Single: Beyonce & Shakira – “Beautiful Liar [Freemasons remix]” (2007)

I have a tricky time with Beyonce sometimes. Singles-wise she’s had as many global smashes as the band in which she found fame, but I’ve never really got on board with any of her albums. Sure, there are always a few hidden gems she seems to avoid releasing each time, even with the “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” technique they used for “4”‘s promotion, and the more restrained two-for-one releases from “I am…Sasha Fierce”. But she does pull out all the stops when it comes to the deluxe versions of her albums.

“Beautiful Liar” was the lead single from the 2007 deluxe re-issue of second album “B’Day”, and teams her up with Colombian megastar Shakira.

The song did well in the UK, an almost forgotten No.1 hit for the pair. But for me, the B’Day project was all well and good, but it was the arrival of UK dance act Freemasons on the scene that really set this project on fire, with a clutch of remixes including this, “Deja Vu”, semi-hit “Green Light” and sort-of-single “Ring the alarm” (notable for its extensive use as a soundbed on the UK’s X-Factor).

Freemasons really had a brilliant period at this point, with their re-working of Alanis Morissette’s “Uninvited” doing good business in the UK, and a string of popular singles afterwards.

The original version of “Beautiful Liar” was reasonable. A faux-Arabian vibe that sounded a bit naff and fake, but the duet was pretty good, and the video looked like it had a few dollars/pesos thrown at it. I’m still surprised at how similar the two women look in the video, facially,  considering their different races, is it just me?

The remix though really gives a massive shot in the arm to the song, a rich-sounding electro-dance smash. The thing I love about Freemasons remixes – and this really shouldn’t be a rarity – is that they still resemble the original song afterwards, not 8 minutes of generic bass thumping and (if you’re lucky) a ten-second snatch of the original vocals. If THAT is what a remix is supposed to do, then calling this a remix is doing it a disservice, this is a makeover of a decent pop song to a fantastic dance-pop song.

I would recommend watching the video below, a curiously Shakira-free montage of the dizzying array of videos produced for the “B’Day” deluxe DVD, to the soundtrack of this remix. If you like it, I strongly recommend you look up the Freemasons tracks “Uninvited” (featuring Bailey Tzuke) and “Heartbreak make me a dancer” (featuring Sophie Ellis-Bextor), and the rather wonderful remix of Alexis Jordan’s “Good Girl”.

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