Beyoncé Madness: Solo Career Bracket

So far you’ve voted on the new album, and on the Destiny’s Child era.  Now it’s time to vote on the solo tracks that Beyoncé has been releasing since 2003 without a girl group or collaboration.  This is one category that has been far better than I was personally expecting, so I hope that you have time to make yourself comfortable as you carefully consider each of the choices before you.

1. Irreplaceable vs. 16. ROC (vote in winner)

The infamous single that gave so many of us a default direction whenever we are unsure of our next move: To. The. Left.  Irreplaceable is up against the song that is quickly becoming one of my favourite love songs, especially with the first line: “The title of my book would be life with superman”.  You already voted ROC into the competition, but can it really beat Beyoncé’s most billboard-successful solo track of all time?

8. Love On Top vs. 9. Countdown

Two incredible songs, both from 2011’s 4, which I make clear that I’m pretty wild about on an earlier blog, here.  I’ve posted the Love On Top video below (because it’s awesome), but I’m sure I will always connect this song with  Beyoncé announcing her pregnancy at the end of her VMA’s performance.  Legendary.  But so is the video for Countdown, which she actually shot while pregnant as well.  So either way, she’s a boss and she wins.

5. If I Were a Boy vs. Listen

It’s about time we had a proper Ballad-off.  If I Were a Boy was I Am… Sasha Fierce’s debut single alongside Single Ladies (one from each disc) in 2008.   Listen was the lead single from the musical Dreamgirls, and has been a huge diva-defining moment for Beyoncé.  Both are reflecting on their flawed relationships, both are fantastic demonstrations of emotion displayed through song, and both have portions of their videos shot in black & white.  Important connections.

4.  Halo vs. 13. Get Me Bodied

This is by far the strangest match-up of this side of the bracket, and for that I apologize.  But please do me this solid and watch both videos to the end, because they are so deserving.  Halo we all know, because it is regularly sung in television competitions, because it is a vocal masterpiece.  Get Me Bodied is one of the most choreographically fun videos ever, where B invites Michelle, Kelly, and her sis Solange (who helped write the song) to hang out and dance.

3. Me, Myself and I vs. 14. End of Time

I was super surprised to see that Me, Myself and I was seeded so high, but its success on the billboards beat out most other Beyoncé solo tracks.  This is pretty classic R&B, up against a Fela-Kuti-inspired dance track from 4, End of Time.  Inexplicably, there is still no official video for this track, but there is a pretty fantastic performance from Roseland, which is below.

6. Sweet Dreams vs. 11. Run the World (Girls)

Part of Sweet Dreams’ success came from its early leak under the title Beautiful Nightmare, immediately making its way into clubs.  That sliding bass and layered synth distinguishes this song from a lot of Beyoncé’s pre-Sasha Fierce music, and Run the World, although recorded and released later for 4, is very much in the same vein.  It also takes Beyoncé’s MO of female empowerment to a whole new level of assertion and control of wild animals.

7.  Best Thing I Never Had vs. 10. Diva

Best Thing I Never Had is an amazing combination of soft r&b with hard attitude.  Some of my favourite Beyoncé lyrics of all time are in this song, like the wonderfully repeated, “You showed your ass and I saw the real you”.  For bonus points, pay attention to the original “oh baby,” that we’ve grown to love in Drunk in Love.  Diva may be a female version of a hustla (it’s also been called the female version Lil’ Wayne’s A Milli), but I would say it tops its male equivalents in the categories of swag, fashion, and truth-telling.  Because let’s face it, she’s the number one diva in this game for a lot more than a minute.

2.  Single Ladies vs. 15. Start Over

This is rather unfair.  Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) is arguably Bey’s most iconic song/video.  It continues to get constant play at weddings and on the radio, and frankly, I was shocked that it wasn’t her most successful single of all time.  Single Ladies goes up against Start Over which doesn’t even have a music video, but is one of her most authentic sounding songs from her album about a couple that has lost some of the spark, but wants to rekindle and, well, start over.

And there we have it.  I’ll try to get the Collaboration polls up soon, and post an updated bracket.  In the meantime, you can still vote on the Destiny’s Child bracket until Wednesday, Feb. 26th.  Peace out.

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