April 21st, 2011
06:13 PM ET
Whether you've heard the leaked version or the official track that dropped today, no doubt Beyonce's latest empowerment anthem "Run the World (Girls)" has marched its way over and implanted itself on a hard-to-shake loop in your head. (Oh, that's just us? Moving on...)
Snippets from the song's demo have been circulating the Web for days, but the single's Thursday release offers the full Diplo-produced experience.
"Who run the world?" she asks in the hook, and goes on to provide an answer: "Girls!"
On top of some serious percussion, she sings, "This goes out to all the women/getting it in/you on your grind...Boy you know you love it/how we smart enough to make these millions/Strong enough to bear the children/Then get back to business."
Not unexpected from the woman who's previously brought us "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" and along with the rest of Destiny's Child, "Independent Women" parts one and two. The critical reaction, however, hasn't been totally laudatory.
Entertainment Weekly notes the continuation of past themes, writing that it would be "appreciated" to see her "switching lanes a bit content-wise...She’s fully capable of making a classic album as genius and relatable as Lauryn Hill’s 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.' But at this point, I doubt that’s her goal."
The song, which samples Major Lazer's "Pon de Floor," "is a bit overstuffed, but fairly enjoyable," says the Village Voice. "[B]ut there's also something exhausting about it that goes beyond its cheer-team beats. It doesn't seem so much like a song as it does a collection of movements, of snippets that can be broken down into iTunes previews."
Popdust was similarly middling, noting that “Run the World” "is certainly an unconventional choice for a lead single, sounding more like a four-minute drill instruction than a traditional club banger." But it's not only the beat that's a bit strange, "it’s also fairly free-form in structure, featuring a chorus in three parts that kind of comes and goes in pieces throughout the song, and a verse whose melody rarely stays consistent for more than a few bars." In the end, it might have more in common "with left-field pop icons like Grace Jones and Yoko Ono than with arguable peers like Rihanna or Mariah Carey."
Vulture, meanwhile, has already embraced it, saying the track is "kind of a monster — aggressive and intense and totally committed in all the ways you'd hope for the first big move in a new promo run from one of our most cherished pop stars. That means it's as immediately familiar as it is bluntly effective; we have given in to it already."
What do you think? Does it make you excited for her reported fourth album, expected to arrive in June?
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