Beyonce 4 Album Review
Remember when Beyoncé said earlier in the year that her fourth studio album called “4″ was really all about her, well as it turned out she was right.
Using the fierceness that she is known for, couple of very powerful ballads where she is on the edge of aggressiveness and a of dash vulnerability, Beyoncé Knowles has managed to paint 4 different stages of her life on this new LP.
We first go through her teenage years where you can image her in the mid 90, sporting big hair, washed out jean, as she hangs with her girls and after seriously thinking it through, she comes to the conclusion that she wants to have sex for the first time while her parents are most-likely away.
The young girl hopes that the boy she gives it up to would not go back to his high school that they booth attend and tell all of his friends what they did last nigh in his cheap broken down car or in her room that had to be decorated with Janet Jackson posters.
She later takes us to the beginning of her 20′s where she is more sure of herself and is starting to enjoy this experience call love and reveals that she will now do things that she would not have done before, like fight for the young man she is dating.
In a blink of an eye we jump to her mid twenties where she has experienced her first break up, she loved him but he loved her not so much she screams, she gets aggressive and tells him he sucks and like all young girls her age she drowns her sorrow on a Babyface track-literally.
The fourth and last portion of the CD is dedicated to the grown-a%s woman in the beginning her of 30′s where she feels powerful, strong, she is a leader and wants to be remembered as an icon and has already started reflecting her past life to see what has she accomplished thus far and where she wants to go from here on.
Quoting Beyoncé, let us break this mother-f*cker down to better understand the life and musical journey she takes on “4″.
To have a better understanding of “4″ you would need to take a few minutes to watch the 2000 hit romantic drama Love & Basketball directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood because the more I listened to the CD the more I realized that it would have been the perfect soundtrack to the film.
So following the chronology of the movie let us dive into what the former Destiny’s Child’s had to offer.
Using the funky beat of the 1985 classic rap song “La Di Da Di” by Doug E. Fresh and MC Ricky D aka Slick Rick, the singer does her Alicia Keys’ Teenage Love Affair on “Party” (featuring André 3000) with fluffy lyrics that were either written by a teenager (which would have been a brilliant idea) or an adult who should not be writing songs. The song contains the following lyrics:
So in love,I’d give it all away, Just don’t tell nobody tomorrow, So tonight, I’ll do it every way
Cause knockin’ til the morning light, Cause we like to party, hey hey hey, Cause we like to party, hey hey hey.
I must admit that lined up like that they sound they sound like a broullion that were scribbled on a copy book, quite confusing and very amateurish. But who cares, it is still the party song of the summer, right?
A very aggressive Beyoncé gets emotional and raw on powerful ballads like “1+1″, “Love on Top”, “Rather Die Young” and “I Miss You” where she makes couple of big declarations of love using vocals compared to Tina Turner.
The “Bootylicious” star uses midtempo beats, infused with Jazz sounds to express her joy of being in love and being happy.
Sasha Fierce never sounded so vulnerable and actually joyful to be in need of a man, dependent and to be laying in his arms and even begging him to make love to her.
The “Broken-Hearted Girl” singer who was maybe trying to make “Irreplaceable Part Deux” uses the Motown flair on “Best Thing I Never Had” to toss couple of one liners to her sleazy lover but as a real woman in love, she makes a 180 and demands in a very sassy and powerful voice that they give romance a second chance on “Start Over”.
In the last portion of “4″ which was inspired by her husband Jay-Z’s 2009 CD The Blueprint 3, the “Kitty Kat” artist uses military styles drums and trumpets to empower other women with the ill-written “Run the World (Girls)” which is the only party song on the record.
While the phrasing of sentences used in the trumpet-pushed “End of Time”, her hostile way of getting her message way across is pretty remarkable.
The songstress who seems unafraid of incorporating genres, goes for a 90′s soft rock feel and low key instruments to start asking herself existential questions on the contemporary ballad called “I Was Here”.
The Diane Warren-written track which also uses acoustic guitar elements is probably the best song of the CD because she finally stops screaming and simply whispers her feelings.
Despite going through 72 songs for her new release, “4″ is not as impressive as Beyoncé’s debut solo album “Dangerously in Love,” has no stand out cuts like “I Am… Sasha Fierce”did, but the songbird’s determination to take musical risks, to remain adventurous in her path to become a legend is unmatched in the genre.
Her ability to use a mixture of jazz, big band and modern sounds, to be aggressive and vulnerable make her irreplaceable in the game.
Category: Album Reviews