Beyonce’s “Grown Woman”: Review Revue

Sam Lansky | May 21, 2013 9:32 am

Well, a version of Beyonce‘s Timbaland-produced five-minute Pepsi jingle “Grown Woman” leaked last night, and it’s definitely good if you like tribal beats and the absence of a chorus (personally, I do), but not so great if you were expecting a big commercial single with a big commercial hook. Then again, it’s Beyonce, so she’s not really playing by anyone’s rules but her own. Maybe this is what commercial sounds like in 2013. Who knows.

Our own Carl Williott wrote that the song is “a frenetic, globetrotting dance track with a tribal rhythm, chants and a descending bass line,” which it certainly is — and critics seemed to steer clear of offering too much judgment, instead simply noting the production quirks. Perhaps they, too, fear the wrath of the BeyHive. Check their thoughts below.

:: Vulture felt that “listening to it is a lot more fun than watching shaky concert videos or soda commercials,” writing: “Lyrically, it’s a less grandiose continuation of ‘Run the World (Girls)’ — it’s also impossible to hear ‘bitches, I run this’ without thinking of non-single ‘Bow Down’ — but the beat certainly feels like new territory for Bey.

:: SPIN called it “a thrilling five minutes, winding up in an African-style percussion-and-vocal breakdown. The leak is better than nothing, and that ain’t bad at all.”

:: Slate thought the track was anthemic, writing: “To be a lead single from Beyoncé these days, you need four things: A syncopated, up-tempo beat, some stabs of brass or synths to go over it, a chorus of female shout-along voices (mostly Beyoncé’s), and a message of female empowerment.”

:: Fuse complimented the song’s production: “Musically, a chugging Afro-pop beat gives way to a full-blown African drum and vocal breakdown that will inevitably trigger numerous misplaced, but well-intentioned, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” references. But yeah, any excuse to have African drums on a mainstream dance-pop track is good enough for us.”

:: Elle dug the track and its female-empowerment message: “The soft reggae beat makes it a perfect dance song for sultry summer nights. Once again, queen Bey dictates that girls really do run the world.”

:: Said some commenter on a forum somewhere, “YASSSSSSS!!!! MY QUEEN IS SLAYING!!!” — probably. No, definitely. I’m sure of it.

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