Q: Is Beyoncé Knowles ever going to make a musical misstep?
A: Based on “If I Were a Boy,” her new track that debuted on Elvis Duran’s Z100 show this morning (check out the high-quality version below, or an embedded YouTube version after the jump), I’d say it doesn’t look likely. Indeed, the initial release from B’s upcoming third solo disc is an exciting departure from her previous lead singles, the Southern-fried funk of “Déjà Vu” (from 2006’s B’day) and the (greatest single of all time) jubilant horn-infused “Crazy in Love” (from 2003’s Dangerously in Love).
In the past, I’ve often translated the term “Beyoncé ballad” to mean “album filler,” yet “If I Were a Boy” is anything but. The contemplative lyrics find Beyoncé envisioning herself in the role of her do-wrong guy — I’d put myself first/ And make the rules as I go/ ‘Cause I know that she’d be faithful/ Waitin’ for me to come home — and her searing vocal is absolutely up to the challenge. “If I Were a Boy” sounds totally fresh, not like anything else on the radio right now, and should put Ms. Knowles right back in her throne as Queen of Top 40 Radio. (Rihanna, Pink, and Katy Perry, I hope you ladies had fun in B’s absence.)
What do you think of “If I Were a Boy”? Let’s hear your reviews (and your predictions for the song’s chart trajectory) in the comments section below.