Monday, November 4, 2013

Britney's Perfume: Not a stinker

I'll be honest, the generic robo-pop of Work Bitch didn't fill me with hope for Britney Spears' new album, Britney Jean. She'd told various people it was her "most personal album ever", and roped in William "I did Ray Of Light" Orbit to help her find a more mature sound.

Instead, we got a shambolic collection of's half-finished melodies shackled to the sort of clunky "aspirational" phrases you'd hear at a middle managers' away day. The video was nice, mind you.

The second single, on the other hand, is everything Britney promised. Half tear-jerker, half revenge fantasy, Perfume finds Britney daydreaming that her cheating boyfriend will be found out: "I wanna fill the room, when she's in it with you... I hope she smells my perfume".

Co-written by Sia, this features Britney's best vocal performance since Everytime. Gone are the squeaky babydoll voice and the rampant auto tune. Instead, she drops half an octave and sounds sensitive, fragile and (finally!) human.

The chorus doesn't quite live up to the promise of the verse - but this is a major step in the right direction. Well done, everyone.

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