By Michael Slezak
Updated October 31, 2006 at 12:00 PM EST

OK, I know Beyoncé’s last single had folks divided into two teams: The “Ring the Alarmists” and the “Where’s the Mute Buttonists.” And while my membership in the former clan probably marks me as a raging Beyoncéphile, I defy anyone to listen to B’s latest, “Irreplaceable,” and tell me it’s not the most gorgeous single she’s ever released. (I know, it’s a tad disconcerting at first to hear a current pop song with an actual melody, but stick with it; you may find it refreshing!)

The song’s killer hook aside, however, we’re here to discuss the “Irreplaceable” video (streaming here at AOL Music), and I’ve got to say it leaves me with mixed feelings. Beyoncé looks dangerously glam (as always), but to me, there’s an emotional disconnect between her vocals and what’s happening on-screen. What I love about “Irreplaceable” (the song) is the hint of doubt and pain with which Beyoncé delivers lines like “I could have another you in a minute” and “I won’t shed a single tear.” Sure, she’s kicking her man to the curb, but it doesn’t mean she’s any less heartbroken. By comparison, the clip for “Irreplaceable” finds B blithely filing her nails and snatching her man’s accessories as he makes a march of shame to a waiting taxi. Where’s the hint of mourning in her icy “to the left, to the left” command? Nonetheless, those closing shots of Beyoncé and her all-girl band have me salivating to hear this number on tour, so all is not lost — not for me, anyway.

What do you think of “Irreplaceable”? Let’s hear your thoughts, PopWatchers; your best efforts to not turn this into a tangential Madonna-vs.-Mariah flame war will be much appreciated.