Monday, July 4, 2011

Album Review: Beyonce "4"

It sure doesn't seem like Beyonce's been out of the spotlight for the year that she supposedly was (which is no accident, I'm sure), but it's been 2-&-a-half years between albums, so 4 has arrived right on time. To hear that Beyonce was trying to create timeless music with her new album, I was wondering how it would differ from I Am... Sasha Fierce (since Sasha's "dead") because she said the same thing about it, but it should really come as no surprise that Beyonce accomplished what she set out to with 4. Not only that, but with regards to cohesiveness, 4 soars above its predecessor.

1. "1+1": An unconventional placement, sure, but thanks to its heartfelt delivery, this is the album's best ballad. 5/5

2. "I Care": Her vocals shine here as well, especially with those "Ooh!"s! 5/5

3. "I Miss You": With the help of Frank Ocean, Beyonce has really created a mood at this point. I'll keep groovin' with ya, B! 5/5

4. "Best Thing I Never Had": I admit that I wouldn't have chosen this as a single, but as (excellent) album filler, I can get on board with the vocal arrangements & delivery! 5/5

5. "Party" (ft. Andre 3000): This is a truly fantastic song, definitely a highlight. You can't NOT love it! Andre & Kanye help too. 5/5

6. "Rather Die Young": This song itself is one of the album's weaker offerings, which is really hard to say with the vocals she brings to the table on it (which is why she's still getting...) 4.5/5

7. "Start Over": While similar to the previous track vocally, this one is much stronger structurally (thanks, Ester!). 5/5

8. "Love On Top": The throwback vibe of this song is everything! Not only is this another highlight, but the ending of this song is probably the best moment of the entire album. 5/5

9. "Countdown": I don't know what Beyonce's talking about because Sasha Fierce is in full effect here! Nothing I like better than a ghetto Beyonce. 5/5

10. "End Of Time": This is my favorite song on the album. It gives me retro & current at the same time. In my perfect little world, Beyonce would've released this as her second single, put out one of the fiercest videos of her career for it, & blown minds worldwide! (I'll take "Countdown" as the third single & a fierce video for it as a consolation.) Alas, I do not, well, run the world... 5/5

11. "I Was Here": Sappy, yes, but a very well-written song by Diane Warren & an outstanding delivery by King B! 5/5

12. "Run The World (Girls)": It may have taken me a couple of... seconds to get into this, but considering the choreography she was doing with this & everything, it baffles me how this didn't top the charts. 5/5

Now, I Am... Sasha Fierce gave me everything I needed &, deluxe edition tracks included, provided a full album's worth of solid material, but with 4, Beyonce has created quality music without trying too hard. She's really in her element this era, as is even evident by the bonus tracks: "Lay Up Under Me"; "Schoolin' Life", one of her best new songs, 4 included; & "Dance For You", which could replace "Rather Die Young" in some form or fashion on the album as far as I'm concerned... it's just a shame that urban Beyonce can't find as much success as forcibly pop Beyonce. I have to address the sequencing of 4 though. While I've gotten more or less used to it at this point, it is a little weird & actually playing the album in reverse is quite good. Either way, as much as I love B'Day, 4 is Beyonce's best all-around album. Her material is finally getting closer to matching her vocal ability!

Rating: 5/5 Stars


sam said...

Listening to the album makes me really wonder what were they thinking when they released "Run The World" as the 1st single but the album is amazing i love it, thank you for the review been looking forward for it for some time.

Anonymous said...

This album is amazing, and "Rather die young" is my favorite track.

Anonymous said...

Everybody go to Youtube. Beyonce and Nicky Minaj are o n a remix of her leading single Run the World Girls toigether. This guy name Fyuchur produced it. Its Hot!!! Both of their fans love it