Godney is truly smiling down upon us today.
Early this morning on this holy day, the 10th anniversary of In The Zone, a new song from Brit Brit’s upcoming eighth studio album, Britney Jean, found its way upon the Interwebz. It’s a little song called “Alien,” the William Orbit-produced opening track — and it’s maybe the best one from Britney Jean so far. That’s right — the Spearitual Ray of Light has arrived! (I’m not posting a stream here, because duh.)
“Not alone, not alone, not alone…”
Like many of Britney’s greatest songs, “Alien” is about loneliness. Once so lonely, it was killing her (“…Baby One More Time”), B-Girl grew stronger (“Stronger), refusing to be lonely ever again (“Lonely”). And now, she’s become Nostalgicney, reflecting on the time in her life when she was lonely.
“There was a time I was one of a kind.” Is that a subtle REFERENCE to the fallen legend lyricism of “Mona Lisa,” Britney Jean?
Let me be honest: I’ve had a creeping suspicion for a while now that Britney Jean is actually a religious record in disguise — err, aside from “Work Bitch” and “Perfume.” Between her recent reading material and the things she’s been saying in interviews (she feels closer to God in the desert!), there’s just #SomethingMoreReligious about Britney these days. “Passenger” is essentially Britney’s own “Jesus Take The Wheel” — especially considering it was co-written by Katy Perry, who also served up a bit of a Christian album this year. “Brightest Morning Star” already seems to fit the bill. And “Alien”? It’s like her “Amazing Grace”! I was lost, but now I’m found. It wouldn’t be the first time the Holy Spearit was singing about God, either — see also “Someday (I Will Understand).” “Alien,” to me, sounds like Brit Brit finding her way with help from the heavens.
He About To Beam Me Up
Like Femme Fatale‘s midtempo triumph “He About To Lose Me,” “Alien” builds up slowly — leading into an almost identical stomping pulse midway into the first verse. The song chugs along similarly, albeit with a more…intergalatic feel. Also, it’s reminiscent of Madonna‘s American Life track, “Nothing Fails.” Vocalney sounds absolutely gorgeous on the song, and the melodies suit her singing style quite nicely. (That singalong-friendly chant of “Was lonely then…like an alien!” is probably my favorite bit so far.) Also, those subtle alien background vocals throughout add some nice flair. I SEE WHAT U DID THERE, MR. ORBIT.
Like, Like An Alien
There’s something a tiny bit, heh, foreign about “Alien” (and, to a lesser extent, “Perfume” and “Passenger”) in 2013. Do you hear it? There’s hardly any major production here — at least, it’s certainly not overproduced. In comparison to so many of the noisy, schtick-heavy albums dominating pop in 2013 (Bangerz, ARTPOP, PRISM), Britney Jean is shaping up to be almost defiantly pure and mature in subject matter — a nice breath(e on me) of fresh air.
Now, as much as you might love “Alien” now, proceed with caution: The version floating around the web is apparently not the final version, according to Orbit. (Then again, every time a producer says that, there’s usually a difference so subtle that human ears can’t pick up the difference).
It's the wrong version of 'Alien' that's out there. Right song, but had wrong chorus notes, (now fixed) on THE version
— William Orbit (@WilliamOrbit) November 18, 2013
For now, we remain deeply unworthy of Britney’s intergalactic journey toward self-discovery.
‘Britney Jean’ will be released on December 3. (iTunes)