At this point, we’ve all been belting out at the top of our lungs that triplet beat-driven love ballad “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran. Some might be beginning to wonder what’s next for the old chap? But Sheeran isn’t quite ready to put this 2017 favorite to bed just yet. Enter Beyonce.
Yesterday, our favorite red-headed British crooner released a new duet-version of the soon-to-be favorite with none other than the “Perfect” Beyonce herself.
The musicality of the “Perfect Duet” differs a bit from the previous version with much simpler instrumentation. No percussion. No showy violins. Sheeran keeps it clean with no more than the soft strumming of an acoustic guitar and the ethereal chords of an organ.
The vocals make you feel as if you’re privy to a conversation of two people speaking their love for each other for the first time.
Ed begins the story, recounting past hints of affections and telling the girl of his dreams everything that she is to him. Beyonce picks it up in the second verse, this time trading the “she’s” of the first version for “he’s.” Choir-like vocals in the background help to give the song a more soulful feel. The two continue into the second chorus together before taking turns crooning, and then joining together. Sheeran takes back melody, while Beyonce offers a sweet and perfect harmony. The instrumentation takes over for a moment; the two singers sing fluidly in the background.
For the final chorus, Sheeran takes ownership of his own song once again, leading with the melody as Beyonce harmonizes liquid gold. The duet then ends with the high point of the song as Beyonce reaches an octave higher for the “angel in person.“ The two end together, reminiscent of the first version, but with Beyonce at a lower register. Then, the lyrics are gently laid back down to rest.
This golden pairing proves “Perfect” vocal genius as Sheeran’s and Beyonce’s voices meld beautifully. Both are passionate in their delivery. Sheeran’s voice delivers the soft honesty we’ve come to love him for. Beyonce adds the perfect touch with her soulful strength and complementary harmonies.
The overall feel of the duet is somewhat “churchy,” but not in the way you think. Think “Little White Chapel” (but not the Vegas kind). The choir vocals and chords of the organ give the song a very charming, small wedding sort of vibe. Perhaps the intention in the stripped-down instrumentation is to drive home the point of the song itself.
With such little instrumental backing, the voices of the singers are highlighted and crystal clear. We are left to focus on the simple love story centered on the man and woman themselves. Simple, but at the same time complex, as are most love stories. The two have walked a long road together and now are finally able to speak of their love for each other. Only one thing left to do – – plan their future together.
A song for all ages. A song for all people.