The Bottom Line
One of the first things noticed about the new Beyonce single "Run the World (Girls)" is how seamlessly it fits as a natural progression for her music dating back to classic work with Destiny's Child. The clipped sung-spoke vocal style has evolved to anthemic shouts. Sharp percussion is represented here by intense marching band style drums. Lyrics of female empowerment have evolved to the rule of women. There is no mistake this is a Beyonce record, and it is thrilling in its ability to push even further into exploration of Beyonce the artist.
- Awesomely addictive rhythm track
- Natural progression of the music of Beyonce
- Sultry break
- Lyrics that do not dig deep enough
- Written by The-Dream, Beyoncé Knowles, Nick van de Wall, Wesley Pentz, David Taylor, and Adidja Palmer
- Produced by Switch, Beyoncé Knowles, and Shea Taylor
- Released April 2011 By Columbia
Guide Review - Beyonce - "Run the World (Girls)"
If there is one current recording artist that would surprise no one in singing about running the world, it would be Beyonce. What is left for a musical star of her caliber, owner of 16 Grammy Awards, and a movie star as well? Female empowerment has always been a key element of the music of Beyonce from Destiny's Child's "Independent Women, Part 1" through her own "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)." It just has never been so overt as a declaration that women do, in fact, run the world.
"Run the World (Girls)" samples percussion from Major Lazer's club hit "Pon De Floor" to great effect here. Switch, one half of Major Lazer, receives production credits, and the word is that Diplo, the act's other half, did have an uncredited role as well. Just try and get this beat out of your head. It will be a difficult task indeed. After you decide to listen to "Run the World (Girls)" for a fifth and sixth time, marvel at the polyrhythmic density of the mix. If there is a downside here, it is that the lyrics rarely move beyond the simple declarative message.
The aggressive, addictive rhythm track and words of female power are enough to make this song stand out among current pop releases, but it is the break beginning with a sultry Beyonce seducing us with, "My persuasion can build a nation," that sends it all over the top. Will Beyonce have the power to follow Britney Spears and Lady Gaga with a #1 debut of her own? She has given herself an extra day lead time beyond what "Born This Way" required to open on top. Pass the popcorn while we watch.