Beyoncé - 4

2011-07-25 09:58
 
"Run the World (Girls)", the first single from Beyoncé's fourth solo album, 4, has all the hallmarks of a signature No 1 Beyoncé smash — a bombastic, larger-than-life sound, a call-and-response hook, a heavy dose of girl power and a fierce drumbeat.

Surprisingly, though, it landed with a thud on radio, and the buzz around 4 hasn't been encouraging — there's even talk that the multihyphenate diva could find herself dealing with her very first flop.

It remains to be seen how 4 will do on the charts, but if fans pay attention to the music, then Beyoncé should have no worries. If anything, "Run the World (Girls)" is the anomaly of the disc, which has few tracks geared for the clubs.

Instead, Beyoncé — just a few months shy of 30 — offers a bewitching blend of ballads and midtempo grooves that show a maturation in the singer's sound. She strips away the much of the musical pyrotechnics that have anchored some of her biggest solo jams for an album heavier on ballads, and danceable hits that charm, instead of strong-arm, their way into your psyche.

"Love on Top," a buoyant, old school jam that recalls the days when Billy Ocean and curl activator were in, stands among the album's best songs, mixing the sound of horns, synthesizer and Beyoncé's beguiling voice to dreamy effect. There's more 1980s inspiration on the sexy laid-back tune "Party," co-produced by Kanye West, thanks to a Slick Rick sample and a retro bass line that slows down the pace, but not the fun. Though the reclusive Andre 3000 offers a verse on the track, Beyoncé remains the star on the song, seducing listeners with her powerful pipes.

The Boyz II Men-sampled "Countdown" and the marching band feel of "End of Time" will satisfy those looking for the typical Beyoncé frenetic bounce. But it's a love-struck Beyoncé, not the dancing diva, who is featured on the bulk of the album, which finds the singer passionately emoting about the love for her man, either from a position of confidence or fear.

"I'm addicted to the rush," acknowledges Beyoncé on the semifatalistic "I'd Rather Die Young," while on "Start Over," she offers to reset a relationship rather than lose it. But the most dramatic ballad is the best — "1+1," featuring a blistering Beyoncé on a back-to-basics R&B groove that smolders despite its simplicity.



Nekesa Mumbi Moody can be rfollowed on Twitter here.

It's a love-struck Beyoncé, not the dancing diva, who is featured on the bulk of the album.

Zolani 2011/07/25 5:16 PM
Gr8 album
test 2011/07/26 7:14 AM
good
KD 2011/07/26 11:12 AM
Very first flop...I think not. You are so late, the album has already sold 1 million copies worldwide...and 3/5...eh...more like 4.5/5. Great album
ZIWO 2011/07/26 4:01 PM
She wants to be white hahahalook at the blond hair and the skin whitening ,the nose job need I say more.
PRECIOUS 2011/07/27 8:16 AM
WOW WAT A FAB ALBUM 4RM MY GAL BBBBBB
DIDI~LOVE 2011/08/09 5:07 PM
i am speechless
david january 2011/09/08 10:48 PM
Well, well, well...Miss B is busy ruling the charts all over. I been a DC, since the beginning. Technically, I felt people were making a redundant hype about Beyonce. Felt she was overrated. In the group, it seemed Kelly Rowland's was more solid and pure but I feel Beyonce doesn't have to hold back for anyone. This star is shining. She grew vocally and her cds are getting better and better. I love her cd. I knew, she will be in the music business for years, I love the fact, she is versatile. Her music can't be boxed in genre. Miss B you rock...Global star...Keep them coming...
david january 2011/09/08 10:49 PM
Well, well, well...Miss B is busy ruling the charts all over. I been a DC, since the beginning. Technically, I felt people were making a redundant hype about Beyonce. Felt she was overrated. In the group, it seemed Kelly Rowland's was more solid and pure but I feel Beyonce doesn't have to hold back for anyone. This star is shining. She grew vocally and her cds are getting better and better. I love her cd. I knew, she will be in the music business for years, I love the fact, she is versatile. Her music can't be boxed in genre. Miss B you rock...Global star...Keep them coming...
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