Actual REAL singing from pop princess @BritneySpears on new ‘Perfume’

Britney Spears Perfume

So I, wait for you to call | And I try to act natural | have you been thinking ’bout her or about me | And while I wait I put on my perfume, yeah I want it all over you | I gotta mark my territory | I’ll never tell, tell on myself but I hope she smells my perfume…

 – Britney Spears, “Perfume” (her follow-up to her smash “Work B*tch”)

Britney really is pulling out all of the stops for this album: working with the best ballad-writer in the game (Sia), actually SINGING on a track and pulling back the production strings to showcase her and the lyrics. Yes, she really does it well on “Perfume.”

Let’s start with the melody itself: it’s minimal and allows BritBrit’s voice to shine through. It’s definitely something I haven’t seen clearly since her epic “Everytime” back in 2003 (Youtube video below). And this song DEFINITELY blows that over-produced “Out From Under” cover from Circus. I can already hear her performing it live in Vegas, sitting at the piano and belting her heart out. It’ll be amazing.

Now, onto the actual singing. You can hear the forlorn and anxious Britney coming out when she croons about feeling the presence of the ghosts of relationships past (around the minute mark). Britney’s voice really is beautiful, and it’s great to hear it less processed than usual, especially since her last album and last couple of releases were DOMINATED by the futuristic zings and spitterings of a beat machine (reference anything from Femme Fatale or even her Smurfs single). While an epic breakdown for a bridge to close the song off would have been the cherry on top to a great ballad, I’m glad she was able to develop showcase her vocal prowess and give the listener more reason to believe she deserves her accolades as a musician and singer. And it helps that the song is not a snooze-fest.

Compared to “Work B*tch,” “Perfume” shows BritBrit in a different light, being vulnerable and showing her insecurities when it comes to her lover. She thinks/knows that the man she is involved with still thinks about his ex-lover, and it’s messing with her head. Where “Work B*tch” empowers others to take control of their destiny through hard work and determination, “Perfume” goes for the indirect approach, never actually broaching the actual problem. It’s very interesting to see Britney skirt around these types of issues, especially when she has told us repeatedly (me over 200 times) within the past month to delve into our problems head-first and work out solutions to them.

In other words, it sounds as if BritBrit is nervous to face issues in a relationship because she is truly afraid of the consequences that could occur from doing so. As someone who will always broach a subject when it is fresh in order to try to move on from it, I find this type of problem solving (or lack-of) intriguing (I’m of the Hilary Duff– à la “With Love“- relationship advice; and yes, it’s a VERY guilty pleasure). And I guess this helps us delve deeper into the person that really is Britney Spears.

All in all, it really is a beautiful mid-tempo ballad and I’m proud of her for finally releasing one. It’s been too long. Welcome back, Balladney.


GRADE: ★★★½☆


What do you think about this ballad? Comment below :)