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Released as the second single from In the Zone , the song was initially offered to Kylie Minogue for her ninth studio album Body Language , but she rejected it. A dance-pop and techno-pop song with elements of bhangra music , "Toxic" features varied instrumentation, such as drums , synthesizers and surf guitar. It is accompanied by high-pitched Bollywood strings , sampled from Lata Mangeshkar and S. Balasubrahmanyam 's " Tere Mere Beech Mein " , and breathy vocals. Its lyrics draw an extended metaphor of a lover as a dangerous yet addictive drug. In the United States, it became her fourth top-ten single, peaking at number nine. It portrays Spears as a secret agent in search of a vial of green liquid. After she steals it, she enters an apartment and poisons her boyfriend.
It was released on November 27, by Jive Records as the second single from the album, but was actually the last song recorded. The song, acting as the singer's manifesto , has biographical lyrics retelling Spears's mishaps. It can be classified as an electropop , dance-pop and EDM-pop song that features an "electro instrumental track" and runs through a down-tempo dance beat. Most music critics cite "Piece of Me" as one of the highlights of Blackout. Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song at number 15 on their list of the Best Songs of The music video to "Piece of Me", directed by Wayne Isham , portrays the state of Spears' life in ; it shows her and her friends disguising themselves in order to confuse the paparazzi , which ties directly to the lyrics. Director Isham's concept was to have Spears confidently parodying her situation. It received mixed reviews from critics, most arguing her body was digitally altered. The song shares its title with Spears's first Las Vegas residency show, Britney: Piece of Me — , where it was also performed.