Tracks: Beyoncé + Santigold | Song reviews
M.I.A. producer Switch gets his hands on two fantastic pop divas and turns them into dull and angry dancehall barkers.
Published: April 27, 2011
“Run the World (Girls)”
Beyoncé’s monotonous girl-power shtick takes a vacation to Jamaica. The track reeks of coconut lotion and desperation. It’s overeager to sound hard, hip and a hell of a lot like “Single Ladies.” Sasha Fierce wants to introduce her fans to the aggressive dancehall grind of the Kingston streets, but she never leaves her comfy beach resort. Beyond her directionless, hookless performance—a mush of buttery crooning, diva barking and Broadway rapping—the big problem is that she’s merely singing over Major Lazer’s 2009 banger “Pon de Floor.” We call that a remix, not a comeback single. Naturally, the military snares, robot yodeling and shrill tone-noodling that made the original so cool come computer-smoothed for radio. The daffy lyrics do offer some great fodder for a gender-studies paper. “Strong enough to bear the children / Then get back to bid-ness,” she brags. No mention of nannies.