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Britney Spears' 'Hold It Against Me': A comeback single?
Spears' new song has fans hoping the erstwhile pop princess is back in top form, but some critics are dismayed by the song's muddled grooves
 
Britney Spears' first single since her public meltdown three years ago has dropped and critics are split.
Britney Spears' first single since her public meltdown three years ago has dropped and critics are split.
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The audio: Since Britney Spears' public meltdown in early 2008, fans have been asking if the rehabbed star could record another album on par with career highs such as Oops! I Did It Again (2000) or In the Zone (2003). Critics are asking the same question as Spears drops "Hold It Against Me," the first single from a new album scheduled for a March release. (Listen to a clip, below.) Does the song "[reaffirm] Spears as a genuine pop star, and one of the artists who laid the foundations for the likes of Katy Perry and Lady Gaga" as one blogger suggests? 
The reaction:
While I'd love to say that Britney's new single is in the same league as classic hits like "Hit Me Baby" and "Oops," says Willa Paskin in New York, I can't. Its flaws include "a mess of a spoken-word bridge that sounds like dozens of effects, including Spears' voice, have been thrown into the Cuisinart." Producers Dr. Luke and Max Martin may be selling their "higher-quality stuff" to younger pop stars like Katy Perry, while throwing Britney their mediocre scraps. It starts well, says Michael Cragg in The Guardian, then "has a meltdown around the two-minute mark... " Say what you like, says Brad Wete in Entertainment Weekly , the song "is classic Britney — that is to say the vocal performance is far from stellar, but it serves as a nice accessory to the duo's thumping Euro techno groove." Listen for yourself:

 

 

 

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