Beyoncé Sings a Surprisingly Boring Ode to Her Baby Daughter

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

Beyoncé Sings a Surprisingly Boring Ode to Her Baby Daughter

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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.

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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.

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