More than maybe any Beyoncé video since “Crazy In Love,” the new clip for the thunderstruck love-ballad “1 + 1″ is a chance to stare worshipfully at Beyoncé: Beyoncé covered in Goldfinger-looking glitter, Beyoncé rubbing an ice cube on her lips, Beyoncé slowly putting her face through a waterfall. It’s, um, not subtle. And for those of us who feel a certain way about Beyoncé, it’s not a bad way to start your morning.
But for all its soft-focus imagery, the new video (directed by Beyoncé, Laurent Briet, and Ed Burke) is still the second-best video for the song. The best is an unaccompanied dressing-room rehearsal version of the song, which Jay-Z shot backstage at American Idol earlier this year. More than almost anything she’s done, that rehearsal video gives a good sense of how ridiculously talented this woman is. Watch both videos below.
“1 + 1″ appears on Beyoncé’s album 4, out now on Columbia.