I'm not going to try to pretend like I'm all above loving a Beyoncé song (even after hearing "Single Ladies" seven quadrillion times, it's still a jam), but her newest single "Girls (Who Run the World)"—which was leaked on the internet like all other hotly anticipated singles—sucks. I mean, it sucks really bad.
You know that scene in a sci-fi movie in which someone is walking through a marketplace and they're assaulted by all sorts of synthesized noise and babble from all directions at once, and the overwhelming cacophony of flying cars and braying aliens is supposed to be enough to let you know that living in the future is a horrible thing? Well, that's exactly what this song sounds like. It was produced by Diplo and Switch, which, in fact, sound like evil refugees from a dystopian future.
It's an aural assault of feedback squiggles, ray gun zaps, and snare drums that would probably induce a seizure if it didn't make you clutch your ears to stop the noise. And then noted reality show contestant Lil Jon hops on the mic and sounds like one of those bad DJs on a suburban pop radio station who comes over a bad pop remix on Saturday night to say, "Live from Illusions nightclub in Waterbury, this is Lil Jon on Hot 103.9 bringing you Saturday Niiiiight." All of this noise completely overwhelms the lyrics, which we assume are meant to encourage some sort of female empowerment of the Tyra Banks variety, telling girls that they are fierce and powerful. I think girls are fierce and powerful, too, but there's something of a mixed message about telling them to be strong alongside a continuously repeating verse that goes, "Girls, who run this mother..."
No, this song does not rule the world. In fact, we would like the world to spin backwards so that we could prevent this musical dud from ever happening.