While almost every pop diva is twirling around to the (soon to be dated as all f***) EDM squelches and squiggles ‘neath their own output, leave it to Britney Spears to hand us a ballad in the lead-up to her eighth album Britney Jean (out December 3). Oh, sure, Britney’s just as fond of said squiggles — a two-second listen to recent drag queen credo “Work Bitch” underscores that point. But “Perfume” at least feels a smidge like counter-programming upon looking at the dancefloor-friendly charts these days.
Head below to see a roundup of the words The Internet sprayed out as a reaction to Spears’ fragrant new single.
:: Entertainment Weekly labels the slow number “an angsty ballad in the vein of Spears’ ‘Everytime’ or ‘Don’t Let Me Be the Last to Know’.”
:: SPIN notes of “Perfume” that it “happily, goes a long way closer to the album title’s here’s-the-real-Britney implications: Produced by Will.i.am and co-written by Spears and Sia, it’s still the type of slickly crafted electro-pop that won’t exactly reshape Top 40 radio, but it’s also a power ballad of romantic longing.”
:: Billboard says the single “allows Spears to momentarily discard the confident exterior of ‘Work Bitch’ and express vulnerability over ‘paranoid’ feelings about her romantic interest.”
:: Music And Lyrics cautiously states, “Certainly, I can feel Britney’s sincerity on ‘Perfume’ from her beautiful and passionate singing. Although, I’m going to need to check the songwriting credits of the song, so I can totally buy it.”
:: HitFix quips, “Spears’ singing is as strong as it has ever been here (let the guessing begin on how much it was doctored in the studio) and this is the best song she’s done in years. Plus, given how successful Spears’ several lines of cologne are, we can only imagine the tie ins planned between song and the scents. Let the cross-branding begin!”
:: MuuMuse enthusiastically writes the following: “It’s an absolutely beautiful song. And while Britney may never release a ballad quite as devastating and raw as In The Zone‘s ‘Everytime; again (what could match the heartbreak of a lost first love?), this is certainly one of the best, most mature ballads she’s done since.”
:: Chart Rigger offers, “Don’t look for the track, a ballad, to raise any bars or break any ceilings other than those in Spears’ own world. Still, it’s a pleasant enough song that, compared to the limp number it’s following up, shows some promise for Britney’s eighth outing.”
:: Finally, PopJustice (probably) accurately projects, “…’Work Bitch’ seemed like a 9 on a couple of listens but swiftly fell to a still-respectable 7 due mainly to poor structure and pacing, but ‘Perfume’ feels like an 8 that could end up as a 9, wouldn’t you say?”