It's easy to dismiss Britney Spears. Her loopy antics have overshadowed her musical output and tarnished her image. Even some of her better singles from the last decade ("I'm a Slave 4 U," "Gimme More") don't compare to "Baby One More Time," her first and best. "Toxic," however, gets damn close.
Screeching strings drive the song and provide the primary hook, while Britney shows off her (usually underappreciated) vocal range. Bonus: the song is filled with drug imagery ("I need a hit," "too high can't come down"), which makes it mildly edgy for a mainstream pop song.
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