Beyoncé´s latest effort, 4, brings back a more relaxed and tamed version of the diva we all know and love. There is little room for excess in this album, as Honey B brings back a much more soft version of herself with vocal-driven R&B tracks and very little Sasha Fierce in sight.
Many will feel dissapointed and let down by this change of tune from the singer, but I for one felt pleasantly surprised by it.
Here is a track by track overview of the album:
1+1: A soulful ballad where Beyoncé´s expresses her unconditional love for her partner. Her strong vocals stick out and you can feel her emotion throughout the song. There´s even some poweful guitar cords towards the end. 8/10
I Care: In some ways this track shows the opposite side to the previous song. A mid-tempo tune where she craves for the attention of her lover who doesn´t seem to return the favor. 6/10
I Miss You: A very simple yet precious slow jam unlike any other on the album. Beyoncé´s vocals seem restrained and delicate but determined at the same time. The song sticks with you after the first listen. 8.5/10
Best Thing I Never Had: The album´s second single and a much better reflection of what 4 is really about. This Babyface penned track brings back melody and piano instead of excessive computer effects. 7/10
Party (Feat. Andre 3000 & Kanye West): The most deceiving title on the record. Instead of the party we are promised, we get an old school uninspired song with some useless collaborations. 3/10
Rather Die Young: An ok midtempo song that feels more like a filler track than amusing. At this point, the album is really losing steam. 3/10
Start Over: Haven´t we heard this one already? We seriously feel Beyoncé should have chosen between the previous track and this one instead of having two songs sharing such a similar mood. The more edgy sound featured in here makes this one the winner, though. 4/10
Love On Top: Beyoncé does pop! She´s really doing 90´s pop! A breath of fresh air is brought to the album with this happy feel-good song which takes you back to better times in music. Radio would fall in love with this track. Try to listen to it without tapping your feet... we dare you. 9/10
Countdown: It is really unfortunate how badly Boyz 2 Men are sampled in this song. This is probably what fans of Beyoncé would expect and love from her, more senseless beat-driven tracks without emotion whatsoever. If that´s your case, you just got lucky. 3/10
End of Time: For those of you who miss Sasha Fierce, this one goes out to all of you. In the vein of the previous song, the track features strong drums and Beyoncé´s characteristic sound. Been there, done that. 4/10
I Was Here: This Diane Warren penned song is the most heartfelt one on "4". A true masterpiece and an emotional song that could perfectly serve as part of a movie soundtrack 9.5/10
Run the World (Girls): The album ends with the first single which now feels alienated and deceiving from the rest of the tracks. 4.5/10
Do you think Beyoncé´s got a hit album on her hands? Sound off below!