Beyonce's new single 'Best I Never Had': Hear it here


Beyoncé‘s upcoming album 4 is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated releases of the summer—even if its first single “Run the World (Girls)” didn’t have the kind of superstar impact Mrs. Carter is used to (it was at number 50 on last week’s Billboard Hot 100, and hasn’t reached higher than 33).

Now comes “Best I Never Had,” which just debuted this morning and sounds a lot more like a traditional Queen B hit. Crank it up here:

Borrowing from jams like “Irreplaceable” (not to mention a bit of Celine Dion’s “That’s The Way It Is” and, weirdly, Bruce Hornsby’s “The Way It Is”), “Best I Never Had” finds Beyoncé mining the same kind of girl-power imagery as she did on “Run the World (Girls).”

But there’s something more direct and honest about the lyrics on the new single (perhaps it’s the instant greatness of the line, “When I think of the time I almost loved you/ You showed your ass and I saw the real you”).

“Best Thing I Never Had” feels like the kind of crossover hit that will help 4 join the rest of Beyoncé’s discography in multiplatinum land.

But what do you think? Does it sound too much like a sequel to other tracks? Is it better or worse than “Run the World (Girls)”? Let us know in the comments below.

Read more from
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Comments (116 total) Add your comment
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  • Tim

    I LOVE IT. It so great to hear a singer sing and not on auto tune all the time. She is the best and I cant wait for the album.

    • tom

      beyonce…..album 1 great….BDAY…minus irresplacable SUCKED….I AM…was awesome…..looks like she is just trying to ONCE AGAIN to use a ballad to replace her first single…remember DEJA VU?

      • tom

        and yes run the world blew 2

      • tom

        your not jay z ….. stop singing songs like I’m a diva….TEAM BRING BACK DESTINY’s CHILD!

      • mimi

        shot out to beyonce she makes the best songs nd they r the best have ever heard!!!!!!!! love u b

      • meme

        i love when she does songs like diva and run the world. thats actually my favorite side of Bey but i love most things she does

      • Jayfish

        No a ballad to replace Ring da Alarm not Deja vu. Me personally though I like this song much better than Run the World.

      • dottie christine

        Ppl jus need to stop hatin on hu bcuz she doin hu nd she famous nt you or anybdy else thtz hating so find u some hahahehe cuz she shyting big 1 ‘s on some ppl jus think about how much money she make nd she got haterz so she MUST b doin something right

    • PN

      I think that she didn’t want to ride on the Autotune trend. She wanted listeners to hear her voice up front in this new song.

  • Emma

    Not into it.

    • cara

      Agree. She’s batting zero for 2 on her latest.

      • Adwina Lambert

        beyonsh*t is sooooo over-rated and over-exposed!! tee-hee!!

    • xx100

      Love Bey but agree. I love that she’s not doing like all the other female popstars and doing club/techno autotunned crap but this is boring.

  • Truth Bomb

    It sucks just like 1+1 and Run the World (Girls)… I wanted to like all of her songs but “4” is turning out to be all filler, no killer!!!

    • Adwina Lambert

      beyonsh*t is sooooo over-rated and over-exposed!! tee-hee!!!

  • JoshP

    I was expecting worse but isn’t wasn’t that bad. I don’t see my self buying it but I’ll say its good.

    • Adwina Lambert

      beyonsh*t is soooo over-rated and over-exposed!! tee-hee!!!

      • Februar

        I personally think that this new song by Beyonce um…rellay rellay ROCKS. I am NOT a fan of Beyonce – don’t get me wrong – but this is one of her best and quite frankly I couldn’t love it more! Wheee!Seriously, I love it!I also love Madonna’s “Spanish Lesson” from Hard Candy.

    • Roberto

      pathetic obviously you wont go for bretiny your a fan of beyonce! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahais that what only beyonce got? not wondering shes fading into thin air now. look at the fake you are talking about . shes got the whole world attention. not needing to show her ass off . see the difference and put your maturity. they both excel in their own ways. not the only one your talking.

  • Sagittarian25

    The material from her this era is painfully lackluster. None of the singles I heard this era are great. All mediocre.

  • David

    Better than some of the sh1t Gagas been putting out.

    • Tim

      I agree with you. Its better than all of gaga songs.

    • Whiskey Mouth/Blonde South

      I disagree, but does it matter? The anti-Gaga obsession is so futile. Liking one thing doesn’t mean you need to negate the other. Beyonce is a proven artist, I haven’t connected with any of these songs like I have past hits but oh well, no need to trash her. It’s okay not to like Gaga, but saying this is better than any of her stuff is inconsequential. IT DOESN’T MATTER.

    • Kelly

      Yes, because all 4 of the songs Gaga had come out before the CD placed in the Top 13 on Billboard….2 in the top 5…1 at #1 for 6 weeks? How many off this CD has Beyonce had in the top 20? Sorry…EPIC FAIL!

      • Kelly

        Motivation by Kelly R. is doing better then this crap B is putting out.

      • True Blue

        And how does that relate to the quality of the songs? In case you didn’t notice, the OP didn’t utter a word about Gaga’s output not being successful. So if her songs flopped, then they would suck? I’m sick and tired of people thinking commercial success = quality. You should be able to defend the merit of any artist without using the Billboard charts if their success isn’t what’s being called into question.

      • alonzo

        only reason beyonce is doing bad becuz of white people if yall see mostly every black person like beyonce new song but she got to suffer for people like you

      • Junior

        Damn it seems like every post you do is good. Never half assed. Anyway. This took me back, and brought me sooloo many memories. I hate to knock off what Rev-olution, but one of my fondest memories was singing Back in the Day, and wondering how things would be when I got older. I remember that day to a T we were driving home from a camping trip. I wanna be 12 again. lol just for a week. And thats the week when the 1st comes around.

    • Brian

      ugh. gaga haters stop trolling! seriously, get. over. it. i don’t understand why female artists have to be compared to one another – gaga and beyonce are merely two artists existing at the same time. it’s okay for two female to be popular the same time.

      i will add, however, that the recent singles of beyonce has been kinda terrible. i only like ‘run the world’ because the video was fierce…but we already know that beyonce can made a stellar video…..but like what other artists? hmmmm perhaps gaga…..

      • Justin

        @True Blue I am so sick of reading ur pompous self righteous commentary all over Ew. You come across so smug and self aware in every post! We all get it okay…. You>>> everyone else! The End!

  • Nathaniel

    I think this will fare much better on the charts. I loved “Run The World (Girls)” but I think it might’ve just been a bit too busy for the average listener. This is more focused and I think it has great crossover appeal. And her vocals are perfect here, whereas on “1 + 1,” there were some moments that felt a bit forced.

    Overall, I am excited for her new album. I know it will not disappoint.

  • timelord

    the title reminded me of the song bargain by the who. ” i’d call that a bargain…the best i ever had”

  • Miss Talk

    I love the song. Great job by Babyface. Beyoncé is one of the last “album artists”. So I hope 4 will do just like the three others.
    I’m not sure she’ll hit #1 with this single but this is my thing: I don’t want her to take Usher’s road and fall into the easy pop stuff. From the moment she’ll do that, her legacy will be tainted forever.
    Celine Dion does Celine, Whitney Houston does Whitney, Barbra Streisand does Barbra. Beyoncé, keep doing Beyoncé.

    • anoymous

      She has fallen in the easy pop stuff already, not sure what style you think she sings?? It’s certainly not R&B and it’s actually always club music like Gaga or Rhianna.

      • True Blue

        Uh, I don’t know which song you’ve listened, but this sounds NOTHING like Gaga or Rihanna.

      • Nathaniel

        As of now, Beyonce has not fallen into the trend of auto-tuned Euro-pop/dance tracks, which is what I think Miss Talk means by “easy pop stuff.”

        Even if you don’t like the material Beyonce has been putting out recently, you have to admit she is taking risks and not following trends. Look at the iTunes charts and Billboard charts. Dance songs are in, urban songs and ballads are out. Beyonce is releasing urban songs and ballads because that’s what she does best, and thank God she hasn’t turned into Rihanna.

        Don’t get me wrong, I love Rihanna… I love her for what she is. She chases trends and that’s that. The only time she strayed away was Rated R, that didn’t work out, so she rushed back into the studio to record loud and jump on the Europop bandwagon.

      • Classy!

        Rihanna doesn’t chase trends-she creates them. She pretty much perfected, if not created, goth R and B with her Rated R album. Beyonce is the trend chaser. All she does is rip off others’ ideas and try to make them her own while hardly ever crediting her peers for inspiring her. Rihanna takes way more risks than Bey. For example, she has a ballad and a reggae song out right now. She is far more versatile than Beyonce has ever been. Bey’s songs are not performing well so far bc they’re not that great. It has nothing to do with her so-called risks.

  • chantal

    Beyonce is like Christina A., great voice, but despite that, it’s the song that has to matter. And I did not feel Run The World and not feeling this one either.

    • justme

      I agree, they both have great voices, but they insist on singing every single note they can sing in every single song they sing. Wish they would stop all the vocal acrobatics and just sing using their lovely voices. Actually, if one of them had come out with an acoustic album instead of this stylle, I would have liked that more, it would have shown something different instead of their constant yoddling on every song.

      • True Blue

        Beyoncé does not do vocal acrobatics, unlike Christina (whom I also like), she has great control of her voice.

      • dim

        Beyonce has the ability subtlety, most of I am of her last cd proved that.

      • Marilee

        Beyonce’s doesn’t do vocal gymnastics. That’s Christina and Mariah Carey’s thing. You may be think of the fact that Beyonce sometimes writes songs that are impossible to sing along with.

      • alonzo

        i dont mean no harm but mariah carey dont use vocal gymnastics she was born with that screaming i mean the good voice

    • MSR

      I liked Run The World because she didn’t do the “GRRRRRRRRR” thing she does on every song. This song, like 1+1, would benefit from her restraining herself. Not every note needs to be a power note nor a run.

  • Scott

    So far, this album is 3 for 3 in the “This Song Sucks” sweepstakes. Maybe it’ll be like Born This Way, where all the great songs are the non-singles?

    • cara

      hahaha I said 0 for 2 (see above),but maybe got my number analogy wrong (were there 3 songs?)

      • True Blue

        Yes, another song called “Til The End Of Time”.

      • fancypants

        The 3 songs from “4”, so far, are “Run the World (Girls)”, “1+1″, and now this song, “Best I Never Had”. “Til the End of Time” is a bonus song that most haven’t heard b/c it was pulled off the internet for some reason.

    • True Blue

      The only song I dislike so far is RTW, but I do hope that we’ve yet to hear the best. “I Am… Sasha Fierce” was exactly like that, the best songs were the non-singles. I don’t want her to further screw up the promotion of this album by making more poor choices in choosing singles.

  • True Blue

    Really a terrific song, so far this and 1 + 1 are the best songs that I’ve heard off the album so dark (I especially LOVE 1 +1). Seems that some of her fans aren’t taking to her new sound though, but I’d much rather that she push herself musically and risk alienating some fans for it than play it safe and do what is expected of her. I hope that 4 truly kicks ass.

  • anonymous

    Beyonce can sing so *sigh* I was so wishing she would put some pants on and just let her voice soar and sing great songs, but again this album is oversinging and wearing the bodysuit (again!!). *sigh* guess she’s firmly in Katy P, Gaga and Keisha land forever, although she sings better than any of them, the stuff she puts out now is no different, all forgetable and overproduced songs.

  • Kevin

    Too urban for top40 radio. Just like run the world. If you don’t have a club beat on a single right now…hang it up. It won’t happen on radio. Love ya B, but you need a pop hit. Period!

    • fancypants

      Nonsense. Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” doesn’t have a club beat, and it’s #1 on the Hot 100 right now.

      • D2

        Adele has been noted for the being the rare exception in the past year. Her success doesn’t apply to anyone else.

      • alonzo

        i an’t going tell you know lie i never heard of a women name adele intill beyonce video run the world came out

  • mimi

    beyonce u r sooooooooo awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4get wut the peps say u rock :-)

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