Britney Spears - Don't Go Knocking On My Door
I don't know if this is gonna be released as a single, though it really should be. I'm blogging it anyway 'cause I love it. No, it doesn't have the personal resonance of "Born To Make You Happy", but instead demands a different sort of devotion: the vicarious thrill of hearing Max Martin up the ante once again.
Okay, so really there's nothing new here; it's just Britney's answer to N'Sync's "Bye, Bye, Bye", which itself was only distinctive for its ridiculously obvious idea: "Hey! Wouldn't it be great if we matched histrionic Swedish production with jittery bounce beats?" In that regard there's not a single component of this song, from its angry diva harmonies to its angular, shuddering groove, that isn't indicative of the prevailing ideas of pop these past two years.
What makes this so great is that it is everything you know, only more. The pounding plastic bass riffs are more brutal, the beats are more roccoco and disorienting, and Britney's vocals venture even further out into the cyborg-kitty territory she's fast making her own. "Don't Go Knocking On My Door" is fast-paced, but importantly it's also full of holes; there are moments of complete silence when the track just runs on air before once more colliding with the earth. And the whipcrack snares on the third beat of every bar are deliciously harsh on the ears.
I begin to wonder for how much longer this forward-march that pop is engaging in can continue. Surely we're going to get to a stage where the producers toil with diminishing returns? Still, even if that day comes soon, we can perhaps look back at the late nineties with a certain air of satisfaction. It seems like such a long way from "No Diggity" and "Backstreet's Back" to "Don't Go Knocking On My Door", and the music in between is enough to make this story a happy one whatever the ending.