Beyoncé’s last album, 4, burned with grown-up, husband-and-wife-shit passion on songs like “Love on Top” and “Countdown.” Her latest offering, “Standing on the Sun,” further explores that theme, with brassy but flitting vocals comparing a lover’s touch to fire. Though the H&M commercial that serves up our first 90-second listen to the tune follows Beyoncé as she dances on a beach, the “sun” of the track’s title is the heat between two people.
According to PopJustice, Greg Kurstin (Lily Allen, Tegan & Sara) and Sia (Rihanna’s “Diamonds”) wrote the song, which is, as you’d expect, worthy of more than an ad. The lithe, percussive musical backing, meanwhile, isn’t far from Beyoncé’s other recent TV-commercial song, Timbaland-produced “Grown Woman,” which she just performed live in Paris. As previously reported, this commercial was directed by Jonas Åkerlund, Madonna’s longtime visual collaborator and a music video whiz. Though not exactly high-concept — a beach-dancing sequence gives way to Beyoncé sitting on a fire-encircled throne, and that’s about it — the video is visually well-executed throughout.
True, the former Destiny’s Child singer’s Caribbean trips have been landing her in hot water lately. And Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich recently tried to use H&M as a mocking comparison for EDM. But despite Beyoncé’s lofty place in the pop stratosphere, she hasn’t flown too close to the sun just yet.