Britney Spears: Hold It Against Me
Spears’ return to pop scene with a slightly predictable dance-pop teaser
Group-think may be controlling the somersault of synthpop on the airwaves now, much like disco did in 1979, but Britney Spears’ comeback has very little to do with style and all about timing. After a resurgence of popularity with a Glee-ful TV special, Spears’ backers had no other choice but to mark their calendars for a new single and album. “Hold It Against Me,” the first from her upcoming 2011 album, is half-techno dance and half-ballad, a careful Max Martin-Dr. Luke production that allows Spears to penetrate the dance floor while unsteadily pausing the song long enough for some adult-contemporary filler on the chorus. It’s still a flirty pop tune with Janet appeal, cat-and-mouse lyrics (“If I said I want your body now/Would you hold it against me?”) and some AC/DC riffs, but deep beneath the track the gimmicks tend to ring loud. Britney’s kitty phrasing on the middle are exaggerated and the sexual moans are predictable. A few extra ad-libs on the closer would have set Spears apart from the Ke$ha pack. Vocally, Spears could have made this single spark. If she was only ballsy enough to do so.
J MATTHEW COBB
BRITNEY SPEARS: HOLD IT AGAINST ME