The Pop Princess has returned!
Britney Spears made her musical comeback on Friday with the release of “Hold Me Closer,” her duet with Elton John, after a six-year absence.
The song, an EDM remake of John’s 1971 smash “Tiny Dancer,” is Spears’ first new release since the November legal triumph that released her from the 13-year conservatorship that had governed her business and personal life.
Spears claimed last year that she quit music and performing because the conservatory “destroyed my aspirations.” Her most recent album, “Glory,” was released in 2016.
Spears tweeted before the release of “Hold Me Closer” that she’s learning that “every day is a clean slate to strive and be a better person and do what makes me happy.”
She went on to say that she wanted to be “fearless like when I was younger.”
John stated that his spouse, David Furnish, motivated him to collaborate with Spears and that he feels their duet will provide her much-needed confidence boost after such a “difficult time.”
“I’m delighted to be able to do it with her because if it’s a great hit, which I think it will be, it will give her so much more confidence than she already has and she will understand that people truly love her and care about her and want her to be happy,” he told the Guardian newspaper.
A brief peek at social media shows that people are ecstatic about the collaboration.
“Such great, gorgeous music; you two form an excellent combo! We’ve missed you so much, Brit, and you have no idea how joyful it makes me hear you sing again “On Twitter, one admirer wrote:
Another person stated: “Thank you for returning!!! Hold me closer is just great! You sound fantastic!”
Music reviewers, on the other hand, were split.
The Guardian’s Michael Cragg gives the song four stars, noting that Spears “throws in a few joyful ‘years,’ ad-libs that feel like true yelps of ecstasy rather than the robotic moves of someone being shuttled from studio to waiting vehicle.”
He continues, “Spears appears to be hinting towards rediscovering herself through music. Even if this is a one-time thing – who can blame her if she doesn’t want to return to pop full-time – it’s plenty.”
Christian Allaire of Vogue says, “Something about Britney’s vocals and dance music just seems to go together like red wine and a basket of bread. She can accomplish things with her vocal tone that no other pop lady can. That is why she is the genuine pop princess.”
Will Hodgkinson of the UK’s Times, on the other hand, was less thrilled. He criticized “Hold Me Closer” as a “bloodless remix” that “gives little space for Spears to shine while also ruining the charm of the original,” while stating “the return of Britney Spears should be welcomed with open arms.”