(Un)Covered: Womanizer

Britney Spears vs The All-American Rejects By | April 5, 2017 at 1:00 PM

“Womanizer”
Writers: Nikeshia Briscoe, Rafael Akinyemi
Original Release Date: October 3, 2008

The world could use more girl power and, luckily, Britney Spears has already provided us with a theme song.

Considered Britney’s come-back song after her disastrous 2007 (by the way, can we take a minute to appreciate how well she recovered and reclaimed her status as pop princess, despite constant media scrutiny?), “Womanizer” is one heck of a catchy tune, and probably one of the most memorable from her sixth album, Circus. At first listen, it doesn’t seem to have any depth to it: the simple, repetitive chorus and pulsing electropop beat distract from how empowering it actually is. But Britney herself describes it as a “girl anthem”; the lyrics portray a woman who lets her womanizing man know that she’s onto him and he’s not going to get away with it. The song is easy to sing along to, and even easier to dance to—the fact that it’s all about girl power is just icing on the cake.

For whatever reason, The All-American Rejects decided to cover “Womanizer” and it’s obvious from their introduction to the song that they weren’t taking themselves—or the song—seriously. The toy accordion and the use of empty bottles as an instrument further prove how not-serious this cover is, but that doesn’t stop it from being fun. Stripped back like this, it sounds more like a fireside chant and less like a dancefloor jam. I like the way they blended the song with a snippet from The Turtles’ “Happy Together” in the last minute, because it works surprisingly well. My only issue with the cover is the way Tyson Ritter sounds condescending when singing the admittedly simple lyrics—I don’t think he heard it as a “girl anthem” at all.

As charming as toy accordions are, I’m going to have to side with Britney on this one. A danceable girl anthem is exactly what we need to hear in this day and age.