Lose My Breath

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"Lose My Breath"
Single by Destiny's Child
from the album Destiny Fulfilled
Released September 21, 2004 (2004-09-21)
Format
Recorded 2004; Sony Music Studios (New York City)
Genre
Length 4:01 (album version)
3:33 (radio edit)
Label Columbia
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Jerkins
  • Knowles
  • Rowland
  • Garrett
Destiny's Child singles chronology
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
(2004)
"Lose My Breath"
(2004)
"Soldier"
(2004)

"Lose My Breath" is a song by American group Destiny's Child. It was written by Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, LaShawn Daniels, Fred Jerkins III, Sean Garrett, and Shawn Corey "Jay-Z" Carter for the group's fourth studio album, Destiny Fulfilled (2004). Columbia Records released "Lose My Breath" as the first single from the album in late 2004. The song was partially developed by Jerkins before being presented to Destiny's Child and its chorus was afterwards written by Jay-Z.

An uptempo R&B and dance song, "Lose My Breath" has a marching, military percussion-led instrumentation with different sound effects in its backing track. It received positive reviews from music critics who generally praised its melody and instrumentation. The track further received a Grammy Awards nomination in the category for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo Or Group. "Lose My Breath" was commercially successful peaking at number three on the US Billboard Hot 100 and reaching the top spot on many charts in Europe as well as appearing in the top ten in almost every chart.

The single's music video directed by Marc Klasfeld and filmed in Los Angeles, California, featured Destiny's Child performing dance choreographies portraying three different characters. The song was performed during the group's tour Destiny Fulfilled... and Lovin' It (2005) and on numerous televised appearances and awards ceremonies in 2004 and 2005. The American Broadcasting Company used "Lose My Breath" as the official song for the NBA playoffs in 2004 and 2005.

Background and release[edit]

American rapper Jay-Z (pictured) served as one of the writers of the song, creating its chorus without previously hearing the track

"Lose My Breath" was written by Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Fred Jerkins, Sean Garrett, LaShawn Daniels and Jay-Z. The production of the song was handled by Jerkins, Beyoncé, Rowland and Garrett.[1] Record producer Jerkins, who had previously collaborated with the group for "Say My Name" (2000), had worked on "Lose My Breath" without informing Destiny's Child. Beyoncé and Williams heard the drum instrumentation of the track and they enjoyed it with the latter feeling that the song was nothing like the mainstream radio sound. They went to their band mate Kelly Rowland presenting the song. Alongside Jerkins, the group asked for help from American rapper Jay-Z who immediately created a chorus including the lines "Can you keep up" without hearing the track. The group took his chorus and wrote the verses and bridge around it.[2] During an interview with Complex, Garrett recalled the time he worked with Williams on the song, saying, "There was so much magic going on in the studio. We probably recorded all the songs in about a month and every day it was a new song coming out. 'Lose My Breath' was towards the latter part of the album and that was an amazing song that we felt could not only be big on the radio but big with bands and marching bands. I was on a natural high after that."[3]

Following the three-year hiatus of the group, "Lose My Breath" was considered as their comeback release.[2][4] It premiered on September 9, 2004 on AOL Music.[5] In the US, the single was released in different versions; "Lose My Breath" itself was available for digital purchase on October 5, 2004.[6] On November 2, it was released along with "Soldier" and "Game Over" separately, the former being an EP with several remixes of "Lose My Breath" being also available.[7][8] A 12-inch vinyl single of the song was released on the same date.[9] A dance mixes EP was released on December 7, while a Remix 2 Pak containing two remixes by Peter Rauhofer was released on August 16, 2005.[10][11] The single was released to markets in different dates. On October 29, 2004, a maxi single was released in Australia, featuring the album version of the track, two remixes and a new song "Why You Actin'".[12] The song was included on the group's compilation albums #1's (2005) and Playlist: The Very Best of Destiny's Child (2012).[13][14]

Composition[edit]

24-second sample of "Lose My Breath", a song which was described as an "aphrodisiac and a challenge" at the same time. The members of the group are heard repeating the chorus lines "Can you keep up?" over a throbbing beat.[15][16]

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Lose My Breath" is an uptempo R&B and dance song with elements of dancehall music.[17][18] It is performed with a brightdance beat and a tempo of 120 beats per minute.[19] The song is set in common time, composed in the key of E major with the vocal elements spanning from the low note of C4 to the high note of D5.[19] The band members' vocals in "Lose My Breath" were described as "breathy".[18] The song features fast snare drum sequences, choppy beats with hand-clappy percussion, cymbal crashes and itchy hi-hats, creating a military sound reminiscent to a drumline of a marching band.[18][20] The opening drum sequence is sampled from the drumline of "Taps" performed by the University of Michigan Marching Band.[21] Synthesizer blips are also utilized in the song's melody.[20] Along with those instruments, the complex backing track of the song uses various sound effects such as ripple of claps, stomps, thumps, snare rolls and gasps.[18]

Lyrically, the female protagonists challenge their male "suitors" to keep up instead of being full of empty promises; the women further feel that "He's not fulfilling you like he says".[15][22] Williams further explained the meaning of the song during an interview with MTV News, "We've had experiences with men doing a lot of talking but they can’t back it up. You said you could do this, but you can't, whether that's on the dance floor or wherever else. He said what he could do for you, but..."[2] The lyrics are constructed in the chorus-verse pattern. The song opens with the lines "Hit me" and the first verses sang by Beyoncé follow: "I put it right there made it easy for you to get to / Now you want to act like you don't know what to do".[23] The chorus follows during which the group repeatedly sings the lines "Can you keep up?".[15] Rowland's second verses follow where she sings the lines "Put it on me deep in the right direction".[15] The chorus is repeated twice before the bridge by Williams.[24] After the bridge, the group sings the lines "Here's your papers, baby you are dismissed" letting their man know that he is not good enough for them.[25] Rowland sings a short ad lib, and then the trio ends with a repeated chorus. Nick Reynolds from BBC compared the song Missy Elliott's "Pass That Dutch" and to songs by The Supremes. He further found a name check of Public Enemy's "Bring the Noise".[26] Eric Henderson of Slant Magazine also compared "Lose My Breath with "Pass That Dutch".[27]

Critical reception[edit]

Jenny Eliscu of Rolling Stone referred to "Lose My Breath" a "sweat-soaked" track and a "percussive sex romp" where Destiny's Child "pant in time to a marching-band beat."[28] Nick Reynolds of the BBC called the military drumming of the "fantastic" track "exciting" and its keyboard stabs "nasty".[26] A writer for Vibe hailed it as a "pounding, animalistic piece of music - as urgent as a war cry" with a "thunderous tribal beat".[23] In an album review of Destiny Fulfilled, Tom Sinclair of Entertainment Weekly felt that "Lose My Breath" opened the record with "a brisk enough start" and concluded, "While it's no 'Bootylicious,' it's got more nervous energy and verve than almost anything else here.".[20] A writer of Billboard magazine felt that the song was "love's exhilarating start".[29] Kelefa Sanneh of The New York Times described it as "suitably calisthenic".[30] AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine considered the song to be an album highlight.[17] Eric Henderson of Slant Magazine called the song a "thigh-snapper" and said it responsible for the "increased use of paradiddling drumsticks as sex toys".[27] Barbara Ellen of The Observer felt that "Lose My Breath" was "of the exemplary standard" of the band's previous albums, Survivor and The Writing's on the Wall.[31] In his review, Alex MacPherson of Stylus Magazine chose the song as one of the album's best and wrote,

It [Destiny Fulfilled] shoots its load quickly, although just as effectively: "Lose My Breath" and "Soldier" are stunning, both displaying the Beyoncé trademark of creepily submissive lyrics matched with dominatrix vocals and arrangements to superb effect. The former kicks off with a martial beat and a call of "hit me!" which sounds like a military command, and proceeds to put you through a series of moves without pause for breath, Beyoncé and her minions cracking the whip every time you even think of flagging.[25]

The A.V. Club's Andy Battaglia felt that "Lose My Breath" gave the album an "opening charge by way of a raucous marching-band beat and panting attempts to squeeze a lot of words into closing musical corners".[32] Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian described the song as "fantastic, legs-in-the-air".[33] Paul Flynn of the same publication wrote that it "further relegated the other members of Destiny's Child to the position of Beyoncé's backing singers".[34] Tom Breihan of Pitchfork Media who complimented Jerkin's "incredible" drum programming and the "mind-boggling" backing track felt that it lacked a tune: "The vocals are too breathy, too whiny, and too processed, and the song's one thrilling moment-- near the end, where the harmonies get a bit of room to play off each other with Abba-esque rococo aplomb-- lasts only for a second."[18] Los Angeles Times writer Natalie Nichols deemed its production "nifty" with a "rat-a-tat drum line percussion propelling" but felt that it contained a single hook expanded into an entire song.[16] Lindsey Weber from Vulture criticized Williams' contribution to the bridge, describing it as "weak".[24]

Recognition and accolades[edit]

In 2005, "Lose My Breath" was nominated in the category for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo Or Group at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards.[35] At the 23rd Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards, "Lose My Breath" was recognized as one of the Most Performed Songs in 2005 along with the group's other song "Soldier".[36] Sean Garrett won a BMI Urban Award at the 2006 BMI Awards for the song.[37]

Clem Bastow from Stylus Magazine put "Lose My Breath" at number ten on his list Top Ten Drum Beats You Are Powerless To Resist. He wrote, "Rodney Jerkins' masterstroke of a production technique... propels this... penultimate... Destiny's Child gem into the stratosphere".[38] The song was ranked at number 39 in the annual Pazz & Jop mass critics poll of the year's best in music in 2004.[39] In 2013, Weber from Vulture included "Lose My Breath" at number 19 on her list of the 25 best songs by the group.[24] Houston Chronicle's Joey Guerra also included the song in hist list of the band's best songs writing that it gave a chance to Rowland and Williams to "shine vocally".[40] The same year, Erika Ramirez and Jason Lipshutz of Billboard magazine put it at number nine on their list of "Beyonce's 30 Biggest Billboard Hits".[4] In 2014, Official Charts Company writer Justin Myers listed the song as one of the essential "pop gems" in the UK, praising the group for coming back in 2004 with "classic DC [elements]: super-speedy singing, a frantic beat and dramatic melody".[41]

Chart performance[edit]

"Lose My Breath" entered the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 prior to its physical release debuting at number 30 for the week ending October 2, 2004.[42] The next week it moved to number 12 due to being the fastest-growing song on the radio.[43] After its release as a single, "Lose My Breath" moved from number four to number three on November 6 which also became its peak position making it Destiny's Child's ninth top ten single.[44] Staying at the third spot for four weeks, the single enjoyed a total of 23 weeks charting.[45] Similarly, "Lose My Breath" performed well on other Billboard charts in the US; it peaked at number one on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart for the week ending January 8, 2005[46] and numbers three and ten on the Mainstream Top 40 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs respectively.[47][48] On the latter chart, it became the band's ninth top ten entry in their career by then.[48] It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on April 28, 2005 for shipment of 500,000 copies in the US.[49]

"Lose My Breath" was also successful in different European charts. On the UK Singles Chart, the song debuted at number two on November 13, 2004, a spot which also became its peak position in that country.[50] The single was held from the top by Eminem's "Just Lose It" which sold 2,000 more than "Lose My Breath"[41] It remained at the second place for three consecutive weeks, within the top ten for seven consecutive weeks and spent a total of eleven weeks on the chart.[51] As of September 2014, "Lose My Breath" is the group's third best-selling single in that country with 340,000 copies sold.[41] The single topped the Ultratop chart in the Flanders region of Belgium and the singles charts in Ireland, Italy and Switzerland.[52] It was certified Gold by the Belgian Entertainment Association (BEA) and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) in Switzerland for sales of 25,000 and 20,000 copies in the countries respectively.[53][54] "Lose My Breath" also entered the top ten in ten other countries across Europe. In Germany, it became the band's best-charting single, reaching number three on the singles chart.[52] "Lose My Breath" further peaked at number one on the European Hot 100 Singles chart for the week ending December 4, 2004 spending four consecutive weeks on top until the end of 2004.[55][56]

Across Oceania, the single had similar reception debuting at number five on the ARIA Charts in Australia on November 15, 2004.[57] It peaked at number three, three weeks after its debut and stayed at that position for another week. "Lose My Breath" remained on the chart for a total of 17 weeks being seen for the last time at number 43 on March 6, 2005.[57] The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) awarded the single with a Platinum certification for shipment of 70,000 copies in that region.[58] On the New Zealand Singles Chart, the single debuted at number 16 on November 15, 2004. It spent seven weeks there peaking at number four in its fourth week of charting, on November 29.[59]

Music video[edit]

Background and synopsis[edit]

Rowland, Beyoncé and Williams in the music video for "Lose My Breath" (2004).

The music video for "Lose My Breath" was directed by Marc Klasfeld and was shot in Los Angeles, California on October 8, 2004.[2][60] Destiny's Child had dance rehearsals for the video in late September and continued the following month.[2] During the rehearsals, Beyoncé tore her right hamstring, while overdoing the choreography. Following the injury, she was advised by a specialist to avoid dancing and other physical activities for a week; MTV News further reported that the injury could further postpone the filming of the video.[60] However, the next week, the group revealed in an interview with the publication that the video would be filmed as originally planned as Beyoncé's leg healed fast. She said, "My leg was actually a blessing in disguise because it gave us more time to prepare for the video".[2] Speaking about the concept of the video, Beyoncé revealed

It's really a dance-off between a more sophisticated 'in-fashion' Destiny's Child versus a more 'street' Destiny's Child. And in the end a third Destiny's Child even more fierce takes over. It's a lot of hard work for us because we have to learn three routines for the same song. People will be shocked because it's different for us. They've never seen us really dance.[2]

The video mainly takes place in an alleyway, where the members of Destiny's Child are having a dance-off. As the song opens, it begins with Beyoncé, Williams and Rowland walking, representing the "fierce Destiny's Child" dressed in stilettos and fur.[2][61] It transitions to the group being dressed in-fashion with red burgundy suits as they meet their identical street-styled, hip hop copies with hoodies and Timberland boots, starting to perform a dance-off;[61] the camera focuses on each member of the group performing a separate choreography with their rival in front of them during their solo lines. As the song progresses, Beyoncé, Williams and Rowland are joined by other male and female dancers at the start of the song's chorus. During her lines, Rowland performs a dance sequence with two male dancers. Following the song's bridge, the two different groups head towards another place where they are welcomed by more dancers and their third "fierce" rivals appear for the final chorus. The video ends in the same way it opened, with the "fierce" group members walking.[2]

Release and reception[edit]

The music video of "Lose My Breath" premiered on MTV's Total Request Live (TRL). It debuted on the video program on October 26, 2004 at number eight remaining for 36 days.[62] On Muchmusic's Top 30 countdown, the video debuted on November 6, 2004 at number 26.[63] It peaked at number seven on January 15, 2005, stayed there for another week, and charted for a total of twelve weeks.[63] The music video was featured on the DualDisc editions of the albums #1's and Destiny Fulfilled as well as on the bonus DVD of the Destiny Fulfilled Tour edition.[64] It was also included on the Destiny's Child Video Anthology, a video anthology album released in 2013.[65]

Erika Ramirez and Jason Lipshutz writing on behalf of Billboard magazine felt that Destiny's Child "came back strong after a three-year hiatus, showing off their dance skills in the video" for "Lose My Breath".[4] Jess Harvell of the website Pitchfork Media criticized the "weird mink stole" Beyoncé wore in the clip.[66] A writer of People felt that the group borrowed from their old looks for their outfits in the video "glammed up in stilettos and fur".[61] Justin Myers from the Official Charts Company considered it to be a proof that the group was back in 2004, and showed them being "totally kick-ass – so pretty autobiographical".[41] The music video was nominated for the Best Dance Video category at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, but lost to Missy Elliott's "Lose Control" (2005).[67] In 2014, The Guardian editor Michael Cragg ranked the video for "Lose My Breath" in his list of the ten best videos by Beyoncé. He remarked that the clip featured bigger budget than the group's previous visual efforts and praised the concept, saying, "It's a simple idea executed perfectly, especially when Beyoncé gives herself side-eye, flicks her hair and then watches while one of the other Beyoncé's dances like a creature possessed."[68]

Live performances[edit]

Destiny's Child performing "Lose My Breath" in 2005 during a stop of Destiny Fulfilled ... And Lovin' It.

The first live performance of "Lose My Breath" was during the opening of the 2004 NFL season on September 9 for which Destiny's Child was surrounded by smoke from fog machines. Chicago Tribune writer Chris Malcolm reported, "I think what I love most is the blank look on some of the hard-core Boston football fans who showed up early to watch kickers practice and instead got a live version of 'Lose My Breath.'"[69] On October 25, 2004, the group performed "Lose My Breath" during the Radio Music Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada starting with an a cappella jazz harmony.[70] Destiny's Child appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show in November 2004 where they closed their performance with a rendition of the song.[71] On November 8, 2004, the trio appeared on Total Request Live (TRL) and performed the song along with "Say My Name".[22][72] They went to the German entertainment TV show Wetten, dass..? on November 13, 2004 performing "Lose My Breath".[73] The group "Soldier" and "Lose My Breath" at the 2005 NBA All-Star Game on February 20, 2005.[74] They performed the song again at the 2005 ESPY Awards on July 13 with the ceremony being aired on ESPN four days later.[75] Destiny's Child performed "Lose My Breath" at the Fashion Rocks benefit concert at New York's Radio City Music Hall in February 2006 which marked their last televised appearance as a group.[76]

In 2005, the song was part of the set list of the group's tour Destiny Fulfilled... and Lovin' It where it was performed during the concert's encore. The singers wore white T-shirts and jeans and during the end of the performance went under cascading water on stage.[77][78] While reviewing a show by the group in the UK, Adenike Adenitire writing for MTV News found the performance to be somehow casual: "It was like watching three young girls and their friends practicing their moves at a slumber party. It was a perfect note of DC harmony to end a night that celebrated both the group and the individuals within it."[79] Barbara Ellen from The Observer felt that the song worked as a "stupendous encore".[31] The song was included on the track listing of the group's live album Destiny's Child: Live in Atlanta (2006) chronicling a concert from the tour.[80] Beyoncé performed "Lose My Breath" at the 2007 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on March 15 as part of a Destiny's Child medley during the concert.[81]

Cover versions and usage in media[edit]

Rihanna, Teairra Marí and Amerie performed "Lose My Breath" at the 2005 World Music Awards on August 31 as a tribute to Destiny's Child.[82] Starting with the Christmas Day 2004 Miami Heat-Los Angeles Lakers telecast, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) used the song as the music for their introductory montage for the 2004 NBA Playoffs. The song was used through the rest of the regular season, and through the first few weeks of the 2005 NBA Playoffs. During that time, it also served as part of many commercials until the playoffs.[83]

Formats and track listings[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits are adapted from the liner notes of Destiny Fulfilled.[1]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[58] Platinum 70,000^
Belgium (BEA)[53] Gold 25,000*
France (SNEP)[122] Silver 125,000*
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[54] Gold 20,000x
United States (RIAA)[123] Gold 500,000^
Ringtone
United States (RIAA)[123] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]