Monday, 24 October 2011

Is Beyonce overrated?

The simple answer to the above question, is my humble opinion, is yes.

Before the Beyonce lovers start hating on me and throwing stuff, I'd like to say that I think she's got an amazing voice, she's beautiful, she works hard and she's very talented.

Despite all that, I still think she's overrated.

Why I don't love her as much as the rest of the world seems to can largely be summed up in two categories:

1. Her music
2. Her emotions

Firstly, Beyonce's music, with very few exceptions, is, at best, average. Sure, there's the brilliant stuff, like Crazy in Love, but with every new song Beyonce releases it's like she's going by the mantra "bigger is better".

Well, bigger is not always better. For me, I feel like Beyonce's music goes through a factory process. The basic melody and lyrics are at the start of a conveyor belt. As they go down the belt, 20 instruments get added, then a load of sound effects. Of course, we mustn't forget to add in a bunch of people clapping their hands and/or clicking their fingers. And in case you weren't aware of how good a singer Beyonce is, she's add in some really long, drawn out notes that go up and down the scales.

Don't agree? Listen to some of her recent stuff - Run the World (Girls), Countdown just to give a few examples. Each song is like 10 different songs mashed together. It's too much.

And let's all admit it, the only reasons we like Single Ladies are because of the dance and because of Glee.

My second problem with Beyonce is to do with emoting. Sure, as mentioned above, she can emote a note with the best of them (she probably is the best), but I just have a hard time believing that she's feeling what she's singing.

This doesn't come into play on the upbeat tracks as much as it does on the ballads (the exception being songs like Flaws and All, which is a song about being in love). When Beyonce sings about a guy cheating on her, or someone breaking her heart, I just can't feel the emotion in the song.

A great comparison to illustrate exactly what I mean would be Adele. With Adele, I can feel the pain she's going through. I can tell she spent hours crying and eating ice cream and being bitter and then writing songs about the whole experience of having her heart broken. With Beyonce, I feel like someone said: "Ooh, let's do a song about you having your heart broken." And Beyonce said: "Yes, I haven't got one of those on the album yet, I'll just go and write it, give me five minutes."

All the long notes and instruments in the world couldn't see Beyonce compete against Adele and a piano when it comes to songs that can make you feel.

Going back to the factory metaphor of earlier, here's a great line to sum up my Beyonce problem:

"I just make the hits, like a factory."

No, that's not just me making something up, or finding something and making it fit this post. That's a line sung by Jay-Z. On Beyonce's Deja Vu.

Need I say more?

  • Agree, disagree? I'm happy to be proved wrong, since I do like Beyonce, just not as much as everyone else. Let me know in the comments what you think.

4 comments:

  1. I agree with absolutely everything in this post! Also there seems to be this ideology that everyone must love her because 'How can you not like Beyonce, she's Beyonce!' - eurgh :)

    C+C

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  2. I'm leaving a message because I agree totally with what you wrote. After watching Beyonce's Superbowl performance all of my peers were just blown away. The twitter-verse also was practically bowing down to Beyonce and I felt like the only one that was asking "What was so epic about that performance guys?" I just feel that beyonce is overhyped, overrated, and too afraid of failure that she does not have the guts to get out there and really be the best she could possibly be.

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    1. I enjoyed Beyonce's Super Bowl performance, but I think, as I said in the post, I just don't see why she's hailed as much as she is. She's very talented, but it's all the marketing around the Beyonce brand that's really created this massive reputation for her. And really, I think she's at her best when she's singing heartfelt ballads, when it's just her voice on show and not a gazillion pyrotechnics and so on and so on.

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