Beyoncé's music videos from 4 have been hit-and-miss so far, but the album's fourth single "Countdown" is easily the best of the bunch. She's also going out on a high note: Considering she has a child on the way, it may be a while before her maternity leave ends and she's strutting her stuff in a music video again. Beyoncé (or CGI) does a good job of hiding the fact that she's
pregnant, but at the 2:10 mark she gives a subtle nod to Jay-Z's future kid by rubbing her baby bump.
Directed by Adria Petty (Tom Petty's daughter!), "Countdown" is a visual cornucopia of vibrant colors, quirky dance steps, clever edits, and Beyoncé split personalities, all packed into three-and-a-half minutes. The video sports a 1960s vibe throughout, and at various points B appears to be dressed like Audrey Hepburn, Alfred Hitchcock's vision of a cat burglar, and an extra from West Side Story. Midway through the video, she also steals Jennifer Beals' sweatshirt-off-the-shoulder look from Flashdance. Why all the rapid-fire homages to fashion icons? It doesn't matter, "Countdown" is the most fun Beyoncé has had in a video since "Single Ladies" and "Video Phone." This Boyz II Men-sampling track was undeniably addictive to begin with, and now it has a music video to match.
- music videos