Britney Spears released “Hold It Against Me” on this day (January 10) in 2011. Which means that the legendary bop is now 10 years old. (Let that sink in). While Circus is generally regarded as the pop icon’s best post-comeback album, Femme Fatale gets my vote. This opus is an embarrassment of riches with seven or eight perfect pop songs. A description that definitely applies to the lead single, which was co-penned by Bonnie McKee and produced by the dream team of Max Martin and Dr. Luke.
“Hey, over there, please forgive me if I’m coming on too strong,” Britney begins the banger over propulsive synths. “Hate to stare, but you’re winning and they’re playing my favorite song.” The song switches gears on the chorus, opting for pure-pop. “If I said my heart was beating loud, if we could escape the crowd somehow,” the enduring hitmaker coos. “If I said I want your body now, would you hold it against me?” Undeniable from the very first listen, it surprised absolutely no one when “Hold It Against Me” debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song not only topped the charts, it set a record for first-week digital sales, selling a whopping 411,000 downloads. (Adele would go on to break the record with “Hello”). Part of the bop’s massive appeal was the elaborate visual. Directed by Jonas Åkerlund, the blockbuster clip found Britney literally fighting herself and squirting paint all over a giant, white dress. When it comes to late ’00s/early ’10s electro-pop, “Hold It Against Me” is one of the best examples. Revisit the 10-year-old track below.