So Beyoncé isn’t someone you’d normally see here on PopWreckoning. Say and think what you will about her and her music, but “Irreplaceable,” originally written by R&B artist Ne-Yo as a country tune, is a great song in its re-arranged pop R&B state. Ne-Yo wrote the song from his own male perspective and intended it for a Shania Twain or Faith Hill type, but Beyoncé’s rearrangement turned the cut into an empowering Top 40 jam.
I don’t remember how I happened upon it, but I’d say a year and a half ago, I came across the MySpace page of Philly musician D. Yep, just D. I immediately fell in love with his slowed down, minimalist version of Beyoncé’s hit “Irreplaceable” and still listen to it pretty much on a daily. Check it out here and then go download it on D’s MySpace page for free, you’ve never spent 6 minutes any better.
Brit songbird Kate Nash has been performing her own rendition of “Irreplaceable” live at her shows. Her version is on an acoustic guitar like D’s, but is much faster and in an endearing British accent. She alters some of the verbiage to align with proper English and her version is just as cute as a can be.
I don’t know much about Nashville country act Sugarland, but I can tell you that their cover of “Irreplaceable” is the closest it comes to the original intentions of the song. It begins slow and acoustic, but immediately breaks into a jaunty tune rife with the twangy vocals from Jennifer Nettles that are the reason I dislike country. An accordion and a slew of guitars completes the country cover.
The country duo performed the cover live with Knowles, who came in on the second verse, at the 2007 American Music Awards. The performance was deemed “a well-intentioned mess.” Beyonce kind of diva’s out and it just does not mesh with the county counterpart. Nettles later counters with the diva belting and it really does become a big ole mess. Watch it here!
Watch Ms. Thang’s version, live at the 2006 American Music Awards: