Britney Spears, ‘Perfume’ – Song Review
Britney Spears has changed gears with ‘Perfume,’ her softer, gentler new single from ‘Britney Jean.’
She got the dance mission statement outta the way with the ferocity of ‘Work Bitch,’ a hard and musically harsh EDM x house jam meant for sweat-soaked dancing up in da club. She’s followed it with ‘Perfume,’ a breathy, ’80s-influenced power ballad that finds her as vulnerable as she has ever been.
It’s Brit’s most lyrically weighty song in quite some time. In fact, this sounds like something we’d expect Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood to record. It marks Brit’s transition to giving her fans more serious, emotionally hefty fare, which, at this point, she needed to do.
Here, Brit Brit is laying her cards up on the table. She wants desperately to believe that her lover is just hers. Her insecurities get the best of her whenever he is with an ex. It’s the classic tale of the current GF and the ex trying to co-exist.
Brit navigates her relationship with uncertainty in the lyrics. She doesn’t trust the situation and is insecure. Really? Britney Jean F–king Spears? Insecure? Turns out she is human.
When she sings, “Sometimes it feels like there’s three of us in here, baby,” she’s not only talking about another woman. Her fears and insecurities are powerful enough to fill up the tight space, as well.
While Brit is no belter, you can sense and absorb the emotion. She does try some ranges we don’t think we’ve heard from her before, in some of the throaty parts, and we like it. Her vocal delivery tugs at the heartstrings. This is the most real Britney song we’ve ever heard. This is Britney Jean Spears we’re getting to know. While ‘Work Bitch’ was as obvious as the nose on your face, there’s layers of meaning and sound on ‘Perfume.’
Since there were rumors that Brit was the last to know when her engagement to Jason Trawick was ending, we can’t help but think that this song is inspired by their split. She has said that the breakup did influence the album and we’re going to tag this one as a post-Trawick tune.
While we normally think of Brit as the unattainable sex goddess and sexpot, she comes down to our level by exposing and sharing her vulnerabilities.
Her application of her perfume is a metaphor for marking her territory and leaving her scent on her man while she waits for his calls and tries to act natural as he is with an ex. It’s rare to see someone as famous and sexy as Brit let it all hang out like this, emotionally speaking.
It’s a big risk for her to share like this and take this musical leap, but it’s about time. Her fans will catch her as she falls. Don’t you want to give her a hug and take her out for ice cream soda as she sings about her fears?
Listen to Britney Spears, ‘Perfume’