Beyonce‘s flawlessly executed Album 5 era took a thrilling new twist this morning, as the full version of her Sia-penned, Greg Kurstin-produced H&M ditty “Standing On The Sun” leaked online after appearing in the following incarnations (if I remember correctly): A little audio snippet in a commercial; a little more audio in a behind-the-scenes thing; live in concert on her tour; a longer snippet; and now, finally, the triumphant full version. All over the course of over two months. Each new break in the case of “Standing On The Sun” like a tiny pyrrhic victory in a war that we who love Beyonce all know we’re ultimately going to lose.
And please note: It’s not like this happened in some kind of sophisticated rollout way — there was no fanfare, no hype, no Ryan Seacrest radio premiere, no handwritten note — but rather, it went down in a sort of mad, entropic, somebody-cut-the-brakes-so-I-guess-this-car-is-just-going-off-a-cliff kind of way. Sigh. God only knows the measures some poor stan had to endure to get the full studio version of this song. If a break-in is reported at the Stockholm headquarters of H&M, don’t be surprised.
Anyway! Here’s the thing: It would probably be an improvement if you could buy this on iTunes. Even just as a promo single. Even just as a gesture of good faith toward her ever-patient fan base. A free download, even. The fact that those things don’t happen give the sense that there isn’t a particularly strong strategy at play here. If you are a global superstar and you play something for your fans and don’t give them any indication of when they can actually have it, it’s torture. They will revolt. They will grow to hate you. It’s only a matter of time.
The whole situation is so maddening that it just distracts from how sincerely great this song is, which I don’t even want to write about because I’m just so mad at Beyonce. But aren’t we all? Will the Hive even be left buzzing after being kept us in the dark so wholly for months on end while she promotes Kelly Rowland‘s album release and drinks her Pepsi? Yes, she’s probably the greatest entertainer of her generation, but she is running her fans ragged.
The song’s below, and like I said, it’s great, so enjoy it. But most of all, enjoy pretending for those blissful three minutes and sixteen seconds that Beyonce makes music for public consumption.
Beyonce — “Standing On The Sun”
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