Broken Hearted Girl Drawing

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Critics had polarized opinions on the production of "Broken-Hearted Girl". Spence D. of IGN Music wrote that "strings create a mournfully thoughtful tone" on the ballad. Mayer Nissim of Digital Spy commended "the pleasant mix of cascading piano and tender strings", but criticized the drum sounds for their hollowness. He nevertheless added that the drums do not prevent the song from being "a classy, well-constructed pop ballad". Nissim concluded that although "the emotion-filled vocals offer yet more proof that [Beyoncé] is one of the finest pop singers of her generation", "Broken-Hearted Girl" is not as catchy as her best work. Darryl Sterdan of Jam! called it a "grand-piano ballad" that may stand out from pop songs on a regular studio album, but seems monotonous on I Am. . . Sasha Fierce as it is on a disc that contains ballads only. Negative reviews came from The A. V. Club's Michaelangelo Matos, who felt that "Broken-Hearted Girl" sounded "unfinished", and Paste magazine's Jessica Suarez, who said Beyoncé's "commanding voice sounds unusually thin" on the ballad. She was unconvinced by the lyrics, noting that the line, "I don't want to play the broken-hearted girl", "rings false". Ben Westhoff of Las Vegas Weekly wrote that it was difficult to guess what inspired the development of the breakup ballad as Beyoncé married Jay-Z a few months before the album's release.