In the pursuit of some higher objectivity, let's declare a bias: This particular blogger wishes nothing for Britney Spears so much as a truly excellent single, if not one quite on the majestic order of "Toxic" — because, real talk, what's on the order of "Toxic"? It's too high a bar — at least a song that throws some elbows at "Hit Me Baby," "Oops," and "Stronger" in an attempt to make room for itself in the Spears canon. Alas, Spears's new single "Hold It Against Me" does not belong in such vaunted company. This despite the fact that it has been produced by Dr. Luke and Max Martin, has an undercover killer of a chorus that plays like the sweetie pie "Sometimes" got remixed as a dance track, and also contains a doozy of a double entendre. (Chorus: “If I said my heart was beating loud / If we could escape the crowd somehow / If I said I want your body now / Would you hold it against me?" Um, excuse me, hold what against you exactly?) What's bringing this song down — and, fair warning, it's not bringing it down far enough to keep it from getting stuck in your head — is a mess of a spoken-word bridge that sounds like dozens of effects, including Spears's voice, have been thrown into the Cuisinart, and similarly overstuffed verses that don't play nearly as power-pop clean as the far superior chorus. While this song is fun enough to dance to at a club and rock out to in a car, Spears isn't really going to be in top form until she can prevail on Dr. Luke and Max Martin to sell her the higher-quality stuff they're currently dealing to Katy and Avril.
Most Watched on Vulture
Most Viewed Stories
J. Cole Just Wants to Be Himself
John Legend, Janelle Monáe, and Others Excuse Themselves From Kanye West’s Twitter Narrative
Cosby Barked Like a Dog in Court Today
Janelle Monáe Comes Out in Rolling Stone Interview
The Handmaid’s Tale Season-Premiere Recap: Godspeed, June
The Real Housewives of New York City Recap: ‘Til Death Do Us Party
How Many Marvel Movies Do I Have to See Before Infinity War?
The Americans Recap: The Breaking Point
Cosby Denies Being a Flight Risk After Guilty Verdict: ‘I Don’t Have a Private Plane, You Asshole!’
Why Thanos Doesn’t Woo a Sexy Skeleton in Avengers: Infinity War
Latest News from VultureTheater Review: The Iceman Cometh Needeth Rethinking
Does it even earn its status as a classic?All 31 Video-Game Movies, Ranked From Least Bad to Absolute Worst
It’s time to stop judging video-game movies the way we judge other movies, and instead start weighing them exclusively against their peers.Bryan Singer Goes Unmentioned During Fox’s Unveiling of Queen Biopic Bohemian Rhapsody
At CinemaCon, Fox unveiled one of its heretofore under wraps projects: Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Rami Malek.Tessa Thompson and Lily James Get ‘Emotional’ Talking About Playing Sisters
“This movie broke my heart.”Who’s the Arrested Development Character That Pops Up in Infinity War?
It’s …Cosby Denies Being a Flight Risk After Guilty Verdict: ‘I Don’t Have a Private Plane, You Asshole!’
He’s been placed on house arrest.Duck Butter Is an Almost Overwhelmingly Intimate Romantic Comedy
Alia Shawkat stars in and co-wrote this account of a 24-hour relationship.The Utter Shock of Philip and Paige’s Fight on The Americans
The father-daughter sparring match is instantly one of the show’s most memorable scenes.5 Best New Songs of the Week
Ariana Grande is quickly proving herself one of her generation’s most important pop stars.Kelis Reveals That Nas Allegedly Abused Her Throughout Their Marriage
“I didn’t say anything, because I wanted things to work, and because I was delusional.”
On Hilton’s debut album, “literally every song was sick. There was no fillers.”Cosby Found Guilty on All Counts in Sexual-Assault Retrial
He now faces up to 10 years for each of the three counts.Women Are Keeping Dancehall Fresh
The genre has long been a difficult place for women to work, but now that’s changing in a major way.Cosby Barked Like a Dog in Court Today
Unexpected.Silicon Valley’s Jimmy O. Yang on How Crazy Rich Asians Changed His Life
“We’re like the new Asian mafia.”What’s Leaving Showtime: May 2018
Babe lovers, unite!Michael Che and Colin Jost Will Host a Very SNL Emmys
The September 17 telecast will include “surprise appearances by other cast members of Saturday Night Live.”The Habitat Is a Charming Podcast About Interplanetary Dreamers Writers Really Love Seeing People Being Courteous on the Subway
Plus other things we learned from a questionnaire given to the five One Book, One New York contenders. (Big fans of Wild Wild Country.)The Best British Spy Shows to Stream Right Now
Espionage and escapism, what more can you ask for?