Britney Spears Hold Me Closer: Fans react as singer releases first new single in seven years
It also marks the 40-year-old popstar’s musical debut after the 13-year conservatorship that controlled most aspects of her life ended last year.
The track Hold Me Closer is a duet with Sir Elton John and mixes his 1971 hit Tiny Dancer with other songs from the music legend’s back catalogue, including The One and Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.
Fans had been waiting with bated breath since the collaboration was first announced earlier this month and rushed to social media to share their thoughts after finally getting to hear the results.
“The Princess of Pop is back!” declared one.
“OBSESSED,” remarked another, with a third hailing Hold Me Closer a “joyous, nostalgic record”.
“No but Hold Me Closer NEEDS to be a hit! We NEED to help remind Britney Spears of who she is and what she has done for pop music and so many of us around the world.. this makes me so emotional,” added a fourth.
Not everyone was quite as enthusiastic, however.
“Underwhelmed and sad,” wrote one, adding that they “now need a drink”.
“An auto-tuned mess,” said another critic.
Regardless, it looks like Hold Me Closer is on track to be a hit after shooting to the top of iTunes charts around the globe shortly after its release on Friday.
Speaking about teaming up with the Toxic singer, Sir Elton, 75, said he hoped it would help to restore her confidence in making music.
“It’s hard when you’re young. Britney was broken. I was broken when I got sober. I was in a terrible place,” he told The Guardian.
“I’ve been through that broken feeling and it’s horrible, and, luckily enough, I’ve been sober for 32 years and it’s the happiest I’ve ever been.
“Now, I’ve got the experience to be able to advise people and help them because I don’t want to see any artists in a dark place.
“A lot of artists, you’d think they’d have a lot of self-esteem, but they don’t, and that’s why we go on stage and we get the applause, and then we come off stage and we’re back to square one.”