First Hit #1: December 16, 2006
Beyonce knows repetition, and Irreplaceable is a masterpiece of saying the same lines over and over again. I don’t want to say it never gets old, because I did definitely get sick of it when it was actually on the radio, but she does know how to make saying the same lines all over again as appealing as possible, and this is far from the only song where she does that trick. Half of the song is the same line doubled, or it uses the same word more than once as part of the joke and the format of the song – see the repetition of “in a minute” referring to another you and his time of arrival. Beyonce is concerned with anthems as a whole, and she has made a song that is easy to pick up and sing along to – it’s the anthem of breakups with freeloaders. It’s hardly new ground for the singer, it could almost be a sequel to Bills, Bills, Bills except you would expect her to learn her lesson from that, much older song.
Beyonce knows her audience, and she knows what they want. What they want is something they can sing along to that also is kind of empowering in its odd way. A breakup song with a ton of repetition is easy to learn and has the desired effect.