First and foremost, can we address the spinning that’s been going on around the discussion of Beyoncé’s 4 and how well/poorly it sold? In its first week out the album moved 310,000 copies and debuted at No. 1, which seems all well and good until Billboard helpfully notes that “2008’s I Am … Sasha Fierce entered with 482,000; 2006’s B’Day bowed with 541,000 and 2003’s Dangerously In Love started with 317,000.” Oh no! Downward spiral! But before you start reconfiguring her name so that “flop” is one of its syllables (ugh, seriously, Internet), recall that it’s 2011 and the biz is still pulling out of its death spin, so even though sales have ticked up so far this year, they’re still not that great. To wit: “It marks the third-largest sales week of the year, after the No. 1 bows of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way (1.1 million) and Adele’s 21 (351,000).” Time will tell, of course, if the record has legs (and really girlfriend’s label needs to release “Countdown” as a single pronto because that is a jam), but can we all just call a moratorium on declaring fates right out of the gate for maybe, I don’t know, a month or so? I know the Internet makes it really easy to react/overreact/hyperreact, but sheesh.
Anyway! In the interim, B has released a video for the powerhouse kiss-off “Best Thing I Never Had,” in which she gets married and performs a pole dance of sorts while wearing a bridal gown. Clip below.
A nice pairing of sweet imagery and withering lyrics, although the fact that she walks alone in her gown at the end is enough to make me wonder if this clip is a prologue (or an epilogue??) to the desperate-housewife clip for “Why Don’t You Love Me”?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 8, 2011