The issue that Britney has had over the last couple of years, aside from forgetting her panties, has been the ability to evolve and change to stay ahead of the others in her genre. Sadly, "Womanizer" won't help her in that direction either. It's a bland, repetitive "you've done me wrong song" that sounds like it was picked from the Rhianna discard pile. The big head scratcher with this song is the lack of hook. Britney has never really possessed a strong point of view so she desperately needs great pop writers to create a character for her a la "Baby, One More Time" and "Toxic". In lieu of being catchy, the song chooses the borderline annoying route having the songbird repeat the title over and over until your ready to rip your ears off.
The other mystery here is the production quality. It sounds so rushed it's as if it was recorded in some one's garage yesterday and released today. Her vocals are typical Britney and in that sense the song succeeds. She purrs in all the right places and sells it. After all, critiquing the singing on a Britney song is as irrelevant as judging a soap opera on it's acting.
Still, I find myself rooting for the girl. I want her to be back on top and think she has the stuff to do it and again it's a disappointment. The fundamental problem surrounding Britney, in my opinion, is her team. She needs to give smart and honest interviews. She needs to work with top notch songwriters and innovative producers. She needs to work with better stylists. Two of the first lessons in Madonna 101 are to surround yourself with talented people and show the fans a good time. "Womanizer" proves that although she might not be a train wreck anymore, she's far from graduating.