ARTS & ENTERTAINMENTMUSICPop & Hiss

Willow Smith releases airy, introspective new song

MusicEntertainmentTwitter, Inc.Jada Pinkett SmithAlicia KeysCat Power

Two and a half years after she entered the music world with the boisterous (and still excellent) "Whip My Hair," Willow Smith has released her latest single -- only now the showbiz scion appears to be hanging her head.

In "Sugar and Spice," which appeared early Tuesday on a SoundCloud page she linked to through her Twitter feed, the 12-year-old daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith croons forlornly over a hushed piano loop seemingly lifted from some "Moon Pix"-era Cat Power tune. (Listen to the song below.)

"I tried to be sugar and spice / But I'm melancholy and can't do anything right," Smith sings before admitting to the presence of monsters under her bed. Then she tells us that her soul has been injected with darkness and that all she wants is silence.

It's a different approach than we're used to hearing from Smith, who as recently as 2011 was describing herself as "the fireball of the party" in an uptempo kiddie-rap collaboration with Nicki Minaj.

But if reaction online has so far been mixed -- "I guess Willow Smith is a one hit wonder," wrote one evidently unimpressed Twitter user -- we can be sure after last year's "I Am Me" that the singer herself isn't worried.

Sang Smith in that Alicia Keys-style ballad, "Your validation is just not that important to me."

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