Saturday, 15 January 2011

How long could I get away without mentioning Britney?

...Not very long! Now I'll admit, I've always found Britney's single releases to be hit and miss, but you can't ignore the fact that each era has thrown up at least one pop classic - Baby One More Time, Oops...I Did It Again!, I'm A Slave 4 U, Toxic, Gimme More, Womanizer and this time around Hold it Against Me. An absolute triumph of a comeback single, Max Martin and Dr Luke working together never results in an end product that is anything less than spectacular. Surely the two most on form songwriter/producers in the world, they have an uncanny knack to move forward with every trend, never sounding tired or sticking too long to the same sound (Timbaland/RedOne). It became clear at some point during last year that dubstep would be the 'sound of 2011'. So the pair, who have dabbled in clunky piano pop in the late 90's, pop/rock in the mid 00's and electro-pop and urban-dance more recently have turned their hand to the genre. And who better to bring it into the mainstream than Britney Spears?

Hold It Against Me seems understated at first, a chorus perhaps not as instant as those on the hits that she is famed for. But the production hits you straight away. The crashing intro and first verse clearly borrows from Eurodance, my first thoughts were that it sounded like a more fierce version of In My Eyes by Milk Inc. Fast forward through various 'Britney-isms' such as her pronunciation of hazy ('hazaay') and a spoken/sung middle eight, leading to what is already destined to be 2011's best breakdown, only two weeks into the year! Dubstep pulses and electro synths simmer before exploding back into that chorus, which by the third listen is guaranteed to have you hooked and coming back for more. Her ever loyal (sometimes scarily so) fanbase unsurprisingly believe that this is the best thing since sliced bread, and for the first time since Toxic, they could well be justified.

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