This clip is very different from anything else in Beyoncé’s videography. It was dark. It was creepy. It was fantastic! Most pop videos with strange or abstract visuals have such without much context or theme consistency, causing them to come off like they were “trying too hard” to be unique or profound. “Haunted’s” interpretation is open, but it’s still simple and (mostly) sensible. The song is called “Haunted” and mentions ghosts, so we’re going to give you Beyonce` walking through a vintage hotel seeing freakshow and eerie figures that may not actually be there. It was like a music video for “American Horror Story.” Wait! There’s more! We’re going to be really relevant to the song and add images that have to do with sexuality. Wow! Figurative and concrete representations! My other favorite thing about Haunted: Bey’s classic Hollywood fashions and sultry makeup-it was dusky-emo done right. I’m obsessed with it. Oh, and I was happy to see that B’Day-era logo on her luggage. Get “Haunted” here.
The song was kind of hard to melodically catch onto, but the video was much easier to chew on. For those who love the version of Beyonce` that’s militant and fierce, “Run the World” is where it’s at: she’s riding horses (in an awesome outfit), blowing stuff up and marching, with her face painted on the walls and iconic, eye-catching insignia-anyone know where I can get one of those red “B” flags? I still want one. I loved the choreography, I loved the clothes (the Givenchy dress was to die for), it was a Beyonce` revolution and I was joining with a hair toss and shoulder bounce.
The 1st time I heard “XO,” I had happy Peter Pan thoughts; memories of when I smiled on the inside and fell in love. I pictured innocence and carnivals, so when I saw the video, I said “Oh, this is PERFECT.” Beyonce` aimlessly ran around Coney Island with a camera crew and it was the best thing ever. She’s impromptu dancing with visitors, filming with TMZ paparazzi, waving at fans, riding roller-coasters with her friend and stylist, Ty Hunter, and it was great. She seemed so darn gleeful and for any bee, the King’s smile is like a warm hug on Christmas morning. Seeing her happily drive a bumper car was everything I needed and more; and it was written all over my face. Wasn’t she beautiful, too? “everyday girl” never look so good.
Although this video has a sad outcome (it’s implied that someone has died), it paints a beautiful picture of friendship. How gorgeous is Ashley Everett (Beyoncé’s background dancer who plays her best friend)? Given the subject matter, I feel a little uncomfortable making a style remark, but the black Dolce & Gabbana dress and Eugenia Kim hat was fabulous. Fun fact: when pictures of the wedding scene leaked online, a rumor was spread that it was Beyonce` attending John Legend’s ceremony. Watch “Heaven” here.
“B.B. Homemaker” shows that even if you do EVERYTHING well, including fixing a car in heels, some guys are still too dumb to recognize your awesomeness. “Why Don’t You Love Me?” is a funny and cute nod to 50’s film strips, pinup girls and TV housewives. Anyone who’s been driven up the wall by an ill-reciprocating lover can relate to this image. The best part? Beyonce` kissing off the world by dusting off her 5011 Grammys; just in case you were uncertain of her status as a boss.
Yes, this is a Destiny’s Child video and not from Beyoncé’s solo work, but whatever, this is my list. I’m a grown woman and I can do whatever I want. Three versions of Destiny’s Child having a dance-off? I don’t think I have to explain why this is one is a fave any further.
I don’t think my love for this one needs explaining either, but “Dance for You” is the definition of sexy and illustrates the art of seduction. Anyone can arouse by showing skin, nudity or overly suggestive movements, but it takes skill to entice by presence whilst clothed. Beyonce` has given over to the more typical ways of video sexy as of late, but she was on point here, channeling 1940’s detective flicks.
Living up to its namesake, “Party” is *Tamar Braxton voice* funners, all smiles, colorful, tickles my summer feels and features the fam (Kelly Rowland and Beyoncé’s sister, Solange). Beyonce` looked extra delicious, especially in the kitchen scene; hi-five to the makeup and hair team. The only minuses were this video was dropped in the fall and there was no Andre` 3000.
There are so many things to love here for me. 1) Destiny’s Child. 2) The split screen. 3) The plot involved all 3 girls and cleverly connected the song to each of their stories. Kelly says goodbye to a relocating boyfriend, Beyonce` catches her guy cheating and Michelle’s relative is passing away. Kelly and Beyonce` dry up their tears long enough to support Michelle, where the video closes. It was so sweet. Aww. “Emotion” is even accidentally amusing: Bey’s side pony-tail was something else and Kelly’s kiss wasn’t very convincing.
Naughty Girl (from “Dangerously in Love,” directed by Jake Nava)
I couldn’t part with either one of these, so I have a tie. Did you know the black Barbie doll had a music video? It’s called “Check on It,” haha. This cut conjures thoughts of all things yummy: Valentine’s Day pink hearts, bubblegum, Pepto-Bismol, pop music and Beyonce` giving all levels of attractiveness-cute, sexy, pretty and beautiful. I wanted her phone number; I lived for that varsity-girl sweater number. I loathe the actual song, but the video had all my attention.
As much as Beyonce` sings about love, you’d think she’d have a slew of romantic videos, but “Halo” stands alone. I become a mushy, sappy mess when I watch it; I just want to run off and read Shakespeare. The unadulterated bliss and tenderness between two captivated lovers is displayed, accentuated by stunning cinematography, using sunlight effects and a misty haze. The chemistry between Beyonce` and the breathtakingly handsome actor Michael Ealy is so incredibly believable (the aforesaid camera work brings out their best features-their dreamy eyes and sparkling smiles), you’re swooning and prepared to faint when they lean in and….don’t kiss. *Shakes my head* 6 years later and it’s still an atrocity to me. Guess Bey is too monogamous to function. I also shook my head when she flung her oozing toothbrush at him. That was just gross.
Bey may rarely tell video stories, but when it happens, it’s good. Unfolding in reverse, “Me, Myself & I” immediately grabs your attention because you want to know why Beyonce` is walking backwards, cutting her hair, fighting her bathtub water and crying. Vulnerable and empowering all at the same time, you see Beyonce` confront her unfaithful boyfriend (with another woman’s panties no less) over what he thought was a fancy couples dinner, tussle with him, pack her bags, key his car (while wearing a dashing and very sexy Versace or Cavalli, I believe) have a bit of a breakdown and begin to rebuild.
All the video gold Jake Nava and Beyonce` had previously created bubbled over with “Single Ladies,” spawning thousands, if not millions, of remakes and parodies. Deadbeat boyfriends were dumped the world over and everyone, including President Barack Obama, was flipping their hand back and forth. It was the stuff of legend. Sometimes you understand the phenom, other times you don’t. For me, it was love at 1st sight. Non-stop choreo made of new-age J-Setting and old-school Broadway to an infectious song and Beyonce` with a robot glove?! A Thierry Mugler robot glove?! AAAH! Every time I need a reminder of how my diva is a bad broad, I watch “Single Ladies.”
Oh, “Green Light,” how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. The colors! The costumes! The kickin’ all-female Suga Mama band! The Robert Palmer “Addictive to Love” reference! Beyonce` breaking guitars! Beyonce` in shiny leather! Beyonce` looking like Sista from the original Sparkle film in that red dress on top of the white piano! She was holding up traffic.
Beyonce` took the reversal, narrative magic of “Me, Myself & I” and amplified it for “If I Were a Boy.” I remember the 1st time I saw it, I got so mad at her character. I thought “Wow, song point taken. She’s not only treating this man with no regard, she’s doing it arrogantly. That’s a different level of prick.” Then, she flips it on me--the guy is really the bad one! I was genuinely shocked and thrilled at the concept. I was also thrilled to see Beyonce` in a police uniform.
“Ring the Alarm” is part of the Beyonce` Holy Grail to me. It was such a bold statement. Musically, it was a distinct departure from her prior work and it tackled a topic seldom discussed. The video was just as nervy, as Beyonce`, The Defiant becomes unhinged. I loved the homage to “Basic Instinct” (of course) and all the looks-specially the knee-high boots.
Don’t look at me crazy for putting “Bootylicious” so high up on the list, okay? When I think about watching Destiny’s Child and/or Beyonce` videos, this one comes to mind 1st. It makes me laugh and throw “fine man” praise hands (the guy with the blue doo-rag still owns my heart; or at least my lust, anyway). Beyonce` wrote “Bootylicious” as a rebuttal to the media criticism of her weight and shape, so the video is a tribute to all things and people who’d be considered odd or undesirable, but unapologetically strut their stuff. DC authentically appears to be having a great, silly time. Stevie Nicks, who’s “Edge of Seventeen” is sampled in “Bootlyicious,” stands in. Michelle really works the camera, Beyoncé’s gold tooth is hilarious and I used to wish I could pull off pink-tipped hair. Beyoncé’s deliciousness over-flowed in this video too; she blows that kiss and you melt. I suppose this is one of her favorites as well, seeing as how she (easily) recreated it for her 2013 Pepsi commercial. Ageless diva.
I never get enough of this song and video. There is no sitting still when it’s on; it’s a party all the way through. I gag on the 1960’s Broadway and film-influenced dazzle and glamour from start to finish. 1st Beyonce` dramatically writes her birth date in red lipstick on a mirror. Then, an abundantly flawless Destiny’s Child and Solange get out of a limo in the rain unbothered, dance-skip the club line and head right in. The hair is laid, the mugs are beat and the costumes compliment. Everyone asks “who is it?!” and duh, it’s Beyonce`. Anthony Burrell (Beyoncé’s sexiest male background dancer) joins in one of the most entertaining video dance sequences ever, which includes a group snake across the floor, a fantastically shameless Dereon` plug and the fam doing throwback 90’s moves and a sizzle-leg. Yes, please, Get Me Bodied.
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, Destiny’s Child camaraderie, these are a few of my favorite things. Michelle needed a shoulder to cry on in “Emotion,” now it was Kelly’s time for a girlfriend moment. Kelly thinks she’s been well-hiding the fact that her boyfriend’s an ungrateful bum, but her pals are on to her. Once Kelly decides to kick him to the curb, they conspire and leave him tied up to a balcony in his boxers! The closest we’ll get to an episode of “Sex & the City” that focuses on black characters, “Girl” is stitched with recreations and mimics from the popular series. Props to the creative director; that was a wonderful idea. It was touching, humorous and chic-loved the wardrobe choices.
It might seem a little unjust to place a newer video as #1, but in my opinion, “Pretty Hurts” is Beyoncé’s most powerful and meaningful visual. The song’s message is movingly and vividly conveyed as Beyonce` gives her best acting performance, embodying the insecurity that comes with impossible beauty standards even in her voice when she sings “Pretty Hurts” acapella in the opening. The desperation and sorrow is presented so pervasively that I feel heartbroken and nearly cry every time I see it, although I’ve never had significant issues with body image.
Beyoncé’s glowing with a very natural look, I love how she fakes the guy out and gets the chain back she paid for and her hoodie/jacket is one that stopped the world: Dereon` quickly sold out and it was at least 2 years before I could get my own. It’s a prized possession of mine.
Destiny’s Child-With Me
Beyonce` was a mermaid. Need I say more?
Baby Boy (Jake Nava)
Loved the choreo and Beyoncé’s sand dance was marvelous.
(Francesco Carrozzini, Todd Tourso & Beyoncé)
Great double meaning with the song, loved the Thierry Mugler cape and red leather jacket.
Love on Top
(Ed Burke & Beyonce`)
It feels as good as the song; bright, sunny and a great deference to boy bands of the 1960’s & 1970’s. Just wish the entire song was done.