There was a time where I thought Bey no longer had the element of surprise in her videos any more. Today, I invite all who have perished with that thought – all who have backslidden – to come forward to the altar and let Lord Beysus restore your faith.
The Grammy-winning diva has actually turned out one of her cutest videos ever. Cute – not being a typical descriptor of Beyoncé‘s videos unless you’re thinking of ‘Why Don’t You Love Me?’ (which, here at Feed Limmy HQ, is considered to be the second best Bey video after ‘Single Ladies’). The woman is best known for serving sex and ferocity in her show-stealing clips but after releasing over 30 solo music videos flaunting everything from stripped back styles through to intense hip shattering choreography – ‘Countdown’ appears to have captured the essence of B’s visual strengths and reimagined it with some American Apparel colour blocking realness.
Director Adria Petty – who hemmed the largely forgettable ‘Sweet Dreams’ video – did a complete 180 with this one. There’s all the cornerstones of a winning Beyoncé video: A-grade choreography, heart-arresting outfits that border on garish, and a touch of sass. However, upon closer inspection, there’s actually more going on in ‘Countdown’ than meets the eye. The song might’ve been a straight-up celebration of the Knowles-Carter growing love (baby included), but the video actually upgrades the experience by showing us a young woman growing in love. Let me explain.
Here are three reasons to love ‘Countdown’:
1) B.B. Homemaker, meet Freshman Bey.
30 and she is still getting younger. This is the first video we’ve seen Beyoncé sensibly juxtapose B.B. Homemaker [Editor's note: 60s alter ego first introduced in 'Why Don't You Love Me?'] with a younger, freshman-looking character. And there is such a good reason for it. If you gather up all the different looks Bey is flaunting here, I reckon you can safely categorise them as either a 60s stylistic representation of a woman or a girl.
Given that ‘Countdown’ is a song that celebrates a growing, steady relationship – lyrically stating that she had been with Jay-Z for 10 years and counting – how much more appropriate is it to depict Bey as both a girl and woman in love? Better yet, call me crazy but I swear – in true countdown style – Bey starts off in the video looking like a glam ma and ending with a more youthful, girly image. Check it for yourselves.
2) Bey Bump.
Let’s be real. The first thing everyone’s clocking for here is Bey Mama’s baby bump. Here the Destiny’s Breeder is steady schoolin’ y’all on how maternity wear should be done – baggy man shirt + booty-peeking underwear or silhouette defining turtle neck leotard? You decide.
3) Take it easy with that choreography.
I trust these divas to know when enough is enough when taking on choreography during pregnancy. I was overcome with the same concern when I watched J.Lo do ‘Hold It Don’t Drop It’ [Editor's note: irony] all those years ago. The best thing about ‘Countdown’ is that, choreography is still very much in the centre of its production. It’s essentially a dance video charged by high-octane fabulosity that only a fly mama can deliver. We’re talking finger snapping, belly rubbing, and hand gestures that signal for y’all to read them curves like its poetry.
Beyoncé has dropped ‘Countdown’ off to American commercial radio stations. The single will be released in the UK on 30 October alongside ‘End of Time’. Watch this fly up the charts around the world in no time.