Archive for Beyonce

41. ”03 Bonnie and Clyde’ by Jay-Z feat. Beyonce (2003)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on November 20, 2010 by G.K. Reid

 So, after splooging about Will Young so very much, I hit a bit of a stumbling block trying to write about this one.  Largely because the enjoyment I derive from this – a slick, assured, well-oiled machine – is light years away from the blubbering emotional introspection purveyed by the Will Youngs of this world.  Jay-Z has no time for that shit.  He’s boinking Beyonce.  They’re in a car.  They like to talk to each other.  In fact, they only stop talking so she can watch Sex and the City.  That’s the ONLY time.  Upon release, the song was taken as their first communique to the world that they were about to become The SuperCouple.  Hip hop royalty.  The ‘new Bobby and Whitney’, as Jay-Z puts it here (an assertion that seems simultaneously comical and dubious – I mean, who wants that?)

Anyway, in retrospect, 03 Bonnie and Clyde was more than an enviably cool coming-out party for its two vocalists.  It was also one of the first indicators that Kanye West was a major musical thang about to happen.  He’s producer here, and this is an impeccably arranged record.  Beyonce has never sounded more sensual, and Jay-Z has never sounded more relaxed, with that just-plain-bloody-gorgeous Spanish guitar (right? It sounds pretty Spaniard to me) winding and weaving itself around them, and the whole thing ebbing and flowing with such a lulling consistency.

That’s not to say that the glories of 03 Bonnie and Clyde are purely aesthetic.  The reason it ranks so highly is that it plays as such a sincere re-enactment of the Bonnie and Clyde ideology.  It hones in on that almost-mythological, us-vs-the-world romanticism which Bonnie and Clyde are emblematic of, but makes it simultaneously grand and ordinary.  At no point in the song do Jay-Z and Beyonce identify specific adversaries in this ‘this life of sin’, they just know they can’t get through it without each other.  And if that means having to put up with hearing about Carrie Bradshaw’s shoe-fetish on a regular basis, then so be it.

Bonus points: Best celebrity couple ever. I would never invite Bobby and Whitney round for tea. These two? I’d inflate the airbed.

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51. ‘Crazy in Love’ by Beyonce feat. Jay-Z (2003)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 8, 2010 by G.K. Reid

It’s something of an understatement to say that pop music has long been commenting on just how thin the line is between love and madness; statistics that I’ve just made up show that 96.4% of all songs are about this very subject.  Put ‘Crazy’ into Spotify and you’ll probably yield approximately 12 billion results.  ‘Crazy in Love’ is such a monolith of modern pop that I need hardly describe how close it comes to bottling – through those astounding loops of horns, the deranged patina of ‘uh-ohs’, and Beyonce’s desperate assertion that she simply DOESN’T DO THIS – that all-consuming, common-sense-eschewing, all-bets-are-off rush of emotion and desire.

Bonus points:  Antony’s on hand to close the gap between love and madness even further…

 

82. ‘Jumpin’ Jumpin” by Destiny’s Child (2000)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 12, 2010 by G.K. Reid

 

Three of these people might as well be dead. In fact, for all I know, two of them are.

This marks Destiny’s Child’s only entry in my top 101, which is odd because they’re clearly one of the most almighty singles bands of the last decade (and beyond).  I guess it’s because hits like my chosen number, ‘Bootylicious’, ‘Independent Women’, ‘Survivor’, ‘Say My Name’, and ‘Lose My Breath’ all more or less cover the same aesthetic and thematic ground, so it’s almost gratuitous to include more than one. 

My fondness for those aforementioned stonkers vacillates, however, whereas my regard for ‘Jumpin’ Jumpin’ has been consistently high.  This is despite (or because of?) the flagrantly dubious morality on display, as Beyonce essentially advises everyone to cheat on everyone with everyone else.  She doesn’t half make a compelling case though, aided by the thrillingly staccato arrangement and that pulsating drive to the chorus. She really does love this club quite a lot.

Bonus points: ‘I ain’t thinking ’bout my man at night’ / ‘I ain’t worried ’bout ma guhl, a’ight?’