The world is abuzz talking about the new video by Britney Spears, “Hold It Against Me”, from her upcoming seventh studio album Femme Fatale. I have to admit – I had low expectations. I love her music, but I haven’t genuinely enjoyed a Britney video since 2004’s “Toxic” (and I don’t even care for that song that much, but the video is excellent). There was a lot of hype surrounding the video release as well, which made me even more concerned, especially after the recent disappointment of Lady GaGa’s new single (which was hyped to hell and back). All those feelings were put to rest when I watched the video premiere this morning.
Thanks to this Britney tumblr for making all these flawless GIFs!
The video opens with a comet hitting Earth. Some people say they think the comet is the “martian” Britney from her Oops! I Did It Again video, or that it represents Britney’s career taking off. I like to think it represents Britney’s higher self descending to the Earth. The titles roll, and Britney is seen dancing with back up in this absolutely killer outfit (above). Normally I’m not that into her outfits, but I am 100% in love with this. The shorts, the belt, that top, and the jacket she puts on after are all stunning. I want them all! I have to make a replica of this.
The cameras, editing shots, and product placement lead me to believe that this represents Britney in work mode. Over the course of the video, she starts to break down and go crazy little by little. These scenes are interspersed with ones of her being lifted up in a giant white dress, underneath from which apparently her faceless back up dancers are born. Surrounding her is a tower of TV screens featuring all of her old videos, like “Sometimes”, “…Baby One More Time” and so on.
As the bridge/breakdown begins, Britney shoots coloured liquid out of her fingertips and defaces the screens while collapsing slowly into the fabric of her giant dress. She’s destroying the images of her old self.
Then… the fight scene begins!
I was riveted the whole time here. The whole breakdown is just absolutely stunning. A lot of fans are complaining that they don’t understand this part. I think it’s fairly straightforward – new Britney (the Femme Fatale, or Britney’s higher self, or the REAL Britney) is fighting with the old Britney that the public seems to be clinging to. It could also represent an internal struggle – the version of Britney that the public sees fighting with how she is in her every day life.
The video finishes off with Britney and her back up dancers killing it on a stage while pyrotechnics and confetti burst around them.
I can’t see how anyone could say this video is less than stellar. I think this is the best thing she’s released since “Toxic”, and I’m not even into music videos that much. Despite my doubts, I was pleasantly surprised by everything – the cinematography, dancing, and those OUTFITS! I feel like I’ve watched Britney evolve into the sophisticated artist and “femme fatale” that she’s become now.
Speaking of the dancing, I know a lot of fans are disappointed because they’re waiting for Britney to return to how she danced when she was 17. First of all, this is my opinion, but I don’t think this song lends itself to that kind of Slave 4 U style dancing. Like Toxic (which didn’t have dancing in the video at all), it’s just not that kind of song. Second of all – I thought the dancing was great here! It’s no Satisfaction/Oops! I did it again performance, but its so much better than any of the videos from Circus or Blackout. I’m pleasantly surprised.
My only small criticism is the sheer amount of product placement featured in the online version (the version aired on TV had it removed). I actually don’t mind product placement, to be honest. That being said, it’s really heavy handed and in your face here, even more so than in Lady Gaga’s Telephone video – also directed by Jonas Åkerlund. I’m not sure if this is a Jonas Åkerlund thing, or if they simply needed the product placement to fund the video, which admittedly looks pretty high budget. The quick cuts were also pretty difficult to watch the first time I saw it (which is definitely an Åkerlund thing) but upon seeing it a second time, they didn’t bother me as much.
A present to bring you aural pleasure…
This is my acoustic guitar cover of Britney’s song “Everytime”! I know you will love listening to it as much as I loved making it. 😀 I wore my Batman dress and recorded it especially for this day!
The only thing I have to say now, is that I NEED a make up tutorial for the Hold It Against Me video!
Especially the scenes of her in the white dress! I’m hoping a make up guru out there will make one! Anybody?
I adore you all –