At this point in the game, it’s pretty clear that we are all living in a world ruled by Beyoncé.
Seriously, if you haven’t accepted that, I’m not sure where you’ve been, especially in the last month, when she turned pop music on its head with her “visual album” BEYONCÉ.
While she proved she didn’t need a single to sell bucket loads of copies, Beyoncé did indeed send two songs to radio: “Drunk in Love” for urban audiences and “XO” to pop. Everyone seems to be loving “Drunk in Love”, but I want to take a post to appreciate the latter, and the superior, of the two tracks.
What makes “XO” such an amazing song is the sense of euphoria that it brings forth when you listen. Just as the accompanying video suggests, “XO” is the song playing as you are watching fireworks, in slow motion, with people jumping all around you because they are excited to be in that singular wonderful moment. There’s a real cinematic quality to the song, a feeling bolstered by the multi-layered production that is present throughout the album, but really explodes into life here. Of course, Beyoncé sounds amazing, but the near-whisper of the verses, leading into the full vocal power of the chorus aides the whole experience. “XO” is easily the most mainstream pop song on this very R&B album, but you can’t help but acknowledge that there is nothing like this on radio at the moment, or in Beyoncé’s discography, as a matter of fact.
It would be foolish to try and figure out what Bey’s next steps are for this single (she is clearly sending up the entire music industry machine with this album era), but “XO”, with proper promotion or not, is easily her newest classic.