‘Pretty Hurts’, the fourth single from Beyoncé’s self titled album, is a marked change from the sound of previous singles ‘Drunk in Love’ and ‘XO’. Provocative language is replaced with poignant lyrics criticizing the image obsessed culture engulfing society. It is a pleasant divergence from the prior singles from Beyoncé and goes to show that there’s more to the album than it appears. Combined with the wonderfully shot video of Beyoncé competing in a hostile beauty pageant, ‘Pretty Hurts‘ emerges as a controversial and thought provoking single. Lyrics such as ”Perfection is a disease of a nation” and ”Vogue says ‘Thinner is better”’ provide a clear message against the importance placed on beauty that weighs heavily upon society.
Beyoncé’s vocals are impeccable on this track, which showcases her immensely powerful and tantalizing voice. The true force of Beyoncé’s vocal abilities, which have brought incredible songs such as ‘Listen’, are clearly displayed once more.
‘Pretty Hurts’ is more than just a song but a message that ‘perfection’ does not erase the “aspiration…to be happy”.
‘Pretty Hurts’ is out now though Columbia records.