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The Earliest Bird: Top New Recorded Release Beyoncé’s “Be Alive (Original Song from the Motion Picture “King Richard”)” 11-12-21 – 11-18-21

back to living again

The only reason to see King Richard, a movie that begs the question “what would Richard have done if his children weren’t Serena and Venus?”, is because it is on HBO Max. The only reason to listen to Beyoncé is because she is the Oprah of pop music, a self-righteous prig who lost her pop jones after going through five years, 2011 – 2016, at the top of the pops pyramid and then… took herself way too seriously.

Bey’s problem is that she forgot her job and while we never count Queen Bey entirely out, she is vibing with so much smugness she is like Meghan Markle meets Adele: an overblown ego blower. Today, she returns with the song that runs during the end credits “Be Alive” (good suggestion, as opposed to?) a woozy hyperpop meets gospel choir meets neo-r&b yet more about black pride and family, with one line, “I couldn’t wipe this black off if I tried”, that almost justifies its existence. Co-written with Darius Dixson it sticks its vibes down your throat and is the definition of preaching to the converted. When Curtis Mayfield wanted to get back to living again, he didn’t write a whiny track without a melody to do it.

I loved Bey for years but that 2018 with her husband album was a dog and on some level she reeks of privilege, as though they give her all that but they take away her true roots. I’ve been checking out the media’s take on “Be Alive” and really, they are out of their minds, as powerful statements go, and trust me on this one, it isn’t “What’s Going On”. A disappointment.

Grade: C+

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