There's not real anything you can hold against Britney with her new single, her first since 2009. It has a pretty little chorus, one that recalls the bubblegum-teenage-dream-pop of yore, pulses along to a thunderous eurodance rhythm designed to shatter gay club speakers (and one that will no doubt be diluted by Cahill, Freemasons and the like to tone this down, I can already hear the Bimbo Jones take) and even has the audacity to chuck in a bizarre Die Hard dubstep middle 8. She's worked with a ton of producers and it shows. Dare I say, on first listen, the track seems a little bit confused and overlong.
But with repeated listens, beware. How do you know a Britney single from a single from any other female artist? It's like pop-crack, whilst, say, the younger Katy Perry can only manage pop-pro-plus. Now in 2011, her itsy bitsy voice has become immortal and every time you hear it, you hear that girl from "Baby one More Time" and somehow, every lyric she utters becomes instantly and unavoidably iconic. For an individual who is accused of losing her talent, she will have the one thing most artists long for all their careers: Presence.
So what if "Hold it Against Me" is a bit of a mish-mash of a load of producers ideas? It works because it's a half good track at least, and that's all that's needed for Britney to alleviate it to what will probably become of the biggest singles of 2011. Lord help us all.