Britney Spears’ music video for “Hold It Against Me” hit earth with a splash on February 17, 2011. Whether it sinks or swims is largely in the hand of YouTube users who gauge music video popularity based on a mixture of video views, likes and dislikes. As of early morning February 18th, “Hold It Against Me” was YouTube’s most discussed video of the day after debuting on MTV at 9:55pm EST following much pomp and circumstance over the past several days. Based on the end result, the big build-up seems sort of silly as “Hold It Against Me” is high on production but low on flavor.
The video for “Hold It Against Me” creates an atmosphere from the start through the use of a view of earth from space and retro futuristic fonts. After a flaming celestial body (Britney Spears’) scorches towards earth, the music starts in force.
After the 1980s version of the future fades, the main theme of the video progresses to Britney vs. Britney. Cameras, microphones, studio lights and monitors surround the sets while Britney does her thing in the open areas. At times she is Britney in Wonderland surrounded by different versions of the girl and woman she has been in the past, while at other times she is just Britney in her stage outfits surrounded by back-up dancers. The key exception to these two main themes are the moments when Britney vs. Britney in a woman on woman fight more than a little reminiscent of female on female fighting in the classic Mortal Kombat arcade games – don’t be surprised if you find yourself reaching for extra quarters and the joystick.
Plenty of Product
Christina Aguilera received flack in the summer of 2010 for blatant product promotion in her video for “Not Myself Tonight.” “Hold It Against Me” makes the placement in that video look subtle. Suffice it to say that Britney proved she could moonlight on the HSN if need be as she displayed her fragrance, mineral make-up and the Plenty of Fish website on a Sony screen to excessive excess.
Hair and Make-Up
Britney looked mostly lovely throughout the video in the heightened luminescent way fans have seen the singer presented in the videos for “Circus” and “Stronger,” but, overall, her stylization was the typical Britney look. Red lipstick does make a striking appearance in a few frames. Taking a number from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, parts of the song are sung from lips alone with no face present. In a few different places, it is quite evident that the songstress is wearing a wig – not exactly something one expects to see in a music video where a wig isn’t a stylization point but rather a supplement to natural hair.
While the previews left fans wondering if Britney would be a bit more glamtastic in “Hold It Against Me” than in past videos, the reality of the video is typical dance bodysuits and two-pieces. Even nifty accessories like a cartridge belt, plastic tube fingernail extensions and designer-esque necklaces didn’t set Britney’s look drastically apart from previous efforts.
Immediately after filming “Hold It Against Me,” Britney was accused of using a body double for her dancing sequences as reported by The Daily Mail. It looks like this assumption may have been based on the fact that a body double was apparently used in the clips where Britney was fighting herself or her past fame. Otherwise, Britney did her own dancing to the extent that she dances anymore. Britney hasn’t really kept up with her back-up dancers since the music video for “Me Against the Music,” and “Hold It Against Me” is no different. When the ensemble dancers hit the floor, Britney remains standing. When they go low, Britney ends up doing a front bend or a low squat with a dancing motion to it. When the motions are fast, Britney is shown at an odd angle or from the waist up.
Should fans hold this small issue against Britney? Certainly not. She does dance, just not to the level she once did. What she does continue to do to a high level of success is present catchy dance pop tunes to the masses. Britney Spears has shown time and time again that she is the ultimate survivor of the bubblegum pop explosion of the late 1990s and early 2000s.