1.) Britney Spears – Hold It Against Me
“Hold It Against Me” is THE song of 2011, if for nothing but the breakdown alone.
But it’s not just the breakdown: Every single beat, every single syllable (“little hay-zay!”) of the song surges with a heart-racing burst of adrenaline–from the song’s gritty pulse to its nearly a capella twinkling chorus, which at last explodes into one glorious, stomping affair during the song’s final minute.
While “Till The World Ends” is probably the actual song of the year in terms of sales and overall recognition (“Hold It Against Me” didn’t last as long on the charts as Britney’s subsequent Femme Fatale single), it was the strongest assertion yet that, once again, Britney was back.
The song ushered in the new era of Britney, inspired the dub-pop movement that permeates Top 40 radio today, and sounds as fresh and forward-thinking as the day it premiered. Ladies and gentlemen: The true pop revolution of 2011.
Would you hold it against me?
2.) Britney Spears – Till The World Ends
Ruminating on the apocalypse has never been quite so fun: With its arena-sized rallying chants (“Ooh-ooh-oh-oh-oh-OOH-ooh!”), stinging electro beats and those utterly killer Ke$ha-penned hooks, “Till The World Ends” not only armed Britney with her very own defining party anthem of 2011, but the highest charting radio song of her entire career. Now THAT is something worth dancing about.
13) Britney Spears – I Wanna Go
16.) Britney Spears – Criminal
1. Britney Spears – Femme Fatale
Despite everything that’s ever been called into question–her dancing, her lip-syncing, her ability to read off of a cue card–only one thing has always remained (and until I’m proven wrong, will always remain) true about Britney Spears…
The music has never stopped being incredible.
From the rallying chants of the Ke$ha-penned “Till The World Ends” to the final heartfelt cries of “Criminal,” Spears’ seventh studio album, Femme Fatale, is a ceaselessly catchy record filled with explosive, surging uptempo cuts (“I Wanna Go”), quirky mid-tempos (“How I Roll”) and racy odes to ex-sexin’ (“Inside Out”) that remain fresh and innovative to this day.
By employing both longtime collaborators (Max Martin, Dr. Luke, Bloodshy & Avant), as well as some relative newcomers to the Spears circle (Fraser T. Smith, Will.I.Am), the reigning pop princess dove deep into modern club beats, weird Swede-pop textures, and gritty dubstep influences to craft a cutting-edge collection of future-pop tunes–all while maintaining that unmistakably “Britney” sound.
The dubstep breakdown of “Hold It Against Me” alone–the album’s lead single which immediately rocketed to #1 upon release in January (and remains as fresh to the ears as the day it debuted)–has since led to an entire wave of dubstep-infused Top 40 pop, now heard on songs like Flo Rida‘s “Good Feeling” and Rihanna‘s “You Da One.”
Femme Fatale celebrates the very essence of pop music, affirming for the seventh time why Britney Spears is the ultimate pop star of our generation. But she’s Britney (bitch), and none of this should come as much of a surprise. After all, there’s a certain catchphrase I coined from back in the very beginning of the year that will forever ring true…
2011: YEAR OF THE SPEARS.
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