Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

Beyoncé's Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)

People who don't dance usually don't make exceptions, but I saw a man who has abstained from any rhythmic movement for nearly a decade crack within 20 seconds of hearing this ludicrously infectious Beyoncé hit. The rhythm is double-dutch. The lyrics are liberating if your idea of liberation ended with Gloria Gaynor. The melody is — who are we kidding? It's not a melody, just the sound track from the '80s arcade hit Frogger. Still, "Single Ladies" works because Beyoncé cuts through all the racket like a train whistle and she seems to believe every word she sings, while the slightly menacing minor chords that creep in halfway through keep things from getting too repetitive.

Hear excerpts from all the top songs of 2008: