First it was "Girl," then "Girls," then "Girls (Who Run the World)," and now finally it looks like "Run the World (Girls)" will be the official title of Beyoncé's new single, which leaked to the internet a few days ago and was made available for download on iTunes earlier today. The track has proven divisive among fans and critics, some (like us) praising it for its quirky beat and largely free-form style, and others (like Kevin and Makael) panning it for its lack of structure and cheesy chorus. Here's a small cross-section of what the taste-makers are saying about it around the 'net:
Pop Crush: "The song may take a few listens to embrace, since it’s not as immediately accessible as ‘Single Ladies’ or ‘Irreplaceable,’ but it will likely win over fans with its hypnotic beat and call-and-response chorus, 'Who run the world? Girls, girls'...Beyonce deserves props for taking a bit of a risk with the lead single from her new album." (8/10)
Diva Devotee: "Being so different, Girls is likely to go either one of two ways. If Beyonce is lucky, her star power, and the fact that this is her return, will insure this is a hit. Conversely the polar opposite could happen and the song alienates sections of Beyonce's diverse market thus causing it to tank...This being so, is the release of such a risky return single the result of an unguided, out of touch singer, or is it a sign of a more creative and risk taking artist being allowed to flourish on her own? Either way Queen B is coming back and coming hard, albeit in a somewhat chaotic way, for all the Females of the world, and its a better place for it!" (3/5)
New York Magazine (Vulture): "It's kind of a monster—aggressive and intense and totally committed in all the ways you'd hope for the first big move in a new promo run from one of our most cherished pop stars. That means it's as immediately familiar as it is bluntly effective; we have given in to it already. It's also very declarative: See, according to B, it's girls who run the world. This isn't technically true, of course; world leaders are still disappointingly disproportionately male."
Village Voice: "'Girls' is fun to listen to and will probably inspire lots of peppy YouTube tributes as it spools across the web, but there's also something exhausting about it that goes beyond its cheer-team beats. It doesn't seem so much like a song as it does a collection of movements, of snippets that can be broken down into iTunes previews. Make all the jokes about compositional ADD becoming more of an epidemic in this currently overstimulated age that you want, but more and more pop songs seem like they should heed Coco Chanel's advice and take one accessory off before leaving the house; Rich Juzwiak noted Jessie J's all-over-the-placeness in his review of her album Who You Are, and B collaborator Lady Gaga's new single 'Judas' also runneth over."
The Couch Sessions: "Let’s face it, this re-interpretation of [Major Lazer's "Pon de Floor"] is somewhat lazy. With Swizz, at least he layered new synths on the top making a completely different song. But what do I know? This song is a bonefide hit. Laced with girl power messages (How we smart enough to make these millions/Strong enough to bare the children), this track will be the favorite of you girlfriend, daughter, and mom by the middle of July. Diplo and Switch are set to be introduced to a whole new generation of listeners. As the mainstream is trying to get those hipster dollars, none of your sacred indie producers are safe. Welcome to 2011." (2.5/5)
And of course, we had to grab some fan Tweets as well. Here's what your friends and neighbors have to say about "Run the World":
For lots more pics, videos and up-to-the-second dish on Beyoncé, be sure to check out her Popdust Artist Page.