If you’ve been confused by the abundance of songs titled “Perfect” in the last few months, you’re not alone. In addition to Ed Sheeran’s three separate versions of his Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 song “Perfect,” Fifth Harmony member Ally Brooke dropped her own song of the same name on Friday (Jan. 26).
Of course, it makes sense that it’s a popular topic for a song: There are many meanings and scenarios that can be explored from that simple word. Some “Perfect” songs are upbeat and fun, while others cut deep with emotional turmoil.
To put it in perspective, here are 10 songs titled “Perfect.”
Ally Brooke & Topic, 2018
In Ally Brooke’s second solo endeavor outside of Fifth Harmony, she and Topic made their own “Perfect” song — featuring vulnerable lyrics and powerful vocals. Ally Brooke voices her insecurities over a synthy beat: “There’s always going to be somebody smarter/ Someone prettier who works a little harder/ Someone that ain’t afraid to take it further/ And every time I feel like I ain’t really worth it/ Then you say I’m perfect.”
Ed Sheeran, 2017
Before releasing what seems to be an indefinite amount of versions of this song, Ed Sheeran put out “Perfect” on his 2017 album Divide. The sweet guitar ballad is a love letter to his now-fiancee Cherry Seaborn. Sheeran says the song was written about a time when they got drunk together. “We got really hammered and took our shoes off and danced on his lawn and then jumped in the pool,” Sheeran revealed to Radio.com. “And then the next day I was like, ‘That’s a cool story,’ so I put it in a song.”
One Direction, 2015
In their fifth studio album, and first without Zayn, One Direction sang a fun and bouncy track about an adventurous (and sometimes tragic) relationship called “Perfect.” The song was rumored to be about Harry Styles’ short-lived relationship with Taylor Swift, but the video featured the foursome messing around in a New York City hotel. This was the second-to-last single the band released before announcing their indefinite hiatus in 2015.
Simple Plan, 2002
Every teen in the early 2000s sat alone in their room, full of angst while listening to Simple Plan’s “Perfect” — a rock song about disappointing parents. The heartfelt chorus perfectly contrasts with the strong guitar riffs that make up the song. The overly dramatic video might seem silly, but the concept clearly stuck with people who felt the desire to be “perfect” for their parents, since it reached No. 24 on the Hot 100 and became the band’s biggest hit.
P!nk first released her emotionally charged single “F—in’ Perfect,” which later was dubbed “Perfect” on her 2010 greatest-hits album. The song was accompanied by a controversial video featuring a young woman attempting suicide but had an ultimately uplifting message that helped the song peak at No. 2 on the Hot 100.
Selena Gomez, 2015
Selena Gomez’s 2015 studio album Revival is filled with pop gems, including “Perfect,” a breathy slow jam featured on the deluxe edition that see Gomez struggling to come to terms with the fact that her potential lover was seeing someone else.
Why Don’t We, 2016
Why Don’t We’s 2016 track “Perfect” was more of a diss track than a declaration of love. The boy band’s lyrics “You’re not so perfect/ Gonna give my love away ’cause you don’t deserve it” echo over a simple guitar riff. It’s simple — but the sentiment stings.
Smashing Pumpkins, 1998
The Smashing Pumpkins released their own “Perfect” song on the 1998 album Adore, which was a perfect blend of rock and synth-pop. In the notes of their 2014 reissue of Adore, frontman Billy Corgan described the song as an ironic tale of ill-fated love. “To state the obvious, the lyric is meant as ironic, as little in love’s affairs can be quantified as perfect. Yet this is the goal.”
Alanis Morissette, 1995
Alanis Morissette’s emotional ballad “Perfect” was featured on her critically acclaimed international debut album Jagged Little Pill. It touches on themes of parents and the pressures they put on their kids. Her iconic vocals are from the point of view of a parent pushing their kid to do more: “Push a little farther now/ That wasn’t fast enough to make us happy/ We’ll love you just the way you are if you’re perfect.”
Tyler, The Creator, 2015
From his album Cherry Bomb, Tyler, The Creator, Austin Feinstein and Kali Uchis created an alternate version to his song “F***ING YOUNG/PERFECT” featuring a lower pitch and a dreamy guitar sequence. The song is an ode to someone who wants to be “more than friends” even though they are “cut from different fabrics.”