BEYONCÉ: the discography rate ~ WINNER revealed!

On the subject of "Sandcastles" being the first track from Lemonade that isn't "Forward" to exit this rate... I kinda resent y'all for it.

It's raw. It's just so incredibly raw. And I think it's true of its entire parent album, everything is so raw – the emotion, the energy, Beyoncé's vocals – but on "Sandcastles," there is nothing, no extravagant production, no fiery punchline, to distract you from the rawness of the song and honesty at play. It's so vulnerable. The way she sings the word "cry" on the first verse and "scars" on the last one. Her delivery of the lines "Pictures snatched out the frame/Bitch I scratched out your name... AND YOUR FACE!" The mix of anger and deep sadness and remorse you can feel in her voice. How you can hear each inflection of her vocals and they all carry different conflicting emotions.

Of course, when Lemonade came out, "Sandcastles" wasn't an immediate standout of mine, it felt more like the little ballad of the album. But damn did it sneak up on me! Vulnerability is something Beyoncé does so well in a way that seems almost unintentional at times. I think of songs like "Resentment," "I Miss You" or "Heaven" where it feels like emotion is just pouring out of her and it results in her sounding so human, so real, so... raw! It's huge, yet everything about it is so restrained outside of Beyoncé's performance.

I'm sorry, but I think y'all fucked up on that one guys.


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Kitty Kat is still one of her best to me, all these years later. I guess I wrongfully assumed it was a fan-favourite because I can't believe it's not in the Top 50!

I also remember spending days and days as a kid on YouTube searching for the full version of the video and wondering why I couldn't find it, only to eventually realize that the 58-second version was the full video.

Honestly, I don't really think the single effect is what is propelling 'Diva' and 'APESHIT' - neither were particularly huge singles within Beyoncé's discography, commercially. 'If I Were A Boy' and 'Halo' are two of her biggest singles, and both have left the rate.

I can only speak for myself, but I rated both tracks pretty highly for a few reasons. 'APESHIT' demonstrates Beyoncé's phenomenal talent for rapping, besting her husband at his own game. Further to that, the track goes off, particularly within a live capacity - it's absolutely relentless, which makes it a pretty thrilling listen from start to finish. And while this shouldn't necessarily be taken into consideration, the accompanying visuals were absolutely superb.

'Diva' now feels like a borderline signature track for Beyoncé from the way she absolutely sells it live at nearly every opportunity (similar to 'Run the World'), and the beat remains insane to this day. I really enjoy the way it builds and lurches back and forth throughout, culminating in the furious middle-eight (or third verse - structurally, it's quite a strange track) that was fantastic to listen to as a fan back in 2008, as Beyoncé had never really commanded herself with such authority before. I actually really enjoy how almost eerily discordant the whole thing sounds, and given that she hasn't really released anything like it since, it owns a special place in my heart. And it is worth repeating just how much it knocks live, which is practically an integral part of the Beyoncé discography appreciating experience!

I wouldn't want to pigeon-hole your preferences, @Maki, but I've sort of gathered that you seem to particularly value songs that place an emphasis on melodies/harmonies etc, leaning more into Beyoncé's talents as a singer, which is totally fair. I hope the above gives you more of an idea of why I love tracks like 'Diva', 'Apeshit', and '7/11' - melody isn't as much of a priority for me when it comes to the enjoyment of a track. I’m a sucker for an absolute banger of a beat, for instance.
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I wouldn't want to pigeon-hole your preferences, @Maki, but I've sort of gathered that you seem to particularly value songs that place an emphasis on melodies/harmonies etc, leaning more into Beyoncé's talents as a singer, which is totally fair. I hope the above gives you more of an idea of why I love tracks like 'Diva', 'Apeshit', and '7/11' - melody isn't as much of a priority for me when it comes to the enjoyment of a track, I'm a sucker for an absolute banger of a beat, for instance.
You're definitely right when it comes to my scoring system being influenced mostly by melody, harmonies, vocals etc. but I definitely do take into consideration the instrumental and production, too. This may be ignorant, but lyrics are usually the last thing I value when rating songs. I think not being a native English speaker makes it easier for me to not really pay attention to them while listening so they don't affect my listening experience too much. I will surely acknowledge if and why the lyrics are bad / problematic / good / amazing, but they will very rarely alter my score.
But what I think is the main issue when it comes to some of these songs is that I just don't like rap music in general. Maybe not exactly that I actively dislike it, but... I simply don't get nor care for it in any way. It often becomes annoying over time, too. To me, it feels like someone is loudly talking over an instrumental, so there's rarely much enjoyment I get from that and it's literally one of the very few genres of music I just can't seem to get into. As a result, they hardly ever get higher scores from me. It's been that way since forever, so I guess it likely won't change. However, that doesn't mean I automatically give 0s and 1s to rap songs since there are obviously other aspects to take into consideration, mainly the instrumental, production flourishes, backing vocals - all three of these immensely lifting up some songs from "RENAISSANCE". I already mentioned this example: "BLACK EFFECT" has an incredible instrumental but if someone sang over it rather than rapped, its score would've very likely been much higher.
And yeah, I really love reading other people's opinions and 'dissertations' for songs (as frustrating as they sometimes might be, hehe) and especially since I tend to write a shit ton of thoughts about even the most inessential/obscure ones, so reading someone's point of view surely is interesting to compare and get further insight on why some songs are enjoyable for others.

As for the 'single effect', I usually picture these being songs that aren't among the ones anyone barely knows they were singles nor the biggest hits because they can suffer from being overplayed. I think songs like "Diva" and "APESHIT" fall in the middle of these extremes, so I tend to call them out. Then again, these are all mainly speculations.
I'm backkkkkkkkk!


SCORE: 8.276

44/113 (-7) | 7.763 (+0.513)
HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 8 ( @Phonetics Girl, @BubblegumBoy, @Dijah., @eatyourself, @soratami, @Purple, @godspeed, @klow )
LOWEST SCORE: 2.5 x 1 ( @Robert )
MY SCORE: 8.5/10

Dance For You was a bonus track on the deluxe edition of Beyoncé's fourth studio album, 4. Co-written with The Dream and Tricky Stewart, the song is a classic mid-tempo R&B banger about love and dancing for your lover as an appreciation of said love. Beyoncé said at the time, "Dance for You is about giving yourself fully to one person, it’s about being able to lose control with the person you’re meant for. Both the melody and the lyrics make it one of my most intimate songs." Despite not being a single, the song garnered some radio support which actually made it one of the most popular cuts from the album.

I do love Dance For You. It doesn't do anything particularly new or inventive or out of the box, however it's just a solid, well made sex jam with some great electric guitar outro taking the song over 6 minutes. The song gives me that 00s R&B nostalgia which I love so dearly. The music video is also a simple yet effective affair. Co-directed with Alan Ferguson, it is shot in black and white and has an overall film noir aesthetic. It's mainly a choreography video though, as Beyoncé dances for a man, but also with her female dancers in front of fans. It has nearly 200m views on YouTube.

Beyoncé included the song on the setlist for the Revel shows, however used it as an opportunity to just do some choreography instead of singing. Also, it was included in the first few The Mrs Carter Show World Tour dates before being cut.

Dance For You currently has over 120m streams on Spotify.

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It's funny that every album since 4 has had a sex jam of around six minutes on it (well, I guess "All Night" might not qualify exactly, but the chorus is "Sweet love, all night long"). I like "Virgo's Groove" most, but maybe that's the newness of it. "Dance for You" is very good, though I don't listen to it very often.
The 'trinity' of these sensual tunes ("Speechless", "Dance for You" and "Rocket") has never done anything to me, but "VIRGO'S GROOVE" is that one Beyoncé sex jam I really enjoy. She did that.
I love Speechless and it’s my favorite out of those 4. Dance For You is nice and I don’t like Rocket at all. Virgo’s Groove however, is really really good!


SCORE: 8.316

36/113 (-14) | 8.041 (+0.275)
HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 6 ( @allyshone, @lalaclairi_, @Phonetics Girl, @Dijah., @Maria, @klow )
LOWEST SCORE: 3 x 1 ( @Daniel_O )
MY SCORE: 10/10

As a fan of ethereal pop music and ethereal Beyoncé music, Love Drought satisfies all my needs. Co-written with Ingrid and Mike Dean, the song was, for Ingrid, inspired by the music industry and how two execs at Parkwood Entertainment had lied to her about Beyoncé not listening to new music at the time. Four days later, while at a writing camp for Beyoncé, Ingrid discovered Beyoncé had been listening to her music and had written copious amounts of notes on her tracks, hence the "Ten times out of nine I know you're lying" lyric. For Beyoncé though, the track follows the themes of Lemonade and describes a relationship riddling with trust issues.

Combined with the infectious and intimate production, the lyricism also shines on Love Drought. Like with most songs on Beyoncé's sixth studio album, Lemonade, it feels very standalone in her discography but makes perfect sense within the confinements of the album. A little sparkly gem if you will. The track comes within the Reformation portion of the Lemonade film, and we see Beyoncé with her female dancers marching into the ocean, notably resembling the Igbo Landing, which was a heartbreaking act of defiance against slavery in 1803.

Love Drought has only ever been performed once at the 2017 Grammy Awards, when Beyoncé was heavily pregnant with the twins. The song currently has around 35m streams on Spotify and while I believe it deserves more, it will always remain an underrated gem, just like Ingrid.

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the ethereal Beyoncé bops leave us back to back...


SCORE: 8.333

19/113 (-30) | 8.592 (-0.258)
HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 6 ( @allyshone, @boombazookajoe, @eatyourself, @sesita, @godspeed, @Robert )
LOWEST SCORE: 6 x 3 ( @Sprockrooster, @theincredibleflipper, @TheOnlyOne )
MY SCORE: 10/10

Mine was previously Beyoncé's only official collaboration with Drake, up until Renaissance, where he worked with her on HEATED... and I have to say... no matter what you think of Drake's music now, his work with Beyoncé remains exceptionally good. Mine is the ninth track on Beyoncé's fifth studio album, Self-Titled and was co-written with Drake, 40, Majid Jordan, Omen and Key Wane. The track runs just over six minutes and opens with a gorgeous and vulnerable verse, where Beyoncé hints at troubles in her marriage and "not feeling like myself since the baby". Similar to the previously eliminated Love Drought, Mine can be quite ethereal and operates on a different level than the rest of the album in all of it's alt-R&B gorgeousness.

The music video was directed by Pierre Debusschere, who also directed Ghost. Like with the song, it's the opening which is particularly moving as we see Beyoncé in a veil and gown, holding a mask of herself in one hand and her dancer's head painted in white in the other. The rest of the video, we see Beyoncé and Drake in simple setups with black backgrounds as the dancers take centre stage. A lot of the imagery here is similar to Black Is King.

Beyoncé fittingly opened with Mine for her Self-Titled medley performance at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. She then performed the song on The Formation World Tour, adding a great dance break with the Standing On The Sun (Remix), which she would later keep for Coachella and the On The Run II shows. The song has a respectable 73m+ streams on Spotify.

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