Monday, 18 March 2013

Beyoncé - Bow Down / I Been On

Her Superbowl halftime show proved that no-one can do a grand show quite like Queen B and her ‘Mrs Carter Show’ sold out in minutes even as her decision to tour under her hubbies’ name drew the ire of some critics so it’s no surprise that the ‘Independent Woman’ singer has come out fighting on these two new tracks released ahead of next month’s live dates.

‘Bow Down’ is produced by Hit-Boy, erstwhile beatmaker for Jay-Z on his millionaire’s playground ‘Watch the Throne’ but it’s mostly likely to garner attention for the line ‘bow down bitches’ seemingly targeted at the likes of Rita Ora. The intro’s chop shop sampling gives way to a dramatic Beyonce intoning “I know when you were little girls/You dreamt of being in my world” and “I took some time to live my life/Don't think I'm just his little wife”. Insights into her life aside, the trap influenced beat and pitch shifted samples do Beyonce few favours and make the track feel a little cluttered but by re-asserting her place at the top of the food chain it hints that she’s coming into her fifth record more fired up than ever.

‘I Been On’ features a beat from super-producer Timbaland, fresh from reintroducing Justin Timberlake to the world, but unfortunately this can’t salvage a track which makes the bizarre decision of dropping Beyonce’s voice by several octaves until her rap sounds as if it’s being delivered by a twenty-stone professional wrestler locked in a trunk and dropped in the sea. It’s dire.

Max Sefton

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