BEYONCÉ: the discography rate ~ WINNER revealed!

After hearing your thoughts on SPIRIT and watching the Black Is King version multiple times this evening, I now can't believe some songs scored a better average. I'm now a SPIRIT stan.

YES. YES!!!!


(Amor Gitano and every attempt at Latincé are SO corny, but I'm not saying this no I haven't said that).
~ For a 'basic' empowering soundtrack song, this is really good. Yes, the chorus is underwhelming and the album has better highs but everything else hits the mark and the general production really lifts it up. Definitely not the weakest song on "The Gift". I'm still very surprised it left first from this album, and before so many other songs... really don't get the hate for this one.

What's It Gonna Be - 6.25
~ I would slot this one in the same category as "I Can't Take No More". It's a nice, typical 00s R&B moment and there's nothing I dislike about it, but it's still screaming bonus track material. It actually sounds like a Destiny's Child album track from the late 90s, which is cute. The chorus is good, so is the middle-8, but the rest is rather forgettable and doesn't stand out by any means. Impressive (also random) average score jump compared to the previous rate, it seems it only benefitted from being consistently scored more than anything.

Hip Hop Star - 7.25
~ This song kinda confuses me. As a trashy R&B tune mixed with rockier elements, it does stand out on this album. However, it objectively sounds bad and very wonky, yet that's partly why I like it? The melody has something off about it, especially during the verses. A weird little song for sure.

I find it interesting that "Speechless" and "Yes" are still around when it comes to the debut album, since neither of these seem like big faves at all. Maybe they just got consistently scored like some of their peers.

Another thing - how did the remaining few non-single ballads from "I Am... " get so ahead of the rest? It's not like "Satelites" and "Disappear" are miles apart..
I called my scores a mess but the results are definitely a much bigger mess than that. Among many other things, it's a bit wild to see "SPIRIT", a lead single from an album, nearly sandwiched between two "Dangerously in Love" bonus tracks.
Fighting Temptation - 6.25
~ I don't mind this one - the chorus is great but Missy's parts annoy me here, unfortunately. Given it was a single, it's very unremarkable and other songs during this time easily outshine it. Shouldn't have been their highest ranked collaboration, but I agree that "Summertime" is definitely the superior cut from this soundtrack.

Turnt - 7.5
~ This was a very nice rediscovery for me, mainly because I forgot the song even existed. The chorus is so good and very memorable. I also agree that it foreshadows her self-titled album, too. Parts by The-Dream and 2 Chainz kinda ruin it for me so I couldn't score it too high. There are definitely some other extras/optionals that should've vacated before this one but it did well, all things considered.

Out of the optional extras, I was pretty sure "Love In This Club Part II" and "Lift Off" would leave by now, even though I have lower scores still in.
One/two days off, now back to it...


SCORE: 6.668

HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 1 ( @Maria )
LOWEST SCORE: 1 x 3 ( @Daniel_O )
MY SCORE: 6.5/10

Our second track to fall from the Beyoncé and Jay-Z's joint album, Everything Is Love is TIDAL exclusive track, SALUD!. The song was written by Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Cool & Dre, Eliot Dubok and The Dream and is still pretty hard to find online (especially in the UK)... unless you are a TIDAL user of course. Thematically, Beyoncé and Jay-Z cheers to their success and tune out the haters. Bey only sings the chorus on SALUD!, so she doesn't get a solo verse. Combined with its limited availability, I'm not too surprised to see it fall early on.

I think LOVEHAPPY is definitely the stronger closer, but SALUD! is a nice little bonus track for fans of the album. Additionally, Jay takes a few lines to diss that ex-president, he who shall not be named, so extra points for that!



SCORE: 6.675

HIGHEST SCORE: 9 x 1 ( @Phonetics Girl )
LOWEST SCORE: 3.5 x 1 ( @Aester )
MY SCORE: 6/10

Love A Woman is an album track taken from Mary J. Blige's tenth studio album, My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1), which is an especially long album title. The two artists wrote the song, along with Sean Garrett and Menardini Timothee, while production was done by Garrett, Team S. Dot and BridgeTown. The song was recorded during the 4 sessions, however Beyoncé didn't feel like the song fit in with the rest of her album, hence why it ended up in Mary's hands and as a duet. Mary also revealed how she wanted the song to be a single, however the process was delayed and never came to fruition due to Beyoncé's pregnancy.

It's a perfectly serviceable duet between the two women, but Beyoncé definitely made the right call not to use it for 4. It's a classic R&B ballad, but there's still moments, especially in the vocal delivery which I really enjoy. The song was never performed live, but when I think of Mary and Beyoncé I can't help but not think of the absolutely iconic Stand Up 4 Cancer performance, which never gets old. Any excuse to post it really!

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Some more extras to chop...


SCORE: 6.7

HIGHEST SCORE: 9 x 1 ( @odyism )
LOWEST SCORE: 5 x 2 ( @Sprockrooster, @Ana Raquel )
MY SCORE: 5.5/10

Another Etta James cover from the film, Cadillac Records, gets eliminated. This times it's a cover of the 1967 classic blues song, I'd Rather Go Blind, which was written by James, Ellington Jordan, Billy Foster and Rick Hall. This cut is definitely one of the more recognisable covers from the film. Even though I haven't seen the film, I definitely remember hearing about I'd Rather Go Blind at the time.

It's a powerful song and Beyoncé puts in a powerful performance, both vocally and physically, as you can see above. Honestly, it's actually quite offensive that Beyoncé often gets swiped with the "popstar can't act" card. She's been good in everything I've seen her in so far, even the high camp Obsessed. Anyway, I think I rated this sort of poorly because again... I haven't seen the film. The vocal performance really lifts this from standard cover to something remarkable.



SCORE: 6.74

HIGHEST SCORE: 9 x 1 ( @Music Is Death )
LOWEST SCORE: 3 x 1 ( @Robert )
MY SCORE: 6.5/10

Usher and Beyoncé have worked together multiple times throughout their careers, but it was on the sequel to Usher's 2008 hit and lead single Love In This Club where they finally got on a record together. I didn't know this at the time, but Love In The Club Part II, which obviously features Beyoncé and Lil Wayne, was actually released as the second single to Usher's album, Here I Stand. I just thought it was a little extra remix to capitalise on the success of the first song, not an actual single. Mariah Carey was initially rumoured to be on the song, but I'm not sure whether it was just an idea or if she actually recorded it. However, Beyoncé ended up on the final version and singing Keri Hilson's lyrics no less.

The remix is nice. It has around 60m streams on Spotify and it ended up reaching No.18 on the Billboard Hot 100, but was nowhere to be seen on the UK charts, which was probably why I never realised it was a single. Despite Usher not doing much for me in a LONG time, I did recently enjoy his cameo in the JLo film, Hustlers, where the girls dance to the original Love In This Club. Also, back in 2005, Beyoncé joined Usher on stage for a performance of his song Bad Girl for his Live In Puerto Rico concert special. Even without a mic, Beyoncé takes over the show and commands the stage. You can view both of these moments below.

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Still dippin' in my low-lows girl...


SCORE: 6.74

HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 1 ( @soratami )
LOWEST SCORE: 1 x 1 ( @Daniel_O )
MY SCORE: 6.5/10

As per my rules, 713 was technically a tie with Love In This Club Part II, however this track received a big shiny 10, so it snatched the No.129 spot. Although 713 is the area code for Beyoncé's hometown Houston, Texas baby, it's Jay who really takes lead on this song from the couple's joint album, Everything Is Love, while Beyoncé sings the hook. There are so many writers on 713, which is largely because the song uses a handful of samples and interpolations. The most notable being the second part of the hook, where Beyoncé parodies the Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg song, Still D.R.E., which was, back in the day, written by Jay himself. Other samples include Sphinx Gate and The World It Softly Lulls by Hiatus Kaiyote and The Light by Common.

This was my lowest scored song from Everything Is Love, alongside SALUD!, largely because Beyoncé isn't featured as much here. It's a Beyoncé after all. The hook is super catchy and obviously recognisable. Jay's verses are good here too, as he delves more into his mindset around the time the pair met / started their relationship. 713 is also the track where Beyoncé explicitly mentions the album title. I think there's way better on there, but there's no doubt in my mind that this should have lasted a bit longer.



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SALUD! - 5
~ This isn't among the absolute worst songs from this album but it's still not good. Mostly boring and uninspired, plus that autotuned bit of the song title is so annoying. Once again, Bey saves what can be saved, especially with these harmonies and the outro. Good to see this leave.

Love a Woman - 7.25
~ Great vocals, slightly dated and typical for this era but overall a pretty good song. I find the middle-8 both a standout and also think it drags a bit. Not a standout but still a very nice listen.

I’d Rather Go Blind - 6.75
~ Another good cover but far from being remotely essential I'm not sure it totally deserved to be here. I really like that full video performance though. This seems to be my highest scored cover form this album so "At Last" can leave anytime.

Love In This Club Part II - 6.75
~ Oops I was sure this was an optional for some reason, probably because I didn't know it was released as a single either. Anyway, it's a nice song, even though it's very of its time. The pre-chorus is very cute and it managed to outshine the chorus for me. On the other hand, that Lil Wayne verse is absolute trash but also monumental in a way, since it sounds like a mumble rap prototype - it definitely made me lower this song's score.
And the extras get cut down some more...


SCORE: 6.758

HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 1 ( @boombazookajoe )
LOWEST SCORE: 2 x 1 ( @Phonetics Girl )
MY SCORE: 7/10

The last unreleased track on the ballot has now been cut. Wake Up is an unreleased demo which found its way online in 2018. If you follow Ariana Grande, which I'm sure most of you do, you'll know Wake Up managed to find a home on Ari's fourth studio album, Sweetener, under the title R.E.M.. The song was written and produced by Pharrell Williams, who worked closely with Ari for her 2018 album. The story goes allegedly... Beyoncé recorded the song during the Self-Titled sessions, however she didn't end up using it, hence why it ended up in Ari's hands around 5 years later. Wake Up also used to go by Dream, when T-Pain recorded the song in 2011.

I may be bias, but I actually enjoy Beyoncé's demo version of the song more than the official one. It feels more grown, the vocal delivery is more interesting and vibrant and it just generally has more "oomf" to keep me interested throughout. And hey, that's not a knock to Ari's version. I think both artists were just going for different vibes and they each put their own stamp on it. Additionally, I can totally see why Beyoncé didn't end up using it for Self-Titled. I'm really not sure where it would fit on there. But I wanted to include this as it's always interesting to see how artists can have two completely different takes of the same song. Bey's is just a really pleasant listen, hence my solid 7 score.



SCORE: 6.783

HIGHEST SCORE: 9.5 x 2 ( @boombazookajoe, @Music Is Death )
LOWEST SCORE: 3 x 1 ( @Phonetics Girl )
MY SCORE: 5.5/10

Another Oscar dream was dashed this year. Be Alive was written and produced by Beyoncé and Dixson for the 2021 award winning film, King Richard. The song was nominated at most of the major award shows for Best Original Song, including at the 94th Academy Awards. Honestly, no matter what you think of the song, it's actually really huge deal to get nominated at the Academy Awards, especially as the Bey is the sole songwriter on the track. In the track, Beyoncé talks about Black empowerment, family and sisterhood which are all themes closely linked with the film, which follows the Williams family and the early rise of Venus and Serena in the tennis world, thanks to their father, Richard. The Door's Five To One is used as a sample here, which Jay-Z famously sampled on Takeover and is used in an emotional scene in the film. You may also recognise the sample from the On The Run Tour, where Beyoncé uses it during the intro to Ring The Alarm.

We'll probably talk about this a lot throughout this rate, but Beyoncé is one of the few artists who has the insane ability to sell any song and make it seem like a 10/10 and her opening performance at the Academy Awards did just that. What a fucking STAR! This was the first time in a long time where fans got to see Beyoncé performing live and she delivers a stunning performance on a tennis court in Compton, where Venus and Serena used to practice as children. Watching the performance again, and then looking at my score... I feel bad. I definitely underscored and I'm mad at myself. The studio version just feels a little lacklustre compared. Anyway, future star, Blue Ivy also makes an appearance in the performance towards the end.

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713 - 6
~ Maybe I underscored this one a tiny bit since Bey's part here really is amazing. I remember it was a standout when I first heard the album and honestly it's one of (if not the) album highlights. Shame that it's only a few lines and the rest of the song doesn't do much to me.

Wake Up (R.E.M.) - 6.75
~ Of course my least favourite out of the three unreleased songs leaves first. This isn't bad by any means, but just lacks something to properly stand out, notable a better hook than the repeated 'wake up' part. It's pleasant enough I guess. I haven't heard Ariana's version yet so I obviously can't compare them.

Be Alive - 8.5
~ I actually enjoy this song a lot - one of her better soundtrack offerings in my opinion. Her vocals are so damn powerful here and the melody is great. The instrumental may feel a bit too monotonous but I think it stands out, too. Given that its reception upon release was even worse than "SPIRIT" (I'm again perplexed by the reactions), I'm glad it didn't leave earlier.
Girls... we're starting to run low on extras...


SCORE: 6.798

HIGHEST SCORE: 9.25 x 1 ( @Dijah. )
LOWEST SCORE: 3 x 1 ( @theincredibleflipper )
MY SCORE: 7/10

Due to most of the extras leaving, I feel like we've been on a journey through Beyoncé's filmography. We've talked about Goldmember, Cadillac Records, Fighting Temptations and The Lion King... so now it's time to talk about the 2006 reboot of The Pink Panther, where Beyoncé starred as Xania. I saw the film once, in the cinema and have never seen it since and I don't think anyone needs too again to be honest. However, during a scene, fans did get to hear an original song, A Woman Like Me, which was written by Charmelle Cofield, Ron "Amen-Ra" Lawrence and Beyoncé and samples the horn arrangement in Simon Haseley's Hammerhead. It never got an official release on its own, however an exclusive full performance of the song came with the DVD as a special feature.

Beyoncé once described this song as having, the "strength of a Tina Turner song, but the drama of a Bond tune"... which, you know, I can see if I use my imagination a tad. It's still a pretty good soundtrack/non-soundtrack because it didn't get an official release song and it was definitely worth a place on the ballot. Bey harmonises with herself throughout and it just ends up being a really sultry R&B number with some great instrumentation. It definitely deserved some form of release. Couldn't it at least have been a b-side on the official Pink Panther single, Check On It?


Let me be a tease now... We have another extra which will be leaving shortly and then a SLEW of album tracks. Gird your loins and get ready to be pissed off... maybe...


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