Britney Spears fans go wild for first new music in six years – but critics are divided
Britney Spears has returned to music with the release of Hold Me Closer, which is a collaboration with Sir Elton John – and fans are loving the new single which is a remix of two of his older songs
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Britney Spears’ husband plays her collab song with Elton John
Britney Spears‘ husband Sam Asghari has been among those sharing excitement over the pop star releasing her first new music since the end of her conservatorship.
The singer, 40, has collaborated with Sir Elton John, 75, for Hold Me Closer – a mash-up remix of his songs Tiny Dancer and the One – which was released today (August 26).
It marks Britney’s return to music since the end of her conservatorship last year and has sparked excitement as her comeback, with her last album having been released in 2016.
Her fans are thrilled over the new single and her husband Sam, 28, has also expressed his pride over the project in posts on Instagram this morning following its release.
Britney Spears has returned to music with a collaboration with Sir Elton John
( Getty Images for EJAF)
Her husband Sam Asghari has shared his pride over the project
Taking to his Instagram Story earlier, the actor wrote alongside a screenshot of the song being played on a phone: “Words can’t describe how f***ing proud I am”.
He further shared his pride about the newly-released single in a follow-up post, which included a photo of its artwork as well as a video of it being playing inside a car.
Sam – who tied the knot with Britney in June this year – wrote in the accompanying caption of the second post: “Proud husband moment. I will be listening to this all night”.
Sam – who married Britney earlier this year – said he will be listening to Hold Me Closer all night
( Getty Images for GLAAD)
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He isn’t alone in loving the new single, with fans taking to social media to share their appreciation. One person tweeted: “Absolutely adore [it]. It’s a certified bop”.
Another said: “Britney’s back and she saved the last part of summer”. Whilst one person praised: “It’s amazing. I’m obsessed”. Another said: “Welcome back [Britney].”
“[It’s] a whole f***ing bop. I truly wasn’t sure if I’d ever hear new [Britney] vocals. Thank you queen,” said one fan. Another said: “[It’s] pure gold. I’m in tears. Waited years for this moment”.
Elton has said she ‘sang fantastically’ on the track
( Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
The response from music critics hasn’t been as favourable though. The Telegraph‘s Neil McCormick said it was “missing Britney’s signature sass” and her vocals were “barely audible”.
He gave it 1 out of 5 stars and said it’s “very much less than the sum of its parts” as it’s “cobbled together from two far better songs”.
The Times‘ Will Hodgkinson gave it the same rating, saying that the performers “ruined song”.
The Guardians‘ Michael Cragg however was alligned with much of the fan reaction, giving it four out of 5 stars and suggesting that a “star is reborn” with the release of the song.
He further commented that its a “reworking of two pop classics but filled with a power and poignancy of its own,” adding that “hearing [Britney] sing again feels like a real moment”.
The song marks Britney’s music comeback since her conservatorship ended
( AFP via Getty Images)
Britney – who recently deactivated her Instagram account – wrote about the project on Twitter earlier this week ahead of Hold Me Closer being released this morning.
“My first song in 6 years. It’s pretty damn cool that I’m singing with one of the most classic men of our time. I’m kinda overwhelmed. It’s a big deal to me,” she tweeted.
Her last album, Glory, was released in 2016 and included the singles Make Me, featuring G-Eazy, and Slumber Party, featuring Tinashe. They were released six years ago.
The album was later re-released in 2020 with some new songs, including Matches – which was a collaboration with the Backstreet Boys. It was released as a single that year.
Matches is understood to have only appeared on digital charts and is said to have been recorded years earlier – with her 2016 singles credited as her last new music prior to Hold Me Closer.
Fans are thrilled by the release of Hold Me Closer
Elton has opened up about working with Britney, saying that she “sang fantastically” on Hold Me Closer and commenting he hopes the song restores her confidence.
He told the Guardian: “She’s been away so long – there’s a lot of fear there because she’s been betrayed so many times and she hasn’t really been in the public eye officially for so long.”
The musician – who revealed that the idea to collaborate with Britney came from his husband David Furnish – said she’s been supported throughout the making of Hold Me Closer.
He added: “I’m so excited to be able to do it with her because if it is a big hit, and I think it may be, it will give her so much more confidence than she’s got already and she will realise that people actually love her and care for her and want her to be happy.”
The project comes following his popular collaboration with Dua Lipa for the single Cold Heart (Pnau remix) last year, which was a remix of previous songs including Rocket Man.
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