PopR&B & Hip-Hop...
Anne de Groot
it again. Move over Adele, Rihanna and Lady Gaga; Queen B has just conquered
Glastonbury as the headline act at this year’s festival, and she’s still
sitting tightly on her throne. After the success of her last album I am Sasha Fierce, Beyoncé knew she had
to come with something good to top her own success. Her latest and fourth solo album is unimaginatively
named 4. So what exactly has Beyoncé done in order to transcend her previous
successes? Well, she’s come up with a whole new style.
4 is more of a ballad album than it is a party one. The album kicks off with the debut
single ‘Run the World (Girls)’; one of the few up-tempo songs on the album,
sampling the indie dance hit ‘Pon de Floor’ by Major Replay. The deluxe version
of the album features three remixes, of which the Jochen Simms club mix is the
album cannot be categorised into one genre. There are songs reminiscent of
Diana Ross and the Supremes in their Motown days while other songs sound like
mid 80s electro and early 90s R&B. 4 is of the same class as Lauryn
Hill’s album The Miseducation of Lauryn
Hill and seems to be inspired by the late Teena Marie as well. Vocally, Beyoncé
has never sounded better, which is probably due to the many ballads where she
can truly show off her vocal talent.
Beyoncé worked with the biggest names in the
industry on this album, teaming up with Darkchild, Babyface, Diane Warren, The
Dream, Kanye West, Terius Nash and Andre 3000, just to name a few.
of the album is probably ‘Best thing I Never Had’. Produced by Babyface, this
break-up ballad celebrates the end of a relationship instead of sitting around
crying over it, which is the same theme she followed with her previous hit ‘Irreplaceable’.
Another highlight is ‘Schoolin’ Life’; an 80s tune with sarcastic lyrics that
make it a very funny song.
‘I Miss You’ is very beautiful ballad where Beyoncé’s
vocals are really strong; same goes for ‘I Care’. The song ‘Party’ featuring Andre
3000 is a nice mid-tempo song, which is a warm welcome between all the ballads.
It has the typical Outkast sound and is the only song to feature a guest artist
on the whole album. ‘Start Over’ is another highlight; strong vocals, nice beat
and good lyrics. ‘Love on Top’ is one of those songs with a typical Motown
sound that could have been sung by Michael Jackson in his early days.
4 will undoubtedly become a well-deserved success worldwide. It is a
terrific album with the right combination of vocals, beats and lyrics. Beyoncé once
again proves that she is worthy of being a superstar, because really; nobody
does it like Beyoncé.