BEYONCÉ: the discography rate ~ WINNER revealed!

time to feel sexy...


SCORE: 8.808

35/113 (+2) | 8.057 (+0.751)
HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 10 ( @Sprockrooster, @boombazookajoe, @Ana Raquel, @Daniel_O, @Epic Chocolat, @Remorque, @Purple, @sesita, @klow, @Maki )
LOWEST SCORE: 4 x 1 ( @Aester )
MY SCORE: 7.5/10

Released as the fourth and final single from Dangerously In Love, Naughty Girl towers over most songs from Beyoncé’s debut album. However, after rating her entire discography and seeing how far she has come since 2003, Naughty Girl, to put it simply, feels like a simply cute moment. It was the first song Beyoncé recorded for her debut and was possibly going to be the lead single until they eventually went with Crazy In Love.

Naughty Girl’s Love To Love You Baby sample by the legendary Donna Summer is used extremely effectively here, giving it that instant familiarity and timeless edge. She would sample Summer again later on in her career with SUMMER RENAISSANCE. With added Middle Eastern flair in the production, a sultry bassline and some risqué vocal delivery throughout, the song delivers as a sexy slice of pop. We know Beyoncé would go on to truly explore her sensuality on later albums, but the beginnings were all here.

Naughty Girl was another hit for Beyoncé, going on to peak in multiple Top 10’s around the world, which is not bad for a fourth single. Additionally, it currently has just over 120 million streams on Spotify and has garnered around 2 million sales since its release.

The video became a staple on music channels in 2004 and like with many videos of that era, has a certain simplicity about it that makes me nostalgic for the early 00s. It’s a fun concept with some good choreography and having Beyoncé sitting in a large champagne glass... it just works. Also, famous 00s artist Usher makes a guest appearance here as Beyoncé’s dance partner. The video went on to win Best Female Video at the 2014 VMAs, moving her tally at the time up to 3 VMAs for the one album.

Naughty Girl has been performed countless times on countless tours, it even got its own interlude and performance on The Mrs Carter World Tour, which was around 10 years after its release. Her most recent performance of it was on The Formation World Tour where she perfectly transitions from Bootylicious to Naughty Girl to Party. Watch below!

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SCORE: 8.828

21/113 (-11) | 8.494 (+0.334)
HIGHEST SCORE: 11 x 1 ( @Phonetics Girl ) | 10 x 7 ( @Ana Raquel, @Maria, @soratami, @sesita, @TéléDex, @Music Is Death, @Robert )
LOWEST SCORE: 6 x 1 ( @boombazookajoe )
MY SCORE: 8/10

Almost 20 spots and we haven't had a Lemonade cut, well that ends now. 6 Inch, featuring The Weeknd, leaves just before the Top 30. The song was co-written with DannyBoyStyles, Ben Diehl, The Dream, Belly and BOOTS. Also snagging songwriting credits are Burt Bacharach and Hal David, for the Walk On By sample and David Portner, Noah Lennox and Brian Weitz from Animal Collective, for the interpolation of their 2009 song My Girls. 6 Inch uses the symbol of stiletto heels as a way to talk about work ethic and empowering women to keep pushing and GET YOUR FUCKING ASS UP AND WORK like a wise Kim Kardashian once said ddd. All jokes aside, you can see how the lyrics here can really relate to Beyoncé herself, as a woman who has been captured on film working all day and night and who others have said is one of the hardest working people in the industry.

6 Inch is moody, dark and brooding. Also, again, it offers up a totally different sound within the album. I've always liked the song, although I feel at times it has been overshadowed by some of the more animated songs on the album. The Weeknd is a decent feature and his inclusion doesn't overtake or cloud the message. And the outro!! Insane. Within the overall context of the album, it feels like 6 Inch could be Beyoncé throwing herself back into her work to distract from the troubles in her relationship. The levels!


@Phonetics Girl

Lemonade was my most played album of 2016 but I gotta admit I haven't listened to it in a good few years. I'm always fearful of falling out of love with music from exposure or my tastes shifting with time. So I mean it when I say that upon relistening, every second felt like coming home. Every word was scripture. And within this journey of an audiovisual experience, 6 Inch is the moment when shit finally unravels, the room spins while becoming engulfed in a blistering inferno. I like this imagery. I like total destruction. When the "stars in her eyes" bit starts, I get full body chills. When she hits those final high notes, my eyes are totally white. Finally, as she devastatingly pleads for comeback, I'm slowly chopping off my body parts... The power that a concept album can have, the strength of storytelling, the depths of layers. That's funny to me.


In the Lemonade film, the colour red is emphasised during 6 Inch, as we see Beyoncé riding around the back of a car alone, in stark contrast to Partition. This particular "Emptiness" section of the film feels quite cinematic in places, like the slow zoom into the red square on a door, which eventually lights on fire and consumes the whole house as Beyoncé stands outside it.

Beyoncé has only performed the song a couple of times, one of which was at a TIDAL concert, where she brought back the wooden boxes. The second was at the final date of The Formation World Tour, where she performed in a harness stuck to a wall, which then moved up and down and spun her around. It's actually quite sad she only got to do this once!

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@Phonetics Girl gets ha revenge!


SCORE: 8.85

40/113 (+9) | 7.908 (+0.942)
HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 14 ( @Sprockrooster, @theincredibleflipper, @lalaclairi_, @boombazookajoe, @Ana Raquel, @BubblegumBoy, @odyism, @Remorque, @eatyourself, @soratami, @TheOnlyOne, @klow, @TéléDex, @Robert )
LOWEST SCORE: 3.5 x 1 ( @Phonetics Girl )
MY SCORE: 7.5/10

Single Ladies was a cultural reset. Beyoncé has had a few moments which could earn that title, but there’s no denying of Single Ladies impact. Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) was released as the joint lead single, along with If I Were A Boy, from Beyoncé’s third studio album, I Am… Sasha Fierce. The song was co-written with Tricky Stewart, The-Dream and Kuk Harrell and served as the introduction to the Sasha Fierce half of the album. Single Ladies is an empowerment anthem for those finding themselves unappreciated in a relationship. Beyoncé, who had gotten married earlier in the year, sings the song to an ex who missed his chance and now she’s crazy in love and has a ring on her finger to show for it. So while I think a lot of people at the time thought it was an actual anthem for single people, it’s more of a 'find you a good relationship and if you’re single for a bit then good for you' anthem.

It was fucking huge as I’ve already mentioned. It’s full of memorable, magnetic hooks, matched with production that bops along commanding you to move. Now, in 2022, it’s kind of strange going back to listen to Single Ladies. I have had to look deep within myself as to why I would give it a 7.5 and I’m still not sure I have a definitive answer or even a correct answer. I hardly ever play Single Ladies out of choice. If I was at a gay bar and wanted some Beyoncé on, for a period of time the predominantly older white DJ’s here in Manchester would give me a Get Me Bodied moment or even, at a push, an Upgrade U moment, however once Single Ladies came out, that was pretty much all they played… FOR FUCKING YEARS. They still do today! I think it eventually tarnished my relationship with Single Ladies overall. Plus, the fact it was overplayed everywhere else. I still respect it though and it did go on to win 3 Grammys for Beyoncé, including Song of the Year, Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

The music video, shot by Jake Nava, premiered via TRL on my birthday in 2008 (October 13th) alongside the glossier, more high budget affair of If I Were A Boy. It is a dance video, inspired by Bob Fosse’s Mexican Breakfast routine which Beyoncé had watched on YouTube and fell in love with. There are little cuts throughout the video to give the impression of a single take. Beyoncé appears in the video along with dancers Ashley Everett and Ebony Williams. The choreography was designed to be just about easy and simple enough for people to copy, and oh boy, did people copy! Dance contests, parodies, flash mobs, cover versions and viral videos were popping up all over the internet. Barack Obama was doing it, Tom Hanks was doing it, Liza Minelli was doing it in Sex and the City 2, Justin Timberlake was doing it on Saturday Night Live… it was inescapable. Imagine if TikTok was a thing!

The video went on to win multiple awards including Video of the Year at the 2009 MTV VMAs. However, one award it didn’t win was Best Female Video, which went to Taylor Swift’s You Belong With Me, which of course isn’t a better video, but these award shows like to spread the wealth for a number of reasons. Everyone knew this, except Kanye West, who didn’t care for award show politics and decided to storm the stage while Taylor was accepting her award. He pointed to Beyoncé and claimed she had one of the best videos of all time. After winning the grand prize, Beyoncé asked Taylor to come back on stage and have her moment. Although the entire debacle was cringeworthy and sparked an even more cringeworthy feud for years to come, can we just give it up for the 2009 VMAs! What a fucking award show! I literally have a ripped copy of the entire thing on my computer.

Single Ladies hit No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 becoming Beyoncé’s fifth solo single to do so and it was the 8th biggest song of 2009 in the US. It was charting highly pretty much everywhere. In the UK, the song only managed to peak at No.7 at the beginning of 2009. This was probably due to the massive success of If I Were A Boy and the UK being unable to deal with two huge songs by the same artist being released at the same time back then. The song now boasts over 1 million copies sold in the UK and over 15 million copies sold worldwide with around 486 million streams on Spotify.

For a winning song, with a winning music video and winning choreography it had to get some killer performances and it got plenty. The song was performed at multiple award ceremonies each replicating the choreography from the video with either 2 backup dancers or 200 backup dancers. The song was included as a part of Beyoncé’s Super Bowl set in 2013, only this time she had Kelly and Michelle for backup dancers, which was a GAG. Single Ladies was a staple on each Beyoncé tour up until The Formation World Tour where she only performed it twice, once on the opening night and the other so dancer Ashley Everett’s boyfriend could come on stage and propose to her. The song was brought back for Coachella in 2018 where it could be heard in all its revamped horned up glory.

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I definitely had a period where I was tired of "Single Ladies" (probably around the time when I was 27 and constantly going to weddings), but I've come back around to it. It's joyous. I still love doing that dance.

"6 Inch" is the centerpiece of Lemonade to me. (Why I only gave it a 9.5, I truly have no idea.) She's trying, and mostly succeeding, at keeping up that badass defiance from "Sorry," but when it collapses into the vulnerability of the "come back" ending... it's devastating in the most amazing way.
Ya lo ves, ya lo ves...


SCORE: 8.858

18/113 (-12) | 8.652 (+0.206)
HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 9 ( @lalaclairi_, @Ana Raquel, @Remorque, @eatyourself, @soratami, @TheOnlyOne, @TéléDex, @Music Is Death, @Robert )
LOWEST SCORE: 7 x 2 ( @allyshone, @Ramalama )
MY SCORE: 7/10

Irreplaceable is the biggest success story to come from Beyoncé’s sophomore album, B’Day, statistically speaking. Originally written by Ne-Yo and Stargate, Irreplaceable was never initially intended to be a Beyoncé song. Ne-Yo saw the song as more country and imagined the likes of Faith Hill or Shania Twain singing it. Beyoncé was presented with the demo and loved it and began to make adjustments, including vocal arrangements, additional drums and singing it in a higher register. The song slots in with the narrative B’Day takes from Ring The Alarm, as Beyoncé sings about the breakdown of her relationship. After Beyoncé had finished with her changes, including adding the Espionage production team to write the chord structure and guitars, everyone involved was happy with the finished product. Although there were concerns that urban radio would reject the song as it was way too "pop", it didn’t happen and the song went onto become a massive hit on both pop and urban radio in the US.

As with a lot of Beyoncé’s most successful singles, Irreplaceable is middling compared to the rest of her discography. Of course, I have to give the song props for what it does superbly. The song is littered with highly quotable hooks such as "TO THE LEFT, TO THE LEFT", "YOU MUST NOT KNOW ‘BOUT ME" or "DON’T YOU EVER FOR A SECOND GET TO THINKING… YOU’RE IRREPLACEABLE". Facts are facts and these hooks are why the song usually turns into a stadium sing-a-long. So I can eat my humble pie and respect the song for the heights it was able to reach. That being said, compared to what surrounds it on B’Day, where Beyoncé is taking bold and risky choices, Irreplaceable ends up being one of the blandest songs on the album. As a Beyhive member, I’ve come to accept that the reasons why I love Beyoncé and think she’s an artistic force aren’t necessarily going to be the general public’s reasons for why they love Beyoncé. So they can enjoy their Irreplaceable’s, their Perfect Duet’s with Ed Sh666ran or their Best Thing I Never Had moments, and I will stay revelling in my Ring The Alarm fantasy. These aren’t even bad songs per se, however they commonly fail to capture the true essence of what makes Beyoncé a legend.

Back to the positives. Irreplaceable was a massive Grammy nominated hit for Beyoncé and unfortunately became the staple track from her sophomore era. The song hit No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100, where it stayed for a whopping 10 weeks. It reached top ten in most other major markets and went on to sell over 10m copies. It only peaked at No.4 in the UK, however it was Beyoncé’s longest charting single on the Official Charts with a total of 36 weeks up until Single Ladies. It currently has around 450m streams on Spotify.

The music video, directed by Anthony Mandler, follows Beyoncé in multiple setups as she kicks her boyfriend out of the house. It features a lot of hair flicking and posing in Beyoncé’s dressing room, which is all well and good because the hair is right and she looks stunning. The all female band makes another appearance, as Beyoncé jams with them in some shorts which she wouldn’t be caught dead in now. The video ends with a new man pulling up to Beyoncé’s mansion, which is actually very similar to Taylor’s Blank Space video ending.

Being such a huge hit, of course Irreplaceable has been performed a bajillion times, both televised and on tour. Most promo performances of the song consist of Beyoncé just jamming to the song, very much like in the video. Every solo tour since B’Day’s release has featured Irreplaceable for a mass sing-a-long in some capacity, with Beyoncé performing it acapella on The Formation World Tour. If you wanted to hear how a country band would cover it, then Sugarland performed a version of the song with Beyoncé at the 2007 AMAs. The Glastonbury performance of the song was released digitally and peaked at No.26 on the UK Official Charts.

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I agree with the host that "Irreplaceable" is just a nice R&B mid-tempo with some good hooks and nothing special by any means. I've always found it very overrated so it's good to see it not last longer. It was one of my lowest remaining scores with a 7.25 so it's a good elimination for sure.

And here are two "B'Day" outtakes which I imagine that fans of "Irreplaceable" that song will appreciate, since they are in a similar R&B style:

Both were co-written by Solange and her versions of the songs have surfaced too. I actually prefer them to "Irreplaceable", especially "Kick Him Out (Next Ex)".


Staff member
I've come around to Single Ladies and Irreplaceable in a huge way over the past few years. I used to think they were so weak and didn't find any use in playing them on my own time (probably because they were so overplayed too). It's funny though because she's placed so much importance on her discography as a whole, often performing album tracks over singles on the recent tours, and it was weirdly because of that that I started to enjoy them again.

That being said, Irreplaceable being the highest-ranked B'Day track in the previous rate still confuses the hell out of me. Such a bizarre result for a PopJustice rate.
Before rating it, I always thought "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" was much weaker than it is, but I ended up giving it an 8. The chorus does sound like it lacks something but it's very memorable and I totally forgot that amazing middle-8, which is my favourite part of the song.

"Sweet Dreams" is definitely the correct winner from "I Am... Sasha Fierce".

That being said, Irreplaceable being the highest-ranked B'Day track in the previous rate still confuses the hell out of me. Such a bizarre result for a PopJustice rate.
Yeah, I was shocked upon seeing those results. Bonus tracks aside, it's the most regular sounding song on the entire album.
I gave Single Ladies a 10, but I don't think it's a 10 if I exclusively look at the studio recording.
With Beyoncé it's impossible to ignore the totality of a song. If this rate was from debut to IASF, it might be a little bit easier to only think of the studio recording and nothing else. But ever since 4 she has ramped out every song have multiple iterations, whether that be multiple live arrangements or music videos.

With that in mind Single Ladies as a studio recording and nothing else would probably get an 8 from me. But when I think of the power of the live performance and how many different directions the song has gone, it escalates to a 10. I love how the song started as another cultural reset/viral moment/early meme creator and it could have just stayed there in 2008-2010. But since then she has managed to use it as such a blast of energy during her tours, where the song not only is exciting because everyone knows the lyrics and routine, but because she becomes Beyoncé the archivist and makes a roaring gumbo out of the song.
When the arrangements kick in to a NOLA adjacent funk, brass band, and samples songs like Movin On Up? Effervescent.
When the call and response kicks in and the over the top roaring and vocal distortion gives her voice the same weight as the horns on the HEY-hey-hey-uhh? Masterful.

I also think it can't be understated how quirky a song like Single Ladies is in terms of production and vocal arrangments. It's a song that only Beyoncé can make, and there is a reason that it stands out in the landscape of 2008 and that it's not a sound that other artists started to take on in mass (the only other person I can think of is Jojo's one off song Pretty Please).
While Beyonce's Renaissance is an album that puts all her creative idiosyncracies front and center, there was a time where it was just peppered throughout her discography. And Single Ladies despite being so massive and commercially successful is an example of where Beyoncé was shining on production that managed to be organic, raw, but a hint strange. The billowing synth, the polyrhythm, and meowing top synth, and then Beyoncé filling out the song with masterful call and response arrangements is something special.

I also think the song starts to make even more sense, when the listener embodies the music and does the choreography to the song. So while it was overplayed and there was definitely a time I couldn't listen to it anymore, I have to remember the absolute high that occurs if you are participating in the masterful choreography--especially on the verses.

All in all, I wouldn't choose it as my personal favorite Beyoncé song. But when I think of the song in totality it is an absolute RUSH of energy in a way that only Beyoncé can provide.
(this post was so much longer than I anticipated, so I will hold off on discussing Irreplaceable for now)

the only queen that matters...


SCORE: 8.86

22/113 (-7) | 8.43 (+0.43)
HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 10 ( @allyshone, @Sprockrooster, @theincredibleflipper, @boombazookajoe, @Phonetics Girl, @odyism, @sesita, @godspeed, @klow, @TéléDex )
LOWEST SCORE: 6 x 1 ( @Ana Raquel )
MY SCORE: 10/10

Pray You Catch Me is the first track on Beyoncé's sixth studio album, Lemonade, co-written by Kevin Garrett and James Blake. It's an emotional, downtempo track to kickstart what would become Beyoncé's most personal album to date and it remains top tier. In the first line of the song, Bey sings, "You can taste the dishonesty...", which really captures the essence of what the album is about. Also, the subtle nature of the vocals with the production tells the listener that we are catching Beyoncé at her most vulnerable.

I adore this song so much. It's such a stellar opening in all of its quietness, especially when you compare it to her previous openers, which are either bombastic lead singles or huge power ballads. The opening notes, the strings, the "what are you doing my love?"... it's cinematic! The music video is also stunning, and sets the scene perfectly for the rest of the Lemonade film as we see her jump off a building, she has hit rock bottom, but has decided to embark on this journey of forgiveness. Pray You Catch Me currently has around 40m streams on Spotify.

Beyoncé performed the song as part of her Lemonade medley at the 2016 VMAs. The entire performance was a complete powerhouse, however the Pray You Catch Me part was moving to say the least. She is surrounded by her female dancers who all end up falling in lights of red to the beats of the song. Lemonade got a whole 16 minute performance that year and it absolutely deserved it.

Unfortunately, the VMA performance is the only time Beyoncé has sung Pray You Catch Me. However, songwriter Kevin Garrett performed the track, which you can view below.

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