The story of Britney Spears’ new video for “Radar” is a strange one: The song was originally the third track on Brit’s 2007 album Blackout and charted that year on the Hot 100. Then it inexplicably reappeared in its exact same form as a bonus track to 2008’s Circus (Spears’ publicist responded it was the same version when RS reviewed Circus last year). Now, in 2009, “Radar” returns once again as a music video. For a song that’s been around so long, you’d expect that better ideas would have percolated during its video’s pre-production stages — especially after the great clips for “Womanizer,” “Circus” and “If U Seek Amy” — but instead we’re treated to Spears’ weakest video since the disastrous “Gimme More” spot.
The plot is eerily similar too, with the Dave Meyers-directed video essentially copycatting Madonna’s “Take A Bow” video. Instead of falling in love with a matador like the Material Girl, Spears has her eye on a polo player. While Madonna dressed the role of a distressed aristocratic senorita in the stands, Spears’ wardrobe and giant hat mirror the elite at the Kentucky Derby. Instead of montage shots of bulls, we see horses. The major difference here is that there’s a love triangle, even though none of the people involved actually seem to like each other as they stare vacantly off camera half the time. It feels like they took a 30-second commercial for one of Spears’ perfumes and turned it into a four-minute music video.
So where does Britney’s “Radar” rank in the pantheon of all her music videos? Is it better than “Lucky,” another video Meyers helmed for Spears? Check out Rolling Stone‘s Britney Spears: The Complete Video Guide and judge for yourself.