STEPHANIE: So, the ogling agoraphobe from “The Dance Class” manages to get the girl. It’s kind of like Rapunzel, but creepier. Sadly, their ill-fated fling is not enough to help him break free from his self-imprisonment.

You think it’s fine, I know it’s broke
You think it’s all some kind of joke
But how can I laugh while I’m locked up in here?

I was driving to work a couple of days ago when this song started to play on the radio. (Kudos to WTMD in Towson, MD.) It was not a beautiful day outside, but hot, humid, and grey, just as I imagined the inside of this guy’s apartment despite the winter setting. By the last verse, I feel like it’s been weeks since the dancer was in his lair. Her perfume is stale and fading and he can’t stand that soon there will be nothing left of their affair. Dude needs to wash the sheets and get some therapy, but I’m grateful for his crazed existence that worked it’s way out of Rhett’s head and into this song.

MARIE: There are so many amazing songs on this disc, it’s difficult to chose one favorite because it changes for me everyday. That said, I must confess I adore “Perfume.” In this sequel to Volume One’s “The Dance Class,” our recluse has miraculously won over his dream girl, but love is bittersweet for an agoraphobe who can only gaze through the glass at his lady living a life outside the confines of his tiny window frame.

You’re on the town again and I’m drowning in your bed
Your perfume is in my head
And it’s driving me, driving me, driving me, driving me

I’ve loved this bouncy romp ever since we heard Rhett sing it solo at the City Winery in New York City this past February, and my love for it continues to blossom. All this bitterness and resentment wrapped up in a beguilingly buoyant melody will have you humming the chorus all afternoon. It’s a beautiful day outside, indeed.

JEFF: Rhett says that “Perfume” is a sequel to “The Dance Class,” and in that case I declare it this album’s Aliens — a sequel that’s a positive step forward from an already solid original. (Actually, this entire album is sort of Aliens-esque. Or dare I say Godfather II?) “Perfume” was a good choice for the first single, as it captures the band’s sound perfectly in a very accessible way. I enjoyed it at SXSW the first time I heard it live, and I think the studio version is everything you could want it to be. I love the addition of the tinkly piano in the chorus. A Salim touch perhaps?

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