The Agony & The Ecstasy

This week in music: BeyoncéBowl, new Drake, and the My Bloody Valentine album

Beyonce 2

PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK: Beyoncé's halftime show at the Super Bowl

Beyoncé's halftime performance opened with a voiceover from Vince Lombardi, the football coach who led Green Bay Packers to victory at Super Bowl I and II. An extract from it reads: "All of the noise and all of the glamour all of the color all of the excitement all of the rings and all of the money. These are the things that linger only in the memory. But the spirit, the will to excel, the will to win, these are the things that endure."   

It made for a timely introduction to Beyoncé's hot-blooded, astonishing 12-minute set, where she ran through 'Crazy In Love', 'End of Time', 'Baby Boy' and 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)', had Destiny's Child pop up for 'Bootylicious'/'Independent Women (Part 1)' and then pop off, and then managed to head-bang to 'Halo'. Unlike the extravagant set-pieces of Madonna's performance, Beyoncé's diamonds and rings (she bought 'em) were just trimmings here, and she was relatively stripped-back in contrast to last year's Egyptian soldiers and winged throne. She was in her comfort zone with her regular army of dancers and all-female band, and it felt all the more connected, passionate and powerful. This morning Beyoncé also announced world tour dates for her Mrs. Carter tour this summer, including four dates at The O2 in London.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Fatima Al Qadiri - 'Ghost Raid'

Produced in collaboration between MOCA and Fade To Mind, the hi-def video for Al Qadiri's 'Ghost Raid' renders the war games subject matter of her latest EP in dark CGI violence. With physical destruction shown through the ammo-depicting rangefinder of a video game screen, it's an interpretation of Al Qadiri's own experiences as a child growing up in Kuwait during the 1990 Gulf War. When she spoke to Dazed's Karen Orton around the release of the Desert Strike EP last year, she described it as "the most terrifying sci-fi experience of my childhood. This record is about the relationship between the virtual and reality of war.” With burning wreckage rendered in shiny hi-gloss, it's an uncomfortably seductive companion piece.

SINGLE OF THE WEEK: Yadi - 'Unbreakable' ft. Baaba Maal and The Very Best

British pop singer Yadi's carnival-vibing new video is like the shadows of Plato's Cave as seen through the sparkling eyes of Lady Miss Kier. The track draws from Yadi's North African heritage (her father is Algerian) in its popping rhythms and slow-build chants, before moving into a thrilling huge-sounding chorus. Yadi collaborated with London duo The Very Best (who worked with M.I.A on 'Rain Dance') and Senegalese singer Baaba Maal on the track, an interesting sidestep from the electro-pop leanings of her tracks 'Guillotine' and forthcoming single 'The Blow'. It all makes for an intriguingly diverse mix ahead of Yadi's debut album, which she's currently working on with Ariel Rechtshaid and Joe Goddard.

COMEBACK OF THE WEEK: Drake - 'Started From The Bottom'

Like 'Clique', 'We Found Love' and, er, 'Blue (Da Ba Dee)', Drizzy's comeback hope is built around a single line - in this case "we started from the bottom now we here". Variations on this occur twenty-eight times in the indelibly catchy song, with Drake's declarations that he is 4REAL atop a whirring sub-heavy beat produced by OVO's recent signing Mike Zombie. It actually has a similar hospitalised feel to En Vogue's incredible 'Whatever'. A video has already been filmed in Toronto and the Dominican Republic, and will apparently premiere this week.

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: My Bloody Valentine - m b v

My Bloody Valentine are back to being My Bloody Valentine. Hooray!  Dodgy artwork aside, m b v is very good, and a worthy sequel to Loveless - which is a pretty amazing accolade in itself. It hasn't all quite sunk in yet, but special shout out to the snippy ending of 'Who Sees You', where the repetitive screeching refrain, looped as if stuck in a groove, is cut off with a sharp sniiip! And relax.

SOUNDTRACK OF THE WEEK: Maria Minerva - 'Black Magick'

'Black Magick' is our first taste of Maria Minerva's forthcoming EP 'Bless' (Not Not Fun), and sees the Estonian-born experimental pop musician exploring the comical side of the dark arts. The video, directed by Alice Cohen, riffs on the song's plaintive "you cut me in half and you put me together again" and shows Minerva as a plum-lipped sorceress, cloaked and feeding her male co-star biscuits and doing the funky chicken - somewhere between Lucifer Rising and fuckyeahthecraft.tumblr.com. It's the most explicit nod we've seen to the touches of humour and dress-up that recur in Minerva's work, with slanting social commentary and a firm wink. After all, her father is the renowned Estonian humorist and music critic Mart Juur.

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