Like “bees to the hon-ayyy,” as Britney Spears sings on her new Iggy Azalea collaboration “Pretty Girls,” pop and pop-rap fans are likely to swarm this slick slice of electro-hop, which pulls off the blonde-bombshell pairing by playing to each of its artists’ strengths. Spears sounds more animated in her two minutes of action here than on the entirety of 2013’s Britney Jean album, toying with the speed of her vocal delivery while cheekily recounting her adventures as an untouchable sex symbol (“Every time I walk out of my house it’s like, ‘Hey baby!’/They don’t see me rolling my eyes”).
Meanwhile, Azalea admirably plays the Pippen to Spears’ Jordan, dishing assists on the pre-chorus before anchoring the back half of the single with eight snappy bars; she even tips her cap to her co-star by ending her verse with, “All of the boys begging Britney, hit ’em one more time.”
While Spears and Azalea dutifully share the spotlight for the track, the song’s real stars might be the Invisible Men, the production trio that helped Iggy break through in the U.S. with “Fancy.” “Pretty Girls” boasts the same deep synth stabs as “Fancy” (with an admittedly less memorable progression), and Spears’ gleefully snotty delivery on the chorus recalls Charli XCX’s from-L.A.-to-Tokyo refrain. However, the structure of “Pretty Girls” differs just enough from “Fancy” that the new song evokes last year’s song of the summer without coming across as an exact replica. The Invisible Men have bestowed Azalea with another stylish banger — and this time, she has a very famous copilot helping her stick the landing.