Beyoncé released a statement saying that the song was intended to help people who have lost loved people in their lives and that the sample was included as a tribute to the Challenger crew."XO" managed to appear on many music charts across Europe and Oceania and it peaked at number 45 on the US Billboard Hot 100.To further promote "XO", she performed it at the 2014 BRIT Awards and later at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards.
The song's pop and sing-along sound and production received praise by critics.Greg Kot from the Chicago Tribune described the song's production as "predictable" and opined that the audience sing-along chorus sounded like it was created specifically for being performed during an arena encore. of the website DJ Booth wrote that the song was suitable for "ecstatic" fans to sing along without efforts during a stadium concert: "This is the kind of chorus that's going to be sung at full force in traffic jams for months to come, and while XO may be relatively more subdued, that call and response is destined to be a monster when performed live, right down to the way her voice shows a little wear, just like it would at the end of a show." Joe Lynch from Fuse described "XO" as the "most uplifting" pop song since Florence and the Machine's "Shake It Out" (2011).Ryan Tedder co-wrote and co-produced "XO" with Terius "The-Dream" Nash and Beyoncé, with additional production handled by Chauncey "Hit-Boy" Hollis and Haze Banga Music.A pure midtempo pop love song, "XO" is complete with electronic musical instrumentation, synthesizers and drums.The original demo vocals were kept for a year without being rerecorded as the singer "really loved the imperfections" and wanted to focus on the album's music instead of the vocals.
In the darkest night of hate and intolerance we see impossible love stories conquering what our governments and societies declare is legally 'allowed' to be love...
"XO" is a song by American singer Beyoncé from her fifth studio album, Beyoncé (2013).
Columbia Records released the song as the lead contemporary hit radio single from the album in the US and Italy on December 16, 2013.
Forrest Wickman of Slate magazine defended Beyoncé's choice to use the sample, and criticized the media reports for their "dismissive" interpretation of the song's "vague" lyrics as being about "a girl in a relationship".
According to Wickman, the lyrics of the song refer to mortality and "the urgency of spending time with the ones you love before you lose them, because you never know when that could be"; this is shown in the hook lines, "Baby kiss me / Before they turn the lights out / You better kiss me / Before our time has run out." A similar interpretation was voiced by Douglas Wolk of Wired, who challenged the notion of the sample being simply a "trivialization", instead describing it as "a swift, understated and brutal reminder that everything can go horribly wrong before anyone understands what's happening, and that the light could be extinguished at any moment".
A music video for the song directed by Terry Richardson was filmed in Coney Island in late August 2013.