Beyoncé Sings a Surprisingly Boring Ode to Her Baby Daughter

Slate's Culture Blog
Nov. 25 2013 12:29 PM

Beyoncé Sings a Surprisingly Boring Ode to Her Baby Daughter

180615780
Beyoncé can be fierce, but rarely are her performances emotional.

Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

It’s somewhat surprising that it’s taken Beyoncé this long to release an ode to her daughter Blue Ivy; she's been in the studio for some time now working on a new album, and husband Jay Z released the emotionally wrought “Glory” just days after Blue Ivy was born in January of 2012. Still, we all knew it was coming eventually, and now it has: “God Made You Beautiful,” set to appear as a bonus track on pre-ordered DVDs of her HBO documentary, Life is But a Dream, has leaked.

Like most of Beyoncé’s ballads—not to mention the decidedly unrevealing Life is But a Dream—“God Made You Beautiful” is pretty boring. The pop star, so lively and engaging on up-tempo tracks like “Get Me Bodied” and on sexier slow jams like “Kitty Kat,” has never excelled at conveying deeper, raw emotions when the song (or acting role) calls for it. Here, she says all the things you expect a mother to sing about her daughter—“you’re beautiful,” “you bring me back to life”—with an unimaginative backbeat and sterile (if still exquisite) vocals.

Advertisement

Maybe Blue Ivy will love both of her parents’ songs when she grows up, but I suspect most of us will remember “Glory” long after “God Made You Beautiful” has been forgotten.

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge

Politics

The GOP’s Focus on Fake Problems

Why candidates like Scott Walker are building campaigns on drug tests for the poor and voter ID laws.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

Farewell! Emily Bazelon on What She Will Miss About Slate.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 16 2014 4:09 PM It’s All Connected What links creativity, conspiracy theories, and delusions? A phenomenon called apophenia.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.