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39. Britney Spears – Toxic



If pop histories were written solely about ability, Britney’s decade would not be headlined by bald-headed substance abuse and multiple marriages, but by Toxic. The high watermark of a sporadically brilliant career, Toxic is a hugely confident and ambitious record, but despite its lofty goals it never overreaches itself. Right across the song, Britney is incredibly sexy, but never in a forced way – both her breathy and brazen deliveries do exactly what’s required, and then a little more. Similarly, the production attempts some frankly bizarre tricks for a pop single, but always pulls them off: screeching backwards strings, anyone? Proto-dubstep bassline? Played for, and got, it would seem. Add this musical virtuosity to the dazzling video clip and you have an utterly self-assured and complete package. History, they say, is written by victors – while Britney might’ve lost a great deal of battles this decade, Toxic is one hell of a win.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kat Arney permalink
    16/11/2009 10:26 am

    This is an insanely good pop record – good choice.

  2. drunkerthanpaula permalink
    30/04/2010 6:20 am

    i definitely agree. Many people think any list with Britney on is a joke, but they’re too big of a music snob to realize she actually has a great pop instinct.

    Toxic has a killer hook and it actually suggests a “danger” feel from it, a song that is itself provocative in lyrics and structure. Very few dance-pop songs can do it nowadays.

    And the video is kick-ass. Lame storyline but sexy.

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