Thursday, June 30, 2011

Beyoncé - 4

In a world where a good majority of the biggest Top 40 artists would go extinct without the help of studio production, it's nice to hear someone who can actually belt out some powerhouse notes.  There's no denying that Beyoncé has the vocal strength to handle any song thrown at her, this was evident ever since Destiny's Child.  The main struggle that occasionally distracts her from success would be bad material.  Simply shallow songs or filler material.  Others have also faced the "good voice/bad song" syndrome and never manage to overcome the problem, I'm looking at you Xtina.

After I Am... Sasha Fierce, where would Beyoncé go?  She was branded with the "Single Ladies" image and caught in her own signature black and white picture.  She headed back to the studio for over two years with an overwhelming amount of new songs and producers.  The end result is 4, a new sound that may be her best idea yet.

4 is heavily influenced by the sounds of late 80's to early 90's R&B music. Everything from Prince to the Jacksons can be heard.  On the flip side, the album contains heavy marching percussion elements that resemble a bolder hip-hop dancehall hybrid style.  Major Lazer samples are heard on "Run The World (Girls)" while "1+1" is an instant classic for her catalog.

Contrary to what the lead single may have you believe, the core of the album is made up of sing-your-heart-out ballads.  As previously mentioned, "1+1", the opening track, is the standout item.  Although some lyrical choices are odd (algebra is always awkward to sing), the song bundles together her best vocals into a "Purple Rain"-esque single.  "I Care" stands on the fine line between ballad and Sasha Fierce, and yet another guitar solo is present. Whether it's devotion or heartbreak, love is the continuous theme on 4.

The second official single, "Best Thing I Never Had",  is a more pop focused part of the record.  Vocal distortion is heard during the intro and Beyoncé's vocals leading into the chorus sound like something from Dreamgirls.  "Party" features André 3000 and is one of 4's weaker spots.  It's a mid-tempo number that feels simply like an all too common featured artist piece.  "Countdown" is Beyoncé at her fiercest and will most likely spawn a wild live performance piece.

Compared to her past work, Beyoncé's vocals are noticeably more raw on this album.  There's more grit and less polish.  This allows room for more emotion, something that other pop albums often lack.  You shouldn't judge this record based on what you heard from "Run The World (Girls)". The album has so much more to offer.  4 has the sentiment and attitude without the Sasha Fierce double-disc package.


  1. I love this album and I think its good!!!

  2. This is the most beautifullest album ever! I actually can say i LOVE every track, not just bits and bobs! I can't get enough of it...its amazing.

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