Song of the Day #139: ‘Crazy in Love’ – Beyoncé

beyonceI don’t listen to much of what makes it on the Top 40 these days. Those Now That’s What I Call Music! CDs that are into their 78th volume by now… they’re generally all Greek to me.

I’m not necessarily proud of that fact. In a way, it makes me feel like the clichéd grumpy old man who doesn’t understand what the kids are listening to. But, true to the spirit of that grumpy old man, I really do find it hard to believe people actually like some of those songs.

But occasionally a song breaks through, and I get what they hype is about. Which brings me to Beyoncé, and today’s Song of the Day, ‘Crazy in Love.’

Destiny’s Child was never really on my radar, so this song (and more important, this video) was my first exposure to Beyoncé. And exposure is the operative word here. Because, I mean, wow.

It doesn’t seem fair that one woman can look like this, move like this and sing like this. She’s not a bad actress either, based on her performance in Dreamgirls. What in hell did Jay-Z do in another life to deserve this bounty?

As for the song, I like it a lot. I’ve enjoyed several of her songs though I don’t think I’d make it through the full albums based on what I’ve heard. I’m generally not that into R&B, particularly what passes for R&B these days. But this one is a keeper.

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #139: ‘Crazy in Love’ – Beyoncé

  1. Dana says:

    Nice video to wake up to this morning:)

    I find Beyonce to be a cut above many of the artists on the Top 40. She clearly can sing and she has a good sound. I do think, in general though, that popular music of late has left much to be desired. It was interesting to hear Elton John on Elvis Costello’s show (sorry Clay:() bashing today’s music as compared to the creative songwriting outbursts of 1968-1971 when such artists as Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Van Morrison, Paul Simon, Carol King, Randy Newman, etc…were dominating the airwaves and the charts. The problem now is that the singer/songwriter has been moved swiftly off the charts–replaced mostly by formulaic pop songs. There is a commonalilty and, frankly, mundaneness to many of these songs–they are incredibly predictable–you have your drum track layered with some bass and sampling in a very neatly packaged 3 minute song with a simple structure (verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, -often times a rap break-, chorus fade.) Elton was talking about how revolutionary Laura Niro was in breaking conventions–putting verses where you wouldn’t expect them–changing tempos radically mid-song, then coming back to the original mood–and how that inspired Elton in songs like Burn Down the Mission, and likely inspired other arists of that era as well to break the mold., Elton called out Rufus Wainwright and Ron Sexsmith as 2 contemporary artists who are still making creative, wonderful music, and lamented that there is no radioplay for artists like them.

    So, no, I don’t think it is “stodgy” to be less than enthused about top 40 radio nowadays. While top 40 may not have been deep in the past (see disco era of the late 70’s), it seems particularly vapid now.

  2. Kerrie says:

    I agree, Clay. This is one of those songs that hooked me the first time I heard it. I don’t usually go in for a lot of hip-hop or R&B and even in this song I could have done without the rap break. Still, when I come across this song on the radio I find myself singing along. It’s like many other songs (particularly those of the formulaic, bubble-gum pop variety) that I secretly really enjoy…but not enough to ever buy a whole album.

    And, since you bring it up (no surprise, frankly), Beyonce is one of those women whose “bounty” makes the rest of us (or me, at least) feel just a little less good about ourselves. She’s got an amazing body (one that inspires me to work a little harder when I’m at the gym), she’s beautiful, she has a great voice, and she seems to be a pretty down to earth person from everything I’ve seen or read. Plus, she is a decent actress. I’m actually looking forward to seeing her as Etta James in Cadillac Records.

    Anyway, it’s an interesting choice for you, but I’m glad you’re willing to expand your musical horizons with something like this. Thanks for keeping things fresh. 🙂

  3. Clay says:

    I guess that’s how we men feel about George Clooney, Clive Owen and their ilk. Although I tend to have man-crushes on those guys. 🙂

    Dana, I don’t really remember what top 40 looked like in other decades, but it seems to me that the artists I like from those decades weren’t big commercial hits then either. Obvious exceptions are bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, who were huge successes both commercially and critically. But I didn’t realize Laura Nyro sold a lot of records.

  4. Dana says:

    Nyro was the exception in terms of commerical success–but most of the other artists were finding their way on to the charts in late 60’s and early 70’s.

  5. hotel nimes says:

    You are unquestionably right with this one

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