One theory as to why Beyoncé’s video for “Love on Top” is coming out now, just a week after the one for “Countdown”: It was filmed earlier, as evidenced by Beyoncé’s lack of baby bump and the fact that “Love on Top” was actually released to radio first, then sort of quietly shuffled away after a lack of major public enthusiasm (and replaced as a single with the superior “Countdown”). Beyoncé doesn’t make wrong moves, so just like “Girls (Run The World)” was called a “buzz single” after it failed to gain traction, fans are given the “Love On Top” video as a fun extra. We can’t be mad at Bey’s team for their defensive inability to admit they’re capable of making any strategy mistakes, or for their genius of then flipping the earlier “flop” single into a “bonus video.” See how generous Beyoncé is with her artistry? She just wants to give and give. There’s something extra Stepfordish about Beyoncé in this era, as if she got the final chips inserted and has become fully cybernetic, like Shania Twain did in the early aughts.
And so we get Beyoncé at her Michael Jacksoniest, selling it first in a military hat and leotard, then in heels and a variety of breast-baring cropped suit jackets. Something about the nonstop smiling also reminds me of Janet Jackson. “Who, me, intimidating?” say the world’s greatest entertainers right after they hit the high note. Beyoncé balances her terrifying talent with so many aggressive displays of docility, I kind of don’t believe she listens to anybody else (except for maybe Jay-Z). I mean, would you? I lost it when she got to the top-hat-and-cane key change. And then I further lost it when her pants turned out to be tear-away. I was seriously hoping she would tear her wig off at the end. But of course that would break the perfect image that is “Beyoncé,” so nope.