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Even though Beyonce may be rather quiet about her love life in interviews, she has no problem airing out her feelings in her track, “I Care”, off her studio album 4, released June 28. Produced by Jeff Bhasker, the track finds the captivating songstress singing about a relationship turned sour over some ominous notes. Beyonce puts all her cards on the table; however, the one who has her heart has swept them to the side. She belts out, “I told you how you hurt me, baby/But you don’t care/Now I’m crying and deserted, baby.” This song is a power ballad that recalls slow jams like the ones Phil Collins used to spill his heart in. She lets her voice own the song as the instrumentals crescendo around her.
MTV says it perfectly: “Lady Gaga is political, Britney Spears loves to party, and Beyonce knows all about matters of the heart.”
Her second track, “Party,” featuring Andre 3000, is the song that would have most likely been played at a house party in the mid-90s, As Beyonce sings, “So in love/I’ll give it all away/Just don’t tell nobody tomorrow,” listeners will be transported back to a time when pop princesses cared more about the heart than anything else. “Rather Die Young,” another track off her album has more of an “old-school” groove to it. Beyonce collaborated with Luke Steele of the electronic group Empire of the Sun.
The song is about how you can’t fight what the heart wants, even if it isn’t right. Comparing her lover to James Dean, it’s all about the “sexiness” of bad boys and the good girls who love them. But, she still keeps the sound soft. This track is really something beautiful, as Beyonce sings about being completely devoted to her man.
However, the most surprising song on her album is “Countdown.” Beyonce gets a bit sassy and futuristic on this track, which isn’t like the other songs on the album, but still has a “check on it” vibe. As MTV says, the singer gives fans a musical kick to the head during “End of Time,” a bombastic track, complete with “in-your-face bass line and a marching band. Beyonce keeps things melodic, sharing lines like. “Take you away from here/There’s nothing between us but space and time.”
Metacritic gave 4 an overall score of 70, saying that her fourth album has both “dance-floor-ready jams and down-tempo tunes that are a bit tamer than those in the last album.” Consequence of Sound said “between doing more of the same old goodness and boiling everything down to its most essential lethality, Beyonce also makes room on the album for more grandiose tracks that would sound right at home in Broadway musicals”, giving 4 a score of 90. On the other hand, both NOW Magazine and The Guardian agreed with a score of 60.
Now Magazine asserts that on 4, Beyonce’s missing a real sense of vulnerability but steps out from “behind club jams with beautifully nuanced mid-tempo production. Likewise, The Guardian had only statement about this album “it’s hard not to feel that what it might have been sounds better than what it is.”
Beyonce’s new album is a definite change of pace for this R&B queen. 4 is more relaxed and personal and emphasizes ballads and showcases the singer’s nuances. An album like this comes in a singer’s career when he or she feels like she has nothing left to prove. 4 is definitely the album where Beyonce pours out her feelings, expressing breakups, love, and her most intimate feelings of her love life.
She is not afraid to let the world know what she has been going through. Every song has power behind it. Beyonce sings her ballad songs beautifully and with feeling, guiding listeners through the pain and joy that is her life.
2. I Care
3. I Miss You
4. Best Thing I Never Had
5. Party (featuring Andre 3000)
6. Rather Die Young
7. Start Over
8. Love on Top
10. End of Time
11. I Was Here
12. Run the World (Girls)
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