Because Beyoncé’s every public move is curated down to the millisecond not visible by the mortal human’s eye, her two most recent releases have been baffling in their mediocrity. Last month, she and Eminem revealed the rather bland collaboration “Walk On Water,” a rap piano ballad without beats (???) that sounds tailored for the trailer some kind of earnest December period film. It’s Oscarbait chic and it seems to be flopping—in its second week on the Billboard Hot 100, it tumbled from No. 14 to No. 55.
And now today arrives a version of Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” featuring Bey. “Perfect” is a diabolical scheme of a song clearly intended to ensure Sheeran is played multiple times at every white people wedding until the earth warms over and we all die of thirst. Don’t let this song’s gooeyness throw you off; this is straight up craven. It’s a way for Sheeran to inextricably bind himself to the memories of as many unassuming people as possible.
Beyoncé sounds flawless in a mediocre song; maybe this track is kind of a microcosm for her overall existence in this wretched world of ours. She flutters, she trembles enough to sound like she believes what she’s singing but not too much to sound melodramatic, she growls during the chorus. “No I don’t deserve this,” sings Sheeran at one point. Bingo.
I thought it would be useful to contact my former co-worker and Sheeran expert/associate Kara Brown, who I know would be rolling in her grave right now if she were actually in a grave and not just being fabulous in Hollywood. What does she think about this collaboration?
“UGH,” she wrote. “Obviously it’s terrible and between this and that trash Eminem single I don’t know WHAT is going on with her.” My thoughts exactly. She continued: “I also remember the time Ed tweeted at me: ‘I’m doing something this weekend you’re going to hate,’ and it was him performing with Beyoncé. He often gets the last laugh.”
I’m telling you, this is diabolical.