She may not know much about algebra, but when it comes to music videos,
On Thursday (August 25), Queen B premiered the video for her power ballad "1+1" on E!, just days before her performance at MTV's 2011 VMAs. The clip -- which was directed by Beyoncé, Laurent Briet and Ed Burke -- is the third from her 4 LP and the first in a series of story-driven videos from the album.
As the acoustic guitar strings are plucked and black screen fades in, Beyoncé comes into focus. She stands with blond hair draped just below her exposed shoulders. The honey-dipped diva glistens with a top coat of glitter all over her body. Looking as sexy as ever, turning her head from right to left with her eyes fixed off-camera, the sultry singer starts her vocal seduction. "If I ain't got nothin', I got you," she belts out.
Caressing herself, the former Destiny's Child siren sexes it up for the camera as she starts to disrobe, pulling off the spaghetti straps from her champagne-colored dress. Things get even hotter when the bare-bodied B coyly plays in a cascading waterfall, pushing her lips out just far enough to get wet.
The video sports psychedelic light effects and symmetrical camera tricks selling sex as art. The choreography is a far cry from the standard Beyoncé dance routines, which more often than not feature high-powered steps, swaying hips and her patented bootylicious shake. Instead, B settles for ballet-style steps, moving in a leotard and long, flowing cape. Her principal love interest is nondescript, and while his muscular arms grip the singer's body before taking her through a series of dips and bends, he remains mostly in the background.
Clearly, the emotion is too much for her. Halfway through, the love-struck star begins to cry tears of joy before she begs her Romeo to make love to her on the song's vocal finale.
As far as Beyoncé videos go, "1+1" will most likely remain under the radar in comparison to the highlights in her high-budgeted reel, which includes clips like "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" and "Crazy in Love." But much like the song, the visuals for "1+1" shouldn't be measured in terms of size, but rather in emotive presentation and subdued sexiness.
The 28th annual MTV Video Music Awards will air live Sunday, August 28, from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles at 9 p.m. ET/PT, following the Selena Gomez-hosted pre-show at 8. See the list of nominees, revisit last year's highlights and vote for Best New Artist by visiting VMA.MTV.com.