Beyonce’s “4”: Floptastic or Fantastic?

I finally got the chance to listen to Beyonce’s new album “4” yesterday and I just couldn’t let that experience pass without writing a review! Ya’ll know I love me some Bey, so please know that the words that follow come from a good place. LOL

Here’s a song-by-song break down of my immediate thoughts and reactions:

1) “1+1” – Sung beautifully, but very anti-climatic. I kept waiting for it to take me somewhere, but that didn’t happen. Instead I found myself asking, “That’s it? It’s over?” I found this to be a poor choice for opening up the album.

2) ” I Care” – I listened to this twice and on the second go ’round it grew on me a little. I like the beat and the song starts off pretty strong. I appreciate her trying to push herself vocally, but that octave jumping at the end? Leave that to Mariah, boo.

3) “I Miss You” – This track was a little sleepy. It was well produced but felt a little unnecessary.

4) “Best Thing I Never Had” – Hands down, her best vocal performance on the album. It shows the growth she was trying to achieve, without going too far or singing too hard. I also like the believability of the lyrics – but then again, it’s written by Babyface, and that man knows he can write a song!

5) “Party” – Loved it! It gives a fresh vibe and pays a nice homage to the sounds of the 90s! And any song that can bring Andre 3000 out of solitary confinement is a winner. This is the song that was stuck in my head after I listened to the album.

6) “Rather Die Young” – Eh…snooze…skip. Nothing to see here, folks.

7) “Start Over” – Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..see #6.

8  ) “Love on Top” – Nap time is over! This is a really fun and upbeat song, and another throwback – but this time with an 80s feel. She sang it well and it’s easy to sing along to.

9) “Countdown”: A solid standout track. The Boys II Men sample was a great way to switch things up. More songs from this recording session should have made it on the album. It offers up the dose of familiarity that had been missing – this is the Bey we know and love!

10) “End of Time” – A cute, summery, hanging out with my girls kinda jam. Nothing special, but I like it.

11) “I Was Here” – A classic Diane Warren power ballad, but it’s still a yawn because it didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know about Beyonce. You want to leave your mark on the world…I get it, I get it! #enoughalready

12) “Run the World (GIRLS)”: This song reaallllyy had to grow on me when I first heard it. After seeing her perform it at the Billboard Music Awards, I began to appreciate it more. Now I love it and wished there was more like it on the album…but sadly, it’s a stand alone.

Overall, the “4” album was a bit of a bore for me. It wasn’t completely floptastic, but it felt disjointed and a lot of the writing was somewhat elementary. The best line wasn’t even delivered by Beyonce – it was Kanye! And I quote, “You a bad girl and you’re friends bad too. You got that swag-sauce, ya drippin’ swagu!” You can always count on Mr. West to come up with something that’s silly and clever at the same time. I love him for that!

Almost half of the entire album was produced by The Dream and Tricky Stewart, and although they were responsible for most of my faves, you would think there would have been more continuity. The bottom line here is that if this is what she came up with after taking 9 months off, she need not ever take a vacation (for that long) again. Ever.

What do you think…was it floptastic or fantastic?

U PDATE! After doing some more listening, I can say the album did in fact grow on me over time. I still stand by most of my commentary, though! I find myself listening to the same tracks over and over again when I play the album. What changed for me is hearing Beyonce say that with this record she wanted to do things her own way and what felt good to her creatively. That explains why it felt a little “all over the place.” Knowing that she split with her long time manager and father during the process of recording the album…it all made sense. It’s a sign of freedom, if you will and starting a new chapter. So I give her a bit of a break for that!

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Posted on July 22, 2011, in Entertainment and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Aww, I really liked it. You didn’t get the deluxe version, I see. I usually skip 1-3 (even though I do like them…they’re just not my favorites), and I play the heck out of the rest of the CD. I can’t believe you didn’t like Start Over. It’s easily one of my faves.

    Three of the songs on the deluxe album are all hot and I feel they SHOULD have been on the album. (The other three are Run the World remixes.) If you liked Love on Top, you’d like those three. Go Google ’em. LOL. “Lay Up Under Me,” “Schoolin’ Life,” “Dance for You.”

  2. That’s the thing…I have the deluxe version and I was a little worn out by the end! LOL “Lay Up Under Me” and “Schoolin’ Life” were just ‘okay’ and “Dance for You” felt like she was trying a little too hard to be sexy. I wanted to love this album, I did! I know I need to give it a few more listens, but at first glance – her music has never had to grow on me this much.

    • I don’t know. I’ve been in a real lovey-dovey mood lately so maybe that’s why I really liked this album. Like, Best Thing I Never Had is actually my least favorite because it’s about a dude who ain’t worth it. LOL.

      I think it’s very different from anything Bey has done and that’s part of the reason people are like, “WTH is this?” (If you can’t tell, I’m Bey’s unofficial spokesperson. No lie. LOL)

  3. I like B but would never buy a B album. Over the years her music seems to have gotten erratic. But I shared this with friends on FB!

  4. Beyonce has to grow on you. It takes about a yr for me but I have never been a fan of hers and have never bought any of her albums. I like I was here that song touches me some kind of way I don’t know why but it does. Best thing I never had I thought was a great song it’s the best on the album. Start over is ok and countdown is ok but other than that I don’t like the rest of the album.

  5. LOL. I haven’t heard the entire album, but just about. And I agree that I wasn’t wowed by the album. I’m sure that her live performances of these new songs however will be better. She’ll remix them into masterpieces. I just wish she would have kept that in mind while she recording in the studio.

    And I’ve never been a huge fan of The Dream. He’s been falling off his mark as of late. Anyways, I think that Bey needs some hardcore inspiration for her next album because I’m going to be expecting much better.

  6. Girl!!!! Are we the same person!? I agree with EVERY.SINGLE.TRACK.REVIEW! Seriously! Best thing I never had is her best vocal performance and should be nominated for a Grammy. Babyface has still got it. Run the World grew on me and now it’s my ringtone. I agree, I love 1+1 but I wanted it to climax at some point too. I’ll stop here because I’ll just be repeating what you said!

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