Single Review: Britney Spears & Pharrell Williams “Boys (Co-Ed Remix)”

Boys (Co-ed Remix)
Album: Austin Powers in Goldmember Soundtrack
Year: 2002

In the third Austin Powers movie, “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” he accidently steps into a Britney Spears music video. She dances around him, lip-synching to “Boys” and then approriately turns into a fembot. It was slide-spitting funny because it was true: she cues the goofy expressions and says the practiced dialogue all without knowing what the subtext is.

However, “Boys (Co-ed Remix)” is simply text. In the single, Britney notices a hot guy in the club and suggestively dances with him.

Spears starts with the usual standard intro. She purrs as though as she is in heat and tells him it’s fate that they have met at the club. Her wait for the perfect, hot man is finished since she has seen him. (“For whatever reason, I feel like I’ve been wanting you all my life/You don’t understand/I’m so glad we’re at the same place at the same time/It’s over now

She saw him dancing and noticed how he attracts other girls with his moves. She compliments his lips, eyes, and hair. (“I spotted you dancin’/You made all the girls stare/Those lips and your brown eyes/And the sexy hair”). She thinks that if she dances next to him, the other girls will be jealous. (“I should shake my thang/Make the world want you”). She takes him aside and whispers to him that she wants to be alone with him. (“Tell your boys you’ll be back/I wanna see what you can do”).

She asks what she needs to do in order to sleep with him. She butters him up by saying they were meant for each other. She plays the virgin/whore card and adds they can bump and grind the entire night, causing the entire club awe-struck by their sexiness. (“What would it take for you to just leave with me?/Not trying to sound conceited but/You and me were meant to be/You’re a sexy guy, I’m a nice girl/Let’s turn this dance floor into our own little nasty world”).

In the chorus, she says that a girl sometimes needs a boy for affection and for confidence. (“Boys!/Sometimes a girl just needs one (You know I need you)/Boys!/To love her and to hold (I just want you to touch me)/Boys!/And when a girl is with one (Mmm)/Boys!/Then she’s in control!”).

In the remix, Pharrell takes the second verse instead of Spears. Whereas, in the original it continues where she left off: leaving with dream boy. However, Pharrell speaks from his own point of view. He stops dancing with the girl he was with and sees Spears looking his way. She’s whispering in the ear of the friend and eyeing him at the same time. She whispers something in his ear but can’t hear it. He likes how she carries herself in a sexual way. (“Pull the girl off the dance floor/Whisper in ear/Must’ve said somethin’ bout me (What you say)/Cos now she’s lookin’ over here/You lookin’ at me (He He He)/With that sexy attitude”). He’s getting turned on by her dance moves. (“But the way your girls movin’ it/It puts me in the mood”).

He asks her how he has to impress her to take her home. He thinks it’s fate that they met, too. Pharrell namechecks his group, N.E.R.D. and then realizes it’s Britney it’s like. He asks her to dance with him. (“What would it take for you to just leave with me?/Not trying to sound conceited/But meeting you was destiny/I’m from N.E.R.D, aren’t you Britney? (Don’t you know?)/Let’s turn this dance floor into our own little nasty thing (Get Nasty!”).

Pharrell has the second chorus. He says that although he can’t speak for every guy, he needs Britney. He tells his friend that although he may not speaking about his girlfriend, he’s thinking of her. (“Girls!/I can’t speak for no one (I get nasty)/Girls!/But I need her all the time (It’s just me and you baby)/Girls!/I don’t know ’bout your girl/Girls!/But I know she’s on your mind (Get Nasty”).

Britney adds that the guy doesn’t have to be shy and she wants to see him move, which is not in the original version. (“Have no Fear/Baby what you waiting for?…Let me see what you can do”). Britney then says she can’t live with or without boys while Pharrell chimes in with “girls!” (“Boys/Girls…Boys (Can’t live with them)/Girls/Boys (can’t live without them”).

Pharrell’s remix is more R&B than pop, unlike the original. The music accompanying it gives the single a mature, sensual tone which was lacking in the album version. Pharrell, by taking over the second verse and the next chorus, shows he’s the real reason to listen to the remix. He fully sings the chorus, putting Spears’ heavy breathing and grunting to shame.


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