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Beyoncé: 4

Beyoncé
4
(Sony Music)

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Delivering her most diverse record yet, Houston native Beyoncé now gives us 4.

Allowing herself to be more vulnerable and lending her talents to a less in-your-face sound, King B has produced an older, wiser—may I say gentler–persona than 2008’s I Am … Sasha Fierce. Demonstrating strong vocals and the effects of “marital bliss,” the Grammy-Award winning singer-songwriter showcases love and its many trials and tribulations on such tracks as “1+1,” “Rather Die Young,” “Start Over,” and “End of Time.”

On 4, the pop star definitely pulls in great writers and producers to give her more edge, as if she needs any. Talented up-and-coming singer-songwriterFrank Ocean penned “I Miss You,” Diplo and Switch (of Major Lazer fame) brought girl-power anthem “Run the World (Girls),” and Babyface and Symbolyc One delivered on the sucks-to-be-you “Best Thing I Never Had.”

Even so, favorites on the LP are “Love on Top,” an R&B pop tune and “Rather Die Young,” a poetic homage to amour. The only flaw on 4 is the Andre 3000 and Kanye West collabo “Party,” “You a bad girl and your friends bad too/You got the swag sauce you dripping swaggu.” From what I’ve read, Bey presented 60+ songs to execs at Sony; this should not have been one of them. It seems as if it was written and recorded when she was 16.

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About ND McCray

ND McCray is a former Brooklynite, now St. Louis-based writer, penning pieces on arts, culture and other stuff.
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