Sunday, February 25, 2007

Top 10 Songs of 2006- #3

#3- Beyoncé “Ring the Alarm”
Beyoncé certainly had a spectacular yet unique 2006. Amid Jay-Z marriage rumors, mixed reviews for her performance in Dreamgirls (which ran the gamut of “decent” to “terrible”) and a publicized snubbing of Dreamgirls co-star Jennifer Hudson at the premiere, Beyoncé released her second solo CD “B’day” to super impressive first-week numbers, “Irreplaceable” became a smash hit on the radio and charts and was nominated for two Golden Globes for Dreamgirls (Best Actress (Musical/Comedy) and Best Song for co-writing “Listen”). But, for me anyways, the highlight of Beyoncé’s year was her second single “Ring the Alarm.” Released after the dud that was “Déjà Vu” (aka “Crazy in Love Part 2”), “Ring the Alarm” received very little radio airplay (the only way I heard it was on MTV and YouTube) and was ultimately another failed single from “B’day” (“Irreplaceable” definitely broke that small streak). But I don’t believe that “Ring the Alarm” should suffer the fate that’s been handed to it because it is one of Beyoncé’s shining moments in pop music.

From its ominous siren and the angry opening lines, we can tell right away that “Ring the Alarm” is a totally new direction for Beyoncé’s music. Beyoncé can obviously portray love and sex in her songs, but she’s never done pissed off before- and it works splendidly. After the so-happy-in-love thoughts expressed in “Crazy in Love” and “Baby Boy,” we realize that Beyoncé isn’t going to take shit from any man in her relationships (“Irreplaceable” also discusses this in a different way---Jay-Z beware). If you jilt her, she will stop at nothing to get revenge. Plus, Beyoncé gets bonus points for that glorious music video, easily the best of the year. There are so many memorable moments that stick in my head months after I’ve last seen the video (the shoulder shake, applying the red lipstick, heavily resisting being dragged down the hallway, swinging her ponytail…I could go on for days). Besides, when’s the last time that a music video actually added something to the song? Not in a long, long time.

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