Sunday, February 20, 2011

HOLD IT AGAINST ME : Music Video Review

Alright, kids. For today’s course in Critical Thinking, we present Britney Spears’ new video for “Hold It Against Me,” which was just unleashed onto the world on Thursday night, and it’s ripe with self-reflective symbolism.

In the epic 4-minute plus clip, we see worlds collide and one woman standing at its center: Britney, in all her long blonde, bare-bellied glory. After starting a typical writhing around with male backup dancers routine (just how we like it), things take a turn for the weird.

Britney is the futuristic queen of this world, much like she was in 2000’s “Oops!..I Did It Again,” except she’s more like the white queen of media (sorry, Perez) in this screen-based society.
On the screens (which, just so you know, were sponsored by SONY. You want to buy a SONY), Britney’s got her near-entire videography, including her early clips for “..Baby One More Time” and “Sometimes.”
So when Britney sings “If we could escape the crowd somehow,” it takes on a whole new meaning. The crowd of cameras? Screens with her own inescapable image?

We see Britney surrounded by microphones upon microphones, where we start to see there’s a darker side to Britney than just ripped-denim and hip-shaking. But we all knew that, right?
Britney rises to the top of her pop video world in her long white-flowing dress before we near a musical breakdown, and well, what seems like a personal one as well (you might have to pause to check out her nightmarish joker smile just before it goes down).

Britney’s tubed fingers shoot paint all-over her seemingly perfect white dress and her early, sweet-faced but “not that innocent” images. At the same time, Britney gets into an all-out, kung fu fight with who else? Herself. There, it’s a battle to the death (and in heels!).

Beyond all the double-meanings and self-combating, we’re left in the end with Britney the performer, who’s still in the middle of this camera-filled “Circus” so many years later. 13 years since she first hit the scene with that “..Baby One More Time” video, in fact.

Yet she’s still got us trying to explain why she’s got such a grasp on pop music and pop culture after all this time. But whatever the reason, we’re happy to enter Britney’s world again and again and we definitely can’t hold it against her for that.

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