Britney Spears has stated, in a letter to her fans published before her album was released last week, that Britney Jean is her most personal work so far (“I can’t believe this is my eighth studio album and I know I keep telling you that it is my most personal record yet, but its true and I’m really proud of that.”)
Although reviewers seem skeptical of how genuine the note and the album are, the lyrics to the softer songs and their brooding intents just can’t be faked. Britney Spears is a cultural icon not only for her talent, but for the perseverance of an addictively cheery outlook, her down-home to upscale life story, and for her love of true goodness and beauty—It’s not naïvete, it’s hopefulness, and millions recognize that and rely on it. That’s why the words to the second single off Billy Jean, “Perfume,” no matter how much she really means them, mean so much coming from her. The video premiered today on Vevo, and it makes the lyrics even more poignant. Obviously, it’s half an ad for her fragrance, as was the lyric video, which acted as a prequel, from the POV of a jealous Britney Jean. (That part really seems beside the point, since it could have been a far more abrasive ad placement, and everyone has to "Work, B**ch.") In the official video, we’re taken to a simple time in B. Jean’s life—one which never quite existed for the former child star)—in which she and this total bad boy sneak into the pool and onto the roof of a cheap motel… It’s her and him against the world, and it’s all so familiar it hurts. What’s even more familiar is the inevitable moment when she finds out her rebellious dude’s rejection of authority doesn’t exclude her, and she becomes an obstacle instead of an interest.
A stray text from “Cindy” lets our protagonist know what’s really up, and the rest of the video shows a brunette acting out the exact same casual night with Britney’s crush. It’s in the way she looks at the camera more than anything else, and also, it’s the way she won’t back down, spraying herself with her own signature scent: “I’m gonna mark my territory…” He’s not worth it, Britney (but you are).