Track 7. “Start Over”
Sounds Like: One of Ryan Tedder’s diva ballads, a mid-tempo, over-dramatic chugger about relationship strife, like Jordin Sparks’ “Battlefield” or Kelly Clarkson’s “Already Gone.” Lots of piano, loud, echoing drums, and Beyoncé wailing on the chorus.
Pros: The intro is kinda cool and skeletal, just some atmospheric synth and insistent drum tapping. And throughout the song, the swaths of reverb that occasionally pierce through the thick production are a nice, appropriately yearning touch.
Cons: The song’s a bore, nothing we haven’t heard from Beyoncé or on pop radio before, with subject matter heard elsewhere and far more interestingly on the album already. The lyrics are clichéd bordering on ridiculous, lines like “Maybe we reached a mountain peak / And there’s no more left to climb / And maybe we lost a magic piece / And we’re both too blind to find” coming off like a cautionary tale about poor use of figurative language in creative writing. Beyoncé tries her best to imbue them with legitimate emotion, especially on the chorus, but it’s just not happening this time around.
Lyric as Personal Mantra: “Maybe you like it / Well I don’t / Maybe you settle / Well I won’t.”