Beyonce Surprises on ‘Schoolin’ Life’

She’s not even 30, but that doesn’t stop Beyonce from reflecting on lessons learned in her short life on the latest song to leak from her still-unreleased 4 album, “Schoolin’ Life.”

“Life,” a bonus track from the deluxe edition of the album, sees the songstress return to her R&B roots pre-“Single Ladies,” preaching and teaching to the young and old in funky, slightly funny fashion.

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Beyonce channels her best old-school, dance-floor diva on the uptempo cut, resting comfortably among beats that belong in the ’80s and electric guitars that seem to call out for Prince.

Credit for the song’s retro-radical nature goes to producer The Dream, but it’s the singer herself who truly delivers the shock value, managing to make a lightly introspective, loosely insightful, and largely entertaining tune without going all I Am… Sasha Fierce disc one, songs one through everything, on us (see the overreaching “Satellites” or “Disappear”).

With lines like, “This is for them sexy-somethings/That body ain’t gon’ always get you out of everything,” sung by someone so well-known for her sexiness, this may very well be Beyonce’s most unexpected lyrical content. Her vocals, thankfully, match the track’s funky and fun vibe as opposed to murdering it.

In sum, “Life” is a likeable addition to an already solid album that showcases a side of the singer that is nice to see and even nicer to hear.

How do you score “Schoolin’ Life?” Pass or fail?

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