Only Beyonce (or perhaps Justin Timberlake) could so overtly channel Narcissus and turn it into such an enjoyable spectacle. I mean, Bey’s “Mirrors” Pepsi ad is far fiercer than a soda commercial — any commercial — has a right to be. It was basically one long, extended exercise in getting people to say “daaamn.” We felt it pulled off “the nifty trick of promoting Pepsi but mostly promoting Beyonce’s legacy, which just feels, well, right, somehow.”
As for the snippet of the Timbaland-produced “Grown Woman,” it wasn’t too shabby, either! The swaggering beat and verses seem to continue the more aggressive direction that emerged on “Bow Down/I Been On,” moving away from the raw romanticism of 4. Based on our roundup of reactions from across the web, everyone thinks Bey did a pretty stellar job at making a throwaway piece of beverage promotion into a piece of entertainment. Check out the reviews below.
:: MTV seemed to enjoy the sample, highlighting the song’s “lyrical swagger,” “spastic beat and Timbaland’s signature beat boxing.”
:: Fuse was disappointed that the big announcement turned out to be a commercial, but called it “a pretty decent 45-second snippet of [the] driving dance floor jam that’ll be on gym playlists everywhere as soon as it drops.” The site’s biggest issue? “There’s no way on earth Beyonce hydrates during practice with a can of Pepsi.” Valid point.
:: SPIN heaped praise on the song, saying it’s “an appealingly updated, slightly more sophisticated version of the same singer who broke out with Destiny’s Child[...] It’s refreshing and bubbly, like a — well, whatever, it works.”
:: Rolling Stone was drawn to the “militaristic click-clack rhythm” and “hyper-confident assertions,” but pointed out it all “tragically cuts off right before it hits the chorus.”
:: Stereogum called “Grown Woman” a “way-more-linear” offering than “Bow Down/I Been On,” adding, “The song sounds pretty good, from what I can tell, but I’m more impressed by how seamlessly woven-together this particular ad is.”
:: E! declared, “Beyoncé is a goddess — many times over!” The writer added, “the today version of Bey trumps them all, looking sexy and empowered.”