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EW rates Britney Spears' newest music video, ''Lucky''

Plus, we grade Papa Roach’s latest MTV clip and two more

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Britney Spears

The queen of teen pop has always tried to have it both ways when it comes to sex. In all of her photo shoots and videos she’s both an eye batting innocent and a devilish flirt. The ”Lucky” clip presents an equally manipulative hedge on fame. It literally gives us two Britneys: the down to earth narrator and the first class star bitch. The result lets Britney pretend she’s ”just like you,” while at the same time making sure no one forgets her privileged status. That’s not luck. That’s commercial calculation. Grade: C

? PAPA ROACH ”Last Resort”
Little is more personal than what teenagers hang on their bedroom walls. So it’s ironic that Papa Roach found real kids’ bedroom art to put on public display in their hit clip. The result doesn’t feel like a violation for two reasons: MTV represents a safe haven for most young people, and Roach’s song deals empathetically with an intensely intimate subject — suicide fantasies. By exposing teens’ inner lives to the mass media, Roach’s video makes the most hidden feelings acceptable — a noble feat. Grade: A

? KITTIE ”Charlotte”
Pop culture prizes romantic tension between bad boys and good girls but hardly ever allows the reverse. The clip from female metal act Kittie smashes that taboo to bits. The girls leer, sneer, and drool threateningly at a cowering, doe eyed boy (a wounded angel, no less). The moody cinematography (gray slate sky, moss green grass) increases the drama, as does the depiction of a maiden army, which is at once intrigued and horrified by the boy. The freakishness of the images nearly overshadows the gender statement. But it’s hard to fault any piece with this much visual dash. Grade: A-

Leave it to director/ murk meister David Fincher to enhance the mystery of an act, rather than lessen it, as most video auteurs do. After films like ”Fight Club,” he returns to music clips and creates just the right gothic mood for the band, aided by the decision to shoot them largely from behind. The result lets singer Maynard James Keenan adopt an old Miles Davis trick: By turning his back on the audience, he only makes us want him more. Grade: B+