Britney Spears has released her first new music since being released from a conservatorship that controlled almost every aspect of her life.
Hold Me Closer – a duet with Sir Elton John – hit streaming sites on Friday, marking Spears’ return to music after a six-year hiatus.
“It’s pretty damn cool that I’m singing with one of the most classic men of our time,” she said ahead of the release.
“I’m kinda overwhelmed… it’s a big deal to me!”
The song incorporates three of Sir Elton’s classic hits – Tiny Dancer, The One and Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – over a summer-fresh club beat.
Spears and Sir Elton sing in unison throughout the track with their voices drenched in echo, making it hard to assess how Spears’ voice has changed since we last heard from her.
However, she lets loose with a few ad libs – including a trademark “baby” halfway through the track – that suggests her vocals have matured and deepened over the last six years. (An unsubstantiated fan theory contends this is Britney’s natural register, and that she was forced to sing in a “fake baby voice” by her former managers).