Beyonce
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Renaissance is finally here: Team Stylist breaks down their all-time favourite Beyoncé songs

Beyoncé’s new album is here so prepare yourself for one of the wilder musical rides in the Team Stylist office as we dissect our favourite songs of hers. 

There’s probably no greater pandemonium that washes over music fans than when Beyoncé drops new music. In true superstar fashion, the world is (rightfully) struggling to keep their cool over Beyoncé’s recent release, her seventh studio album Renaissance.

Break My Soul was initially teased via the star’s Instagram bio back in June and since then, the upbeat dance track has garnered much online reaction and given us a mere taste of what was to come with Renaissance. It’s her first solo studio record in six years and this 16-track dance record is just the first in a planned trilogy of album releases, according to a statement uploaded onto her website.

In the statement, she spoke about her inspiration for Renaissance as well as her intention with the record. She wrote: “I hope you find joy in this music. I hope it inspires you to release the wiggle. Ha! And to feel as unique, strong and sexy as you are.” You don’t have to tell us twice Bey. 

So as we enjoy a world with brand new Beyoncé music finally 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?

Crazy In Love

“For me, Crazy In Love automatically evokes a feeling of nostalgia and a longing for simpler times. This song was the anthem of my late teenage years, played at every party and guaranteed to have everyone on the dance floor. The choreographed sequence at the end of the video clip where Beyoncé is wearing the orange dress is – and will always be – iconic.”

Zoe Anastasiou, freelance contributor

I Care

“It’s sad girl summer, every summer, OK? I Care is the Bey song that gets me the most emotional. You can hear the pain in every lyric – ‘I know you don’t care too much, but I still care’. Inject it.

“I’ve always loved the power of Beyoncé’s voice, since the days of Destiny’s Child and the 4 album really highlights the soulfulness of her range. Give a listen to this underrated ballad, and prepare to shed a tear.”

Chloe Laws, social media director

Irreplaceable 

“I’m going to go slightly old school and say Irreplaceable – 12-year-old me sang it like someone had personally cheated on me and I would have zero problems replacing them. It’s such a girls anthem, and did you even go left if you didn’t sing ‘to the left, to the left’ as you went?

“I think there’s also just the nostalgia factor of listening to this song in school, on our MP3 players or whatever it was at the time, and just bopping along to it. Beyoncé definitely has really good newer songs but you know what they say, old is gold.”

Faima Bakar, freelance contributor

Freedom 

“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 

Daddy Lessons 

“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 

Halo 

“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 

Blow 

“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 

Diva  

“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 

Resentment

“For me, Beyonce’s B’Day album was Bey at her very best. 16 years on and those songs still get me. If I really want to soak up the sad feels, Resentment is my go-to. I’ll turn it up in the shower and belt it out (dramatic much?!)”

Chloe Burcham, freelance contributor

Green Light

“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 

XO

“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

If I Were A Boy

“When it comes to loving a song, my criteria is simple – I need to be able to sing it with passion and feel like I am *living* the lyrics. Beyoncé’s If I Were a Boy is that song. It’s got the powerful moments, it’s got the softer moments, it’s got everything I need for my morning shower singing session.”

Ellie Edwards, freelance social media editor

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