Forget whether or not she’s pregnant with a new Baby Carter. Beyoncé just gave birth to a “Grown Woman.”
After months of being music’s biggest tease—she announced her new album, out later this summer, in the winter and has since only released brief snippets of new material in ads for Pepsi and H&M—a full, new single from Queen B finally leaked Monday. “Grown Woman” is the song she leaked in April’s Pepsi commercial, so ubiquitous at this point that your body probably instinctively knows the choreography.
Like “Single Ladies” and “Run the World (Girls)" before it, it is, as Forrest Wickman writes in Slate, the quintessential Beyoncé lead single, adhering to four pillars of Beydom: “a syncopated, uptempo beat, some stabs of brass or synths to go over it, a chorus of female shout-along voices (mostly Beyoncés), and a message of female empowerment.”
It’s effortlessly danceable. It’s sassy (Beyoncé boasts, with a feisty drawl, “I can do whatever I wawnt). It’s in Bey’s familiar R&B-pop-dance-anthem wheelhouse while still being a dash unexpected with its aggressiveness and defiant message (“Told the world imma paint this town / Now bitches, I run this”). It’s also really good.
“It’s almost like this track is destined to be the theme song to the next Women’s World Cup or something,” says Carl Williott at Idolator. Jessica Sager at Popcrush also searches for the proper sports comparison, writing that it sounds like “the sassiest, most grown up jump rope rhyme ever.”
Early reaction is overwhelmingly positive for the track. Entertainment blog Holy Moly is among the most effusive with praise. “On first listen it sounded absolutely incredible. On second listen we’re doing stupid dances around the room in our pants.” Conclusion: “It’s the absolute tits.”
Good thing, too.
Critics had been growing increasingly frustrated with the convoluted and withholding teaser campaign for Beyoncés new album. “Have you ever been trolled by a pop star?” Michael Cragg at The Guardian asks, exasperated with all the egregiously short leaks and teases, the Super Bowl performance that premiered not a beat of new music, and a full six months of promotion for a record while giving fans “no single, album title or even a release date.”
“Grown Woman,” then, arrives just in time. Now, just as he did with “Single Ladies” and “Run the World (Girls)” in the past, this male writer is happily resigning himself to a confusing summer singing about being a “Grown Woman.”