It’s a good thing no one was holding out to see this video anyway because out of the four new promo clips she’s got coming, I reckon this one copped the smallest slice of the budget.
Let me just premise this by saying that my heart belongs to Beysus and nothing you can ever say or do can take me away from my god(dess). [Editor’s note: Sister Act reference, y’guys. Get with the program.]
However, you can’t help but wonder if sometimes these videos look better in Beyoncé‘s head than they do in reality. The key element to ‘1+1’ – a slow-burning soul power ballad – is class and simplicity. I think we can all agree on that. Having said that, “simplicity” renders Beyoncé on very dangerous grounds because in the past where she has tried executing videos with that in mind – they’ve either turned out embarrassingly low-budget or uncannily like another superfluous Dereon commercial. ‘1+1’ has unfortunately inherited both ugly parent traits with an uncomfortably 70s pornoesque quality.
The video was directed by Beyoncé herself in collaboration with Lauren Briet (director behind forthcoming horror The Strangers 2) and Ed Burke (who directed Bey’s Year of 4 doco). Queen B premiered ‘1+1’ on her official website today, serving as a prelude to a string of new promo clips she’s got lined up for ‘Party’, ‘End of Time’ and ‘Countdown’.
Here are three thoughts I have about the ‘1+1’ video situation:
1) It wasn’t clever enough to be a four elements situation.
I really dug deep into the wells of my soul to find a connection with Beyoncé‘s inspiration for ‘1+1’ because I wasn’t content to accept this as a Harper’s Bazaar representation of “sweaty sex with Jay-Z“. However, I think it’s time I called it a day and just resign myself to what it is.
I don’t know much about sex with Jay-Z but I know I fooled myself into thinking that as the video plays on, we’ll see Beysus tastefully self-touching to all four elements: earth, water, wind and fire. That would’ve been a nice connection to have, wouldn’t it? It’ll tell a story of how sex with Jay-Z is natural as fuck and imply that Beyoncé truly is the fifth element. But no, only three elements were present. I feel that as astute Feed Limmy readers, I can trust you to discern which element has been portrayed.
2) Beyoncé is schooling us about “making love” not sex.
‘1+1’ is more than just sex, it’s about “making love” and I don’t think y’all appreciate the lengths Beyoncé has gone through to differentiate her kind of sex from say, Kelendria‘s kind of ‘Motivation’ sex. The kind of sex Beyoncé is selling here has nothing to do with just not being able to feel your legs. It’s a higher and loftier spiritual connection between two beings resulting in amazingly tender moments of tears and drool. That, my friend, is when you know you’re making lurve.
3) Baby, we need to move on from the mirror effect.
Can I just make a rather blatant observation about Beyoncé-directed videos? She loves herself some iMovie mirror effect. Gurl, this shit ain’t cutting it no more. You did it in ‘Sweet Dreams’ and now you’re hitting it again for ‘1+1’?
To be fair, I think the effect complements Bey’s overall vision for a 70s arthouse/pornography look. It really hits the mark if you look at it from that perspective, especially in the electric guitar solo when this is all happening.
Beyoncé‘s ‘1+1’ has to date peaked at #57 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and #76 on the UK charts charts respectively. She’ll be performing at this Sunday’s MTV VMAs – so make sure you hang on to your wigs. Hopefully she’ll tear it up with either ‘Countdown’ or ‘End of Time’ because nobody’s tuning in to see her smoke up the stage and belting from the top of a piano to the aching sounds of ‘1+1’.
Beyoncé will despatch ‘Party’ featuring André 3000 to American urban radios on 30 August.