Track 6: “Rather Die Young”
Sounds Like: Another midtempo jam from Beyonce, in which she rhapsodizes not simply about dying for her lover but doing so pretty early in life. Also, Yvonne Elliman.
Pros: Beyonce’s voice is strong as always, but that’s to be expected; what’s less expected is how the melody winds itself around corners and into nooks, both familiar (the verses echo “If I Can’t Have You” fairly exactly and likely purposefully) and new. The fluttery synth-and-guitar outro is particularly gorgeous.
Cons: The message is rather self-negating for Beyonce, isn’t it? Dying young is glamorized by bumper stickers and romanticized by The Band Perry, but in reality it’s just sad and not the best way to approach a relationship. It’s also the only really memorable thing about the song. We realize that we’ve lived with “Rather Die Young” for less than 24 hours, but we nevertheless suspect “Rather Die Young” will turn out to be one of those songs that’s gorgeous in isolation but indistinguishable in a crowd.
Lyric as Personal Mantra: “I’d rather not live at all than live my life without you.” It’s a mantra, at least.