After a six-year hiatus, Britney Spears made her musical comeback on Friday with the release of ‘Hold Me Closer’, her collaboration with Elton John.
The song, an EDM remake of John’s 1971 hit “Tiny Dancer,” marks Spears’ first new release since last November’s legal win that freed her from the 13-year-old conservatory that ruled her career and personal life.
Last year, Spears revealed she was stepping away from music and performing after the conservatory “killed my dreams.” Her latest album, “Glory”, was released in 2016.
She added that she wanted to “be fearless like when I was younger.”
John said he was inspired to join forces with Spears by his husband, David Furnish, adding that he believes their duet will give her a much-needed confidence boost after such a “traumatic time”.
“I’m so excited to be able to do it with her because if it’s a big hit, and I think it is, it’ll give her so much more confidence than she already has and she’ll realize that people really love her.” and take care of her and want her to be happy,” he said in an interview with The Guardian newspaper.
A quick scan of social media and it looks like fans are happy with the joint release.
“Such a cool, beautiful song, you guys make a great team! We’ve missed you so much Brit, you can’t imagine how happy I am to hear you sing again,” wrote one fan on Twitter.
Another said: “Welcome back!!!! Hold me closer is fantastic! You sound so good!”
However, opinion among music critics was more divided.
The Guardian’s Michael Cragg gives the song a four-star rating, noting that Spears throws “a few playful ‘yes’, ad libs that feel like real shouts of joy rather than the robotic maneuvers of someone moving from the studio to the waiting car is shuttled.”
He adds that “Spears seems to suggest that she will find that for herself in music again. Even if this is a one-off – and who can blame her if she doesn’t want to return to pop music full-time – feels enough.”
According to Vogue’s Christian Allaire, “There’s something about Britney’s voice and a dance number that just goes extremely well together — like red wine and a basket of bread. She does things with her vocal tone that all the other pop girls just can’t. That’s why she’s the real one.” pop princess.”
In the English Times, however, reviewer Will Hodgkinson wrote not so enthusiastically. While saying that “Britney Spears’ return should be welcomed with open arms,” he described “Hold Me Closer” as a “bloodless remix” that “gives no room for Spears to shine while killing the magic of the original.” “