The popstar's ''Womanizer'' may have its flaws, but it could be the true jumpstart for her comeback

By Margeaux Watson
October 17, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT

Britney Spears is back with a video for ”Womanizer,” the first single from her next CD, Circus (out Dec. 2). The good news: It’s not a hot mess. But is it the beginning of an honest-to-God comeback? It looks promising. Given all her personal and professional missteps, Britney has a lot to atone for, and that’s going to take more than one good clip. At least ”Womanizer” hints she’s leaving behind the splotchy, Frappuccino-guzzling train wreck who dominated headlines for so long. The dancing is stiff and minimal, a disappointment since her moves are her strong suit. But this is a welcome return to the Britney we love — gorgeous, gyrating, greased up, and gamely playing the vamp. It’s a good start. And besides, if we could pardon Mariah for Glitter…well, anything’s possible, right?