BEYONCÉ: The best and the worst of her new album

Here’s a list of songs on Beyoncé’s new self-titled album in order from my most to least favourite. Embrace my opinion or tell me you disagree. I’m interested in hearing what you think about the album, too!

1. “Rocket:”

This song is beautiful. Raunchy? Yes. Explicit? Definitely. However, even Justin Timberlake thinks there’s something wrong with how perfect every note is when belted out of Ms. Carter’s voice box. I certainly wouldn’t feel confident enough to ever, in my wildest dreams, write a blogpost that expresses what Beyoncé does in “Rocket.” Here’s a married woman with a child who, though was once very private, is letting the entire world (basically) know what it’s like to be in love with Jay Z. (Granted, Beyoncé is also a millionaire with a ginormous fan base who needs to stay relevant in the world of pop-culture and pop music). All business motives aside, “Rocket” is one of those songs that I probably will never ever get sick of.

2 “Mine” (feat. Drake):

One of my coworkers has a theory. Her theory is that every song Drake touches turns into gold. “Mine” relies on the musical talents of Miss Beyoncé Knowles as well as the OVO XO-ness of Mr. Drizzy Drake. “Mine” tells its listeners a musical story about being apart from a loved one, making decisions too quickly and, in the end, realizing that no matter what love will always keep two people together – as “yours” and as “mine.”

3. “Haunted:”

This song takes us deep into Beyoncé as business woman. Her lyrics question who to trust, how to find motivation when, at the end of the day, her work is really just that – work and how she accepts the challenge that is the music industry. “Haunted” can be applied to anyone’s life, as heard through the lyric, “Working 9 to 5 just to stay alive.” This song shows fans a Beyoncé that we’ve never seen before.

4. “Flawless”(feat. Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche):

Bey is smart. She released “Bow Down/I Been On” and the entire world was in uproar (even me). Did Beyoncé just tell someone to bow down? And did she just call that person a beyotch? What is happening to Beyoncé? What happened to songs like “Halo?” What happened to “Dangerously In Love?” Jokes. She gotchu. Queen Bey was just working on her new self-titled album. And, the finished product has everyone feeling flawless and like a queen, themselves. Have you heard the beautiful speech in this song by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche? If not, click here, because you will be fulfilled.

5. “Pretty Hurts:”

When I went to see Beyoncé in concert the summer of 2012, she grabbed the chub on her arm during “Flaws and All” and shook it. There was a tear that then formed at the bottom of my right eye and began to trail to the tip of my chin. When Beyoncé was pregnant, she weighed 195-lbs (or so all the gossip sites say). This lady, regardless of how many nylons she wears while performing to keep her inner thigh fat from jiggling, regardless of how many people make negative comments about her body (y’all are weird) and regardless of all the other crap she deals with in the Hollywood we only see a sliver of, she still rocks it. “Pretty Hurts” has been noticed by the National Eating Disorder Information Centre and noticed by many others as a critique of society’s standards of beauty. Thank you, Beyoncé.

6. “Drunk in Love” (feat. Jay Z):

First they were dangerously, then they were crazy and now they’re drunk. In love that is. I’m not sure how I feel about the title of this song, but it sure is catchy. Plus, any time Beyoncé and Jay collaborate on something, it gives me hope that one day I’ll get to see them sing a song live together. Oh the joy.

7. “Jealous:”

My friends and I were literally just talking about how no singers every really admit to experiencing feelings of jealousy or envy. Then we have this song, where Beyoncé is cooking dinner naked and being pissed that her hubby is out frolicking, doing Lord knows what. Hearing “Jealous” makes me feel that if the rumours are true and Jay really is cheating, Beyoncé isn’t pretending to be okay with it. She may be happy that her man comes home to her at the end of the day, but I think “Jealous” is telling us something else. (Note: I wish with all my heart and soul that Beyoncé and Jay Z are in a healthy, happy relationship. If they can’t be in one, the rest of us don’t have much hope).

8. “XO:”

Ah. Here we go. A fun song with dance moves that will surely bless the basements of night clubs across the globe. “XO” is a car-jamming, Zumba-dropping, energetic song that (I hope) won’t lose its touch until after the summer of 2014. I’m looking forward to rolling down the windows and singing this song when the sun is shining!

9. “Heaven:”

“Heaven” is about hoping and praying someone you love will make it, whether it’s through something challenging or through life itself. It’s about how difficult life can be when that someone we love is taken away from us. When I first heard this song, someone in my family was very ill. The next day, he passed away. “Heaven” isn’t my favourite song on Beyoncé’s new album, but it sure does ease the pain of accepting loss and even accepting defeat. It’s a song about death, but it doesn’t have to mean that for everyone.

10. “Grown Woman:”

This song is what I play, extremely loud, while on the stairmaster hating my life (that thing is painful). When “Grown Woman” comes on while I’m busting my behind, I bust a move with my upper body, sing to myself (while making myself look like a fool to others taking exercise way too seriously) and get my workout over with. Then, I leave the gym, walking with a vengeance and feeling like a grown woman who can do whatever she wants. I mean, it’s kind of true. Yes, there are consequences to doing whatever we want, but “Grown Woman” is fun and about the benefits of working hard and loving life while doing just that.

11. “Partition:”

The first part of this song (the bit about Yoncé being all on his mouth like liquor) is amazing. I become Yoncé when I listen to this song. I mean, if I sneezed on a beat it probably wouldn’t get sicker, but when I take lyrics like this lightly, I perceive them as meaning something a tad deeper: If I’m passionate about what I do, if I work hard and if I welcome feedback and thankfulness then things are probably just going to keep getting better. In all honestly, I don’t really understand the second part of this song. I feel as though it comes out of nowhere. With that being said, though, the remaining 50 per cent of “Partition” is fun to sing with friends at a bar when being all, “OMG THIS IS MY JAM.”

12. “Blue” (feat. Blue Ivy):

I am not the first person who has said this, but Blue Ivy has done more than the average two-year-old. She has done more than most people do in an entire lifetime. She was featured in a song by her all-star, big-money, super-fly, beautiful mama and has been mentioned by her legendary father in a lyric about walking to the corner store or something. I’d just like to point out that if I ever wrote a song and made a comment about walking to the corner store in one of my lyrics, it wouldn’t sell and it definitely wouldn’t be about Blue Ivy. It would probably be about a popsicle. At most, a blue popsicle. “Blue” doesn’t only give us several full body shots and full-face close ups of the most famous child in Hollywood (finally), but the song and video show us this beautiful relationship between a mother and daughter. Dare I say this, but I think “Blue” is better than “Mama” by the Spice Girls.

13. “Superpower” (feat. Frank Ocean):

I love when Frank Ocean and Beyoncé work together.  Beautiful things happen. Is “Superpower” better than their “I Miss You” hit? Not in my opinion, but I still listen to both songs and, for each, enter a state of bliss, though for different reasons. “Superpower” is about sticking together, fighting through anything and everything and keeping those who mean most to you close to you (hence the the appearance of Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams in the music video for the song).

14. “Blow:”

This is not my favourite song on BEYONCÉ. The lyrics are odd, though the music video is rather entertaining. I don’t think “Blow” will make an impact à la “Flawless” or à la “I Was Here.” It’s more of a “Radio” type of song. Ya feel me?

15. “No Angel:”

“Baby put your arms around me, tell me I’m a problem.” I’m confused. Beyoncé, it’s not that you have bad vocals in “No Angel,” it’s just that I don’t think anyone gets it. The song is a little too MTV’s Pimp My Ride for me. No hard feelings, but I skip over this song every time it comes on.

What’s your favourite song on Beyoncé’s new album?

xo

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