By James Pavel

5. Love on Top

She’s tipsy off bubbly in the hot tub of her personal limousine with 80s’ pop blaring through New York City. OK none of that happened, but there is something about “Love on Top” that sounds like a love child between Prince and Tina Turner.

4. Bootylicious

Am I partial to this track because I am a sucker for anything Fleetwood Mac related? Probably. Nonetheless, this remains one of the sexiest songs of all time. The key term being sexy, and not scandalous or borderline pirate-hookerish, like say, “Dirrty” by X-tina, or “Slave 4 U” by Britney. “Bootylicious” was dance floor mania that gave all the women sporting extra jelly the courage to finally shake what not just their mama, but an entire family tree gave them to make rumble like a Japanese earthquake.

3. Irreplaceable

Even when present in a nasty breakup, Knowles still has majestic rhythm. Men are created equal, which means when B shows you the door, there is a lineup of clones awaiting outside her million-dollar fortress. This track is the last of her truly venomous shots of anguish at cheating men as her later material seems to hint at happier times.

2. If I Were a Boy

If she was a boy, fearful and ashamed men would no longer have a problem welcoming a transvestite into their bedroom. B is merely weighing the options and in doing so, breaks down how easy it is for a man, and how difficult life in general is for a woman. The song highlights B’s notable use of the acoustic guitar in her career, an intriguing advancement that none of her peers have really attempted. The song’s concept and the use of the guitar demonstrate her method of again thinking outside hip-hop/RnB’s narrow and shallow square box and converting a predictable shape into a beautiful diamond.

1. XO

B isn’t just a cheerleader of love, but one of its glowing champions. She isn’t done shaking her booty or boasting her independence. No, she remains as strong as a prized ox, but she doesn’t shy away from allowing herself to become completely consumed with pure and unfiltered hugs and kisses. She demands relentless and pertinacious affection, till the lights go out in fact, and anything less will not satisfy the Queen B.