Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Britney Spears ft. G-Eazy – Make Me…

It’s Gerald, bitch! And it’s Edward with the most terrifying fact of the day…


William John: What a (surprisingly) perfect swan-dive of a comeback, especially from someone not predisposed to balladry — was the last good one really as far back as “Everytime”? Each stab of synth hits like a pebble dropping neatly into a glassy pool; the flickering guitar suggests Nuno Bettencourt has been lurking backstage in Vegas. The presence of G-Eazy is bewildering — a reference to a 15-year-old film featuring Penélope Cruz even more so — but when the chorus features Britney making an art form out of wordless exclamations of pleasure, he’s easily ignored.

Katie Gill: Aw Britbrit, you are so much better than G-Eazy. You’re also so much better than that chorus, but G-Eazy???

Adaora Ede: Brit’s occasional releases in the mid-to-late 2000s never really strayed out of the realm of trendy electro pop (“Till the World Ends,” “Womanizer,” “Hold It Against Me”), and when she did move toward urban sounds, they were in the form of club stompers such as “Scream and Shout”. This time, Britney has moved past the trope of whatever’s poppin’ to the most mainstream of the mainstream — especially important in 2016, where hits can come from anywhere. But this combination of Britney’s cooing and trip-hop fanfare on a synthstep beat might be too ponderous to suit anything but a drunkenly belted-out karaoke song in, like, The Hangover 4. G-Eazy’s appearance is incidental, much more than it should be if she wanted to mark her interest in slick future R&B. But I mean, what’s the guy who rapped about being “in love with these Tumblr girls” going to do if you’re looking for an urban hit?

Alfred Soto: The most thrilling Spears singles of the last decade have presented a polymorphic essence, a disco dolly who’s so post-feminist/post-sexual/post-woman that she’s open to every sensation and good for her. Here’s another title with the direct object “me.” The bump ‘n’ grind of the verses works; we can use more availability like Britney’s on Pop Chart ’16 (is that why Ariana Grande gets the notices?). This potent slab of electro-rue would be a triumph if marketing didn’t require G-Eazy.

Katherine St Asaph: Another Spears single with another feature and another white rapper. Team Britney conceding (or deciding) that their artist can’t carry a song alone, that because pop remains a game of woman-woman rivalries any current pop queen would seem like a regression if they could get her at all, and that because pop radio has regressed since In the Zone a rapper-rapper wouldn’t do, you know, just because. It’s a wonder they found anyone left. Also, Britney with another delayed single, and more recycled product; if the pop&B wasn’t a clue, notice how no one bothered to cut “dangerous woman” from Gerald’s intrusion. More exhaustive prestige features have been written about Britney than perhaps any of her musical peers, and some have acknowledged the “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold” inevitabilies of Britney being kept from any press that demands more than a stultified monotone, but few have addressed the obvious: her career is on the decline, probably due to mismanagement. (This is what happens when pop music is covered by celebrity bloggers and magazine writers, rather than business journalists and music critics.) Beyond all odds, aside from G-Eazy “Make Me” isn’t bad at all. Max Martin remains gone and’s influence seems gone, so Team Britney needs new producers; in doing so, they introduce new ideas. About 15 years ago, sex in music sounded like “Showdown“: steely, less seduction than assassination, via choreographed heavy breaths and a calibrated caress by a robotic arm. “Make Me” is more typical of 2016: Miguel-like guitar wails, pitch-shifted gurgling and a plush bed of a chorus. Britney suits it; she also inspires indulgent criticking like few others, and “Make Me” is like Britney re-imagining the late ’90s to place herself not with Backstreet and ‘N Sync but Mariah and Brandy — a neat trick.

Edward Okulicz: I’m about the same age as Britney, so every time I realise her career is probably past its peak, it makes me a bit sad. But hey, at least I get to go and do my job without having to be interrupted by G-Eazy, a rapper whose lyrics are substantially less good than Iggy Azalea’s. His rhymes, which I assume he wrote, are laughably bad, barely even rhyme, have a leaden flow, and kill the mood. “Make Me…” is more in the mold of Ariana Grande; Brit sounds unsure of what to do but happy to be there in the verses. If the song’s not compositionally brilliant, then at least the sound fits Britney perfectly. Best of all, the wash of vocals suggesting desire is reminiscent of “Break The Ice” and other tracks off her true artistic peak, Blackout. But, G-Eazy. You know more people in the U.S. bought his last record than hers, right?

Will Adams: Really, it’s all good until G-Eazy barfs over everything. “Make Me” makes a solid case for Spears to be referred to more than the “‘Pretty Girls’ songstress.” That old adage of only being as good as your last performance/single/whatever is unfortunate; not since Femme Fatale has Spears sounded as home as she does here, over a skittery but warm guitar&B track.

Brad Shoup: The synthbeds are familiar currency now, but there’s no trace of the insensate abandon that’s soundtracked this bummer of a year. This is the sound of pleasure savored: her shivers in the chorus nearly make their own choreography. The vibe is luxurious, enough so that the references to a bar (from Spears and her guest) made me do a couple double-takes. G-Eazy is, of course, the him? of this enterprise, spitting the kind of shit she told him to cut in the first verse.

Anthony Easton: Britney’s voice has always been flexible, fitting into the production or style as needed. It has never been generic. It has also never been particularly dangerous–except perhaps to herself. I have no idea what G-Eazy is doing here, and what he means by calling her dangerous. I wanted a return to form, and I got a failure of her genius formalist roots.  

Thomas Inskeep: Woozy pop like I didn’t expect from Brit; a dull vocal like I did. And as always, G-Eazy makes everything worse.

Reader average: [6.11] (9 votes)

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6 Responses to “Britney Spears ft. G-Eazy – Make Me…”

  1. I would’ve given this an 8 because it is perfect until Gerald Fucking Gillum shows up, and perfect after he departs.

  2. this song was surprisingly not shit

  3. I think G-Eazy is the first time I’ve ever felt old – I’m teaching a bunch of high schoolers intro comp sci this summer, and they all absolutely love him, and I think I’m just not in the right age demographic tbh. Given that I’m only 20 I expect to feel this stuff a lot more in the coming years too

  4. i dont think g-eazy is that bad on this track. at the very least his presence is more welcome than iggy’s

  5. Anthony: yes.

  6. G-Eazy. G for GIT! He is an awful excuse for a rapper.