The video: The debut song from Beyonce's hotly anticipated new album, which comes out in June, is now available for public consumption, at least in demo form. (Listen below.) "Girls (Who Run the World)" was produced by the superstar DJ Diplo, and samples Major Lazer's "Pon de Floor." It opens with a military-like chant over Beyonce intoning "Girls! We run this mutha/Girls! We run the world." The snare-drum-heavy beat then starts integrating electronic bleeps, all over the same relentless chorus. "Girls" is the latest in a long string of Beyonce singles promoting female empowerment, from "Survivor" to "Independent Women" to "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On it)." How does "Girls" compare?
The reaction: The song is "fun to listen to," and will "probably inspire plenty of peppy YouTube tributes," says Maura Johnston at The Village Voice. But "there's also something exhausting about it." Like many of its current pop counterparts, this song tries to incorporate too many elements at the expense of a unifying vision; it should "heed Coco Chanel's advice and take one accessory off before leaving the house." Sorry, says Brian Moylan at Gawker, but this song just "sucks. I mean, it sucks really bad." The dizzying mess of "feedback squiggles, ray gun zaps, and snare drums" brings to mind a "scene in a sci-fi movie in which someone is walking through a marketplace and they're assaulted by all sorts of synthesized noise and babble from all directions at once." Have a listen for yourself: