Prepare yourself for one of the wilder musical rides in the Team Stylist office as we dissect our favourite Beyoncé songs.
There’s probably no greater pandemonium that washes over music fans than when Beyoncé drops new music. In true superstar fashion, Beyoncé released the first single from her forthcoming seventh studio album Renaissance: Act 1 earlier than expected.
Break My Soul was initially teased via the star’s Instagram bio and then landed at 5am (BST) this morning. The upbeat dance track has garnered much online reaction, but it’s safe to say it’s only a taste of what’s to come when Renaissance: Act 1 officially drops on 29 July.
As we ready ourselves for a world with brand new Beyoncé music in it, Team Stylist were quick to discuss which of her songs are unmissable, simply unskippable and truly the epitome of Beyoncé. Songs like Hello were deemed a “quiet miracle” while classics like Single Ladies were confirmed to just be part of the glorious cultural zeitgeist. Did your favourite make the cut?
“There is no greater musical duo than Queen Beyoncé and King Kendrick, which is why the entire 5 minutes of Freedom is an utter auditory delight. I loved the entirety of Lemonade but I dare you to play Forward in particular and not start dancing and singing/shouting passionately around your flat. Bey can do no wrong.”
Naomi May, digital fashion writer
Love On Top
“When I’m in need of a dance, Beyoncé’s Love On Top is where I turn. There’s something about the build-up at the end of the song that gets you up on your feet – and while I can’t quite keep up with the vocals, it’s pretty fun to scream the lyrics at the top of my lungs.”
Lauren Geall, digital writer
“It’s one of my favourite Beyoncé songs; not only for the hauntingly good country vocals (the gravel in her voice is just something else) but also for the beautiful and complex storytelling. It’s dark and powerful and taps into that fierce, rebellious side of her we really saw come through in Lemonade.”
Amy Beecham, digital writer
“Mariah and Celine get all the credit for their vocal ranges, but until you’ve tried and failed to sing this at karaoke, you won’t appreciate the extent of Beyoncé’s voice. I’m a second alto with a decent fist towards soprano, but I cannot hit that deep ‘sound’ and don’t get me started on those angelic swoops she does later on.
“And, as well as making me want to write a choral thesis all about her voice, Halo is just a grade A banger as well. Phenomenal work.”
Kat Brown, news editor
“So, my favourite Beyoncé song is Blow from her self-titled album. I think that entire album is a masterpiece and without sounding dramatic, I think it’s totally transformed the way women make pop music. This song is so fun, sexy and timeless – it never gets old!”
Alice Porter, freelance contributor
Ring The Alarm
“I absolutely LOVE the freemasons mix as well as the original – such an anthem. I used to have the remix on my first ever running playlist and it saw me through so many miles of pain. I just love angry Bey – she’s at her best when she’s cussing out bad partners.”
Miranda Larbi, Strong Women editor
“Bad mood? Break-up? Workout motivation? Getting ready for a night out? Diva is quite simply the song for every occasion. I’m convinced singing this song with my teenage girlfriends most days made me into the woman I am today, and even now, I find myself whispering ‘I need them bags or that money’ when in need of some life inspiration.”
Morgan Cormack, digital entertainment writer
“I have been in love with Beyoncé since I saw Destiny’’s Child in Dublin back in the day in all their 00s glory. There’s no describing her star power; I get choked up thinking about it. So it’s impossible to choose a favourite as I literally have one for every season/mood/year/occasion, but the song that jumped to mind today is Green Light. It slaps in every way and the Freemasons remix is pure dopamine.”
Katy Harrington, freelance contributor
Find Your Way Back
“Choosing one favourite Beyoncé song is a tough call, but I’d have to say that Find Your Way Back is up there with the best of them. I never thought Beyoncé’s newer material would rival my love of her 00s R&B, but this song has the capacity to transport me to another dimension every time I listen to it.
“Inspired by the 2019 remake of The Lion King, the narrative is about finding your own way and the lyrics are immensely powerful; whenever I feel as though I’m living on autopilot, this song reminds me to slow down, find stillness, appreciate the small things in life and re-evaluate what it is exactly that I’m living for. It’s the kind of song that anyone can come to and fill with their own imagination, and while it’s no secret that Beyoncé has amazing range, the simple melody and lower, huskier register used here reminds you that she doesn’t need a big vocal to make a lasting impression.”
Christobel Hastings, entertainment editor
“There are songs that take you back to a time and place, right? Well XO takes me back to a really, really fun time back in 2014 (gulp, nearly a decade ago). My world was a far less complicated place; despite having very little I realise now I had it all: a flat mate I loved, a job I learnt a lot of lessons from and an abundance of memories all connected to one song: XO.
“PS: Beyoncé’s 2014 XO aesthetic is something I still aspire to be/have/embody.”
Felicity Thistlethwaite, digital content director