December 13, 2013 is when iTunes and the world went apeshit. Mega-star of the U.S. Music Industry, Beyoncé released her "visual album" Beyoncé. Physical release of the album took place four days later on the 17th. 14 songs, 2 interludes and a DVD of music videos for all the songs [even the interludes] plus a bonus video of the Pepsi commercial "jingle" "Grown Woman"; bitch was not playing.
The reason for such apeshit reaction and eventual #1 sales on the Billboard charts was because, NO promotion or any word on this album was coming.
That aside, this list is what I consider the 10 best songs off of the album. First, a bit of a disclaimer...
"Ghost" and "Yoncé" are glorified interludes and are ineligible for the Top 10 songs list.
Now, here are my Top 10 songs from the effort. Let's play rough and get it on! *Oh, and all the MS Paint images are by me.*
10. This duet compared with the others they've done? Not so good. Although this is a song that's rather tumultuous sounding, the music video does nothing to relay the message. The instrumental is slinky and good, but this is not prime Mrs. Carter work.
9. While the album parlays sexual themes, this song is mainly relying on an admittedly kickass instrumental. Lyrics such as "Aww, he's so horny; yeah he want to fuck" [that is actually sung on the album] proves maybe this song should've been her and Jay Z's duet for the album. A verse from H to the izzo, V to the izzay on THIS instrumental would've serviced the song better.
8. A rather icy sound does showcase something of a tolerable restraint in vocals that's really pleasing. Although good, the song could use something of a kick to the ass. Maybe background vocals from adorably unhinged Aussie answer to Robyn, Sia, could've helped this song a great deal. Hey, subjective thought here.
7. This is something of a really high concept spiritual inspired ballad. This is something I wasn't expecting. Ocean's smooth albeit subdued vocals on this track are rather pleasing. Plus it proves Bey is versatile in execution.
6. This song felt a bit too short. Another 45 seconds, and it would be ranked a lot higher. Still, this song has really powerful vocals [even if it took a while for that to occur; a bit too much subdued vocals on the chorus for my taste.]
5. This song in its final product is the high concept cut of the album. Incorporating the actual audio of Ed McMahon introducing Bey and her Girls Tyme act on Star Search & their losing score is one thing. Using a section from a TED Talk on feminism delivered by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as the entire second verse? That is some profound shit. Admittedly, I wished the "I woke up like this!" section was removed. (This ain't MrSwearword V.S. Everyone for nothing.)
4. The song dedicated to and briefly featuring her daughter Blue Ivy, is some of the strongest vocals she delivered on this effort. Although, the cooing should've been enough. Even then I can't be too mad at this track. With its clear cut execution and fabulous piano work, this song is very pleasing.
3. Although I would like to place this higher, I have to remember that the video had some moments that ruined it in a way. Here's what I mean; this is easily one of the horniest R&B songs of the last 10-15 years. The video had a Calvin Klein ad feel to it and was well directed...until images of someone pumping gas and a drill boring its way through a piece of wood were shown. Do not mix single and double entendres in the same medium. Still, this song is amazingly crafted.
2. Coquettish, tawdry, upbeat songs involving sugary things representing the female in a "biblical" sense is a long standing tradition in the U.S. Music scene ["Sugar Walls", "Milkshake", etc.] Bey's contribution is a disco themed tour de force. Kickass instrumental and some of her most alluring vocals are indeed here. However, once you actually listen to the song repeatedly, you'll realize this song is adorably nasty. Lyrics such as "Can you eat my Skittles/ it's the sweetest in the middle...Pink is the flavor/ solve the riddle" are one thing. The repeated utterings of "Turn that cherry out! Turn that cherry out!" make this song her version of "Play" by David Banner.
1. The song that defeats them all. A cut that parlays some of Bey's personal trauma from her young pageant days and early career. The video even though it introduced more dialogue than what the cut allotted, is well presented and has a reasonable denouement in the destroying of trophies and Bey graciously accepting defeat against another contestant in the beauty pageant.
Honorable 11th place: "No Angel"; even though it isn't her best, the video is a well constructed homage to her Houston roots.
Say it with me everyone; This List Is RANK : P