Britney Spears, Perfume: New song about an affair shows off the pop star's stronger vocals. (AUDIO)

Britney Goes Deep in Her Surprisingly Good New Song

Britney Goes Deep in Her Surprisingly Good New Song

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Slate's Culture Blog
Nov. 4 2013 12:23 PM

Britney Goes Deep in Her Surprisingly Good New Song

Britney Spears can sing, though that's easy to forget.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Throughout her career, Britney Spears has relied on songs that either shroud her vocals with overpowering dance beats, distort her voice to an electronic extreme, or both. Even on the occasions when she’s done ballads she’s relied on a breathy imitation of Marilyn Monroe, with little punch or feeling to her vocals.

But on her latest song, “Perfume,” released on her Facebook page yesterday, Spears’ voice sounds deeper and stronger than it has in the past, and at least comes across as less digitally altered. The lyrics are a bit darker than what we’ve lately heard from her as well, as she sings defiantly about being the “other woman.” (“I’ll never tell, tell her myself/ But I hope she smells my perfume.”)


And perhaps best of all, the song’s relatively understated production style has the catchy, confident feel of early Britney. Give it a listen. It’s better than you’re expecting.

Aisha Harris is a Slate culture writer and host of the Slate podcast Represent.