Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

What's up with Beyoncé's bizarre new single? (She raps!)

Beyonce performs during the half-time show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 3, 2013.

JEFF HAYNES/REUTERS

POP

Bow Down/I Been On, by Beyoncé; streaming here.

We interrupt this Timberlake moment for a flash, bizarre bulletin from Beyoncé. The self-appointed Queen Bey on Sunday released a tricked-out two-part track, one with shout-outs to her Houston hometown and growled, vainglorious declarations aimed at throne pretenders.

Story continues below advertisement

The unforeseen stunt-single's second half is trippy and mechanical, with Beyoncé's voice pitched down to horrid effect as she raps delusionally and double-negatively – "I'm the number one chick, I don't need no hype" – as she reminiscences about her teenage Texas years. Unmelodious and outside the singer's lane, this three-and-half-minute veer should be seen as a postpartum announcement that the artist sees herself as not just a mother, but a mutha. And now, (hopefully) back to our regularly scheduled programming.

POP

Chasing the Sunset, by Imaginary Cities, from the forthcoming Fall of Romance; streaming here.

String-laden and easygoing, a long-awaited new tune from Winnipeg's Rusty Matyas and the distinctive vocalist Marti Sarbit arrives softly and serenely, with a stylistic era that is hard to pin down. "I'll be here, if you choose to come back," Sarbit croons, on a likable song about journeys. Welcome back, Imaginary Cities,

COUNTRY/FOLK

My House, by Kacey Musgraves, from Same Trailer Different Park (Mercury); streaming here.

When your house is on wheels, your sweet home is just the next stop on the road. The clear-voiced American songstress rides a harmonica-happy shuffle across the country, going mobile happily and watching life through living-room windows on the go.

Story continues below advertisement

ROCK

You Can't Fix This, by Dave Grohl and the Sound City Players (with Stevie Nicks), from Sound City: Real to Reel (Roswell/RCA); streaming here.

One of 11 tracks featured on the soundtrack to Sound City, Dave Grohl's love-letter documentary to the now shuttered linoleum-tiled, Los Angeles-area studio at which Nirvana's Nevermind and Fleetwood Mac's eponymous LP from 1975 were recorded. The song reaches back to the seventies for its languid Rhiannon sound and lyrical inspiration – about losing friends and dancing with devils.

VIDEO

POP

Tonight I Will Be Your Guide and Undun, by Royal Wood and Randy Bachman, from Reworking Randy; streaming here.

Story continues below advertisement

The singer-pianist Royal Wood undoes the Bachman-penned Guess Who classic and reinvents it as a druggy, jazzy waltz. It's preceded by a version by Bachman and Wood of the latter's Tonight I Will Be Your Guide and then an illumination into Undun's origin (involving LSD, an unfortunate lady and Bob Dylan, of course).

Report an error Editorial code of conduct Licensing Options
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles as we switch to a new provider. We are behind schedule, but we are still working hard to bring you a new commenting system as soon as possible. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.