Beyonce’ “4” Album review
The show stopping reigning queen Beyonce’ Knowles is back with her fourth studio album entitled “4.” Not sure where the title came from, but being that this is her 4th studio album, plus her and her consort both were born on the 4th day of their months, and married the 4th of April may have something to do with such title. Nevertheless she is back with all new material for her hardcore fans and haters as well. The singer said this body of work will display her growth as an artist and said to be groundbreaking.
The album has already spawn off three singles upon its release, and a few leaked tracks so that doesn’t give us much to look forward to being the album is 12 tracks long not including the deluxe version. (We all wish we could receive a solid 15 track album from most of our favorite artists these days.) However she does have a nice list of songwriters and producers to accompany her talent. From Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Diane Warren and Babyface we can expect a solid album from the “Single Ladies” singer.
The album takes a different opening approach then most albums we come across. The singer opens the album with a ballad “1+1”, actually the first few songs happen to be slow songs. “1+1” was written by singer/songwriter The Dream. The demo version was leaked on the internet with different arrangement and title ”Nothing But Love”, however Knowles took the song and placed her stamp all over the song. The song has a Prince-esque feel to it, which is something that The Dream usually displays in his music. The vulnerable vocals mixed with rocker guitar sounds and Beyonce’s falsetto in the right places makes the track sound like a midnight rendezvous as she sings “I don’t know when I’m gonna die, but I hope I’m gone die by you.”
To your surprise there is only one featured artist on the entire album and its not her husband this time. Andre 3000 of Outkast happens to be the only featured artist on this project. He’s featured on the track titled “Party” which is produced my Kanye West. The song has a club feeling that a dj may play early in the night while waiting for guest to arrive. It doesn’t serve single material but merely an album filler that does justice.
“I thought that things like this get better with time, but I still need you, why is that?” is the opening line of the love craving song “I Miss You.” The song has a misty feel as the lyrics displays she’s still in love with the person who is no longer present. “The words don’t never seem to come out right, but I still mean them, why is that?” She continues to ask “why is that?” throughout the song as it fades out, and blends into “Best Thing I Never Had” written by singer/songwriter Babyface will serve as the new ladies breakup anthem. Babyface gave her the sequel to “Irreplaceable” that Ne-Yo hasn’t yet given to her. Nevertheless I can see all woman singing “you showed your ass, and I saw the real you” at the top of their lungs with the song on full blast.
“Love on Top” has such an old school feeling to it. It’s one of them songs that sounds like it was recorded in the Motown era. It’s definitely a song I can hear my parents playing as if their back in their younger days. “baby you’re the one that I love, you’re the one that I need, you’re the only thing I see,...finally you put my love on top” she goes on in the song. As her voice along with the music progresses to reach climax until the song ends.
“Countdown” samples Boyz II Mens’ “Uhh Ahh” but she managed to turn the sample into an uptempo song. This song will definitely be a fan favorite as well as a club favorite. At first listen you can’t help but to reminisce of “Check Up on It” The song will remind you of that song when the beat drops and her aggressive lyrics. “If I buy my own he deserves to buy his ish too” she delivers in the second verse. However “End of Time” is followed with hard hitting drums. The song will stand out as a dance track. It has a nice rhythm and it’s one of them songs when the verses are repetitive. It’s almost hard to notice it, but after a few listens you’ll realize.
Nevertheless Beyonce‘ is an artist that continues to give her fans more that what they bargain for every time. She will always re-invent herself in her music with each album. Her music will stand the test of time just like she will as an entertainer. However I do wish she would not worry so much about her audience/fan base and perhaps give us an album with more mature lyrical content. She is a married woman going on the age 30. There are a lot of other things that she could be singing about. I do understand the effort to keep the record label pleased along with the fans, but for once she might want to exercise her rights to push herself to new heights and limits.