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Beyonce’s Best Songs: Ranking 20-11

In case you missed the news this week, Beyonce will be performing during the coveted Super Bowl halftime show. Beyonce is one of my favorite performers. I have no doubt that she will put on a great show and entertain the almost 100 million viewers that will be watching. Last year Madonna gave a mediocre performance so it won’t be hard to top that one either. In celebration of that news, I’m going to use this weekend’s list to countdown my 20 favorite Beyonce songs.

20. “Best Thing I Never Had” – 4
Beyonce’s vocals are on fire here. The opening “What goes around” perfect sets the tone for the rest of the song. I love the vocal runs she does towards the end during the chorus. I’m surprised this didn’t end up being a bigger hit than it actually was. As a whole I’m surprised the entire album didn’t do well either.

19. “Ego” – I Am…Sasha Fierce
Her attitude towards in this song is fierce. One of the things that draws me toward Beyonce is that she’s such a timid/shy person during interviews, but when she performs she so powerful and intense. I love that contrast between her real personality and her stage personality. And this is a good example of that. She’s such a cocky bitch in this song and I appreciate that. I’m not including the Kanye West remix though. I’m a Kanye fan but he doesn’t add anything to the song in the remix.

18. “Baby Boy” (featuring Sean Paul) – Dangerously in Love
Everyone remember the Sean Paul craze in 2002/2003? He was one of the hottest things around and now he’s pretty much faded from the music industry. He doesn’t add much to the song, but that doesn’t take away from Beyonce’s vocals. You can feel the sensuality in her voice, especially in that first verse. It’s sexual without going over the line into vulgarity. The chorus is pretty sexy too. Overall, as if I hadn’t said it enough, it’s just a sexy song.

17. “If I Were a Boy” – I Am…Sasha Fierce
The lyrics are a little corny and there’s some controversy over Beyonce taking credit for writing them. But her vocals are the powerhouse here. This could’ve been a really silly song that could’ve been murdered by the likes of Selena Gomez, but Beyonce brought a maturity and confidence to the lyrics and elevated it to another level. She also performed the hell out of it at the 2010 Grammys (where she won 6 awards). YouTube that performance because it’s spectacular.

16. “Ring the Alarm” – B’Day
I was first introduced to the song when she performed it at the VMA’s and I fell in love with it. (The picture is from that performance because the music video isn’t available anywhere online. The ones that are have a terrible picture quality. Not sure what’s going on. Probably rights issues?) It’s an energetic and powerful song. It’s the most intense and bitchy Beyonce gets in any of her songs. I also love the production of the song, with the sirens and the low bass. It’s an interesting song that I come back to multiple times.

15. “Schoolin’ Life” – 4
This was one of the bonus tracks on the album and it should’ve been a single. The production makes this song much more fascinating. It sounds like it’s almost from the 70s or 80s with its synethesizer and effects choices. It’s impossible not to dance along to this song. Once again, Beyonce brings her maturity but also a sense of fun to the track. “Let’s party till the fire marshal shut this sucka down!” It’s a bonus track that most people have probably never heard and I hope that changes.

14. “Halo” – I Am…Sasha Fierce
This song was the subject of some scrutiny when it came out because it was produced by Ryan Tedder. He had produced a few other songs around that time (Kelly Clarkson & Jordin Sparks among them) and was criticized for sounding too much like those. Whatever the case, Beyonce blows those other women out of the water. The production is really interesting on this one. I love the overlapping vocals in the choruses. The verses are soft and the choruses have a quiet strength to them. Looking for pictures for this, I was reminded how beautiful the music video was for this. It has a dream-like quality that fits the song perfectly.

13. “Diva” – I Am…Sasha Fierce
This is almost a rap song and had the attitude of Nicki Minaj, before Nicki Minaj became popular. I actually wonder if this song would’ve been more popular and more of a hit had it come out after Nicki made female rappers popular. Beyonce gives a serious attitude in this song. She’s one of the most popular entertainers in the music business and she makes it known to everyone. “Every radio ’round the world know me/cause that’s where I be.” She’s a bad ass bitch and this song proves it.

12. “Naughty Girl” – Dangerously in Love
“Naughty Girl” is very similar in tone to “Diva”, but it has a softer quality to it and it’s a slightly stronger song because of it. The verses start slowly, build into a catchy bridge, then it explodes in the verses. Her energy is strong here and she’s channeling Donna Summer successfully. The song samples “Love to Love You Baby”. It’s a fitting tribute to one of her idols, but she also makes it her own and creates one of her most successful songs to date.

11. “Sweet Dreams” – I Am…Sasha Fierce
The opening baseline is iconic and channels something that Prince or Michael Jackson might’ve done. Those opening seconds instantly hook you into the song. It grabs you and doesn’t let go. The chorus is catchy and Beyonce’s vocals make it even better. It has a darker quality than most of the songs she usually sings. It’s another one of those singles that I’m surprised didn’t do better. That chorus seemed like a guaranteed hit. Side note: as much as I’ve been praising her music videos, that won’t be happening here. This is one of her worst videos. The choreography is corny and it’s shot with a weird filter that makes everything look blurry.

—–I’ll be back tomorrow with the Top 10. What does everything think so far? What do you think will be in the Top 10? What are some of your favorite Beyonce tracks? I’d love to hear!—–

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