only you and me/Got 180 degrees/And I’m caught in between." The implied obscenity of that chorus pretty much sums up the wayward ex-Mouseketeer’s newest No. 1 single, a dancey, robo-pop effort penned by Swedish über-producer Max Martin (the aural architect behind Britney’s breakthrough hit, "… Baby One More Time" way back in the last millennium).

Elsewhere on the track we hear sensual moaning and are subjected to Britney’s blithe rationalizations regarding her sexual mores—or utter lack thereof. "Three is a charm/I don’t see the harm," she coos at one point. Later, she claims, "What we do is innocent/Just for fun and nothin’ meant." Near the song’s conclusion, she suggests maybe adding a fourth person to the mix might spice things up even further.

If the song itself wasn’t bad enough—and it is—the video involving Britney and two male dancers amps things up even more in terms of racy imagery. E! Online said of the song and video, "Spears knows that a successful Britney is a raunchy Britney." And judging by the fact that "3" (the sole new track on the siren’s second greatest hits package, The Singles) went straight to the top of the charts, that sad assessment seems to be right on the money.

If there’s anything incongruous at all about "3," it’s the fact that the word sin dares to lurk within it. "Are you in?" Britney asks a would-be ménage à trois participant. Then she shrugs, "Livin’ in sin is the new thing."

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Debuted at No. 1, becoming Britney’s third chart-topping tune.

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September 29, 2009

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Adam R. Holz

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