It's important to remember that Beyonce isn't a pop star anymore. No, she wants respect. She said so in a recent interview. It's also worth noting that she hasn't released anything half way decent since 'Crazy In Love', her debut solo single. Her last album B'Day was so bereft of actual tunes that her record company called in British remixers Freemasons to give the songs some life. So there's a lot riding on Beyonce's forthcoming third solo album, and to introduce it she's releasing a double a-side single 'If I Were A Boy' and 'Single Ladies' (both genders are catered for, do you see?).
'If I Were A Boy' is the least interesting. It was co-written by the man who penned 'Big Girls Don't Cry' by Fergie, a song that stayed on the British and American charts for about fifteen years. 'If I Were A Boy' is about how men are really rather selfish and mean and sometimes they don't switch their mobile phones on. Musically it's about as interesting as 'God Was One Of Us' by Joan Osborne. The singing is pretty good though.
'Single Ladies' is obviously meant to be the club banger to 'If I Were A Boy's radio-friendly balladering. It's got lots of stuff going on, which in the modern world of RnB can sometimes be the default setting. If you're worried about making it sound really NOW, then just throw stuff at it; alarms, burps, synths, splutters, handclaps, oodles of percussion. It was this that buried most of B'Day. Here it all works slightly better, the song has a great hook of "If you like it then you should have put a ring on it" and it sticks in your head. She's a pop star after all.