Beyonce does it again? Oh you bet.
I tend to not have favorite artists, actors, etc. but Beyonce has consistently been at the top of my list of artists. I still remember buying the Writings on the Wall CD while on a summer camp trip to West Virginia. I immediately became enamored with Beyonce because she was the youngest in the group but took on the roll of the boss. She was mature, poised, and extremely talented at 17. I was only 13 at the time. I knew I didn’t want to be a recording artist but I was sure I wanted to be a boss like her. That still hasn’t changed. She is, along with her husband, the only artists I might actually freak-out over.
Amazing raw talent that can now be added to the lexicon of artists like Whitney Houston, Anita Baker, Gladys Knight, and Patti LaBelle.
Consistent excellence in production quality and superior songwriting (though most of it is not her entirely her own).
Dogmatic work ethic worth adopting. She settles for nothing less than excellence.
Keeps herself out of the media and focuses on doing her job: providing the world with amazing music. Yes people, it is a job. It just pays a lot more than most.
Now, the album.
It was a Beyonce album so I knew I had to get my hands on it. I actually had only heard two tracks off of the album (Run The World and End of Time) before purchasing the deluxe edition at a Target in Chicago just over two weeks ago.
My overall favorite tracks- Party and Countdown - both use some classic 90s hip-hop/r&b samples in exciting ways. Party uses a Doug E. Fresh classic “La Di Da Di” and Countdown creatively incorporates the countdown vocal sample from Boyz II Men track “Uhh Ahh”.
Like any mega-artist, Beyonce assembled a dream team -specifically The Dream- to write and produce her album. The Dream, aka Terius Nash, is responsible for a number of album knockers: 1+1, Love on Top, Countdown, End of Time, Run The World, Schoolin’ Life, and Dance for You. 7 hits out of 13 songs on a mega-artist’s album? Yeah. Now I understand why they call him “Radio Killa”.
Other noteworthy songwriters on her album include: Babyface (who as I understand it has YET to win a Grammy), Chad Hugo (from StarTrek production team that includes Pharrell), and Kanye West.
Of course you should go purchase the album and listen to it for yourself but my favorite songs on the album are as follows, in no particular order:
- Party feat. Andre 3000
- Run The World
- End of Time
- Best Thing I Never Had
- Schoolin’ Life
- Love On Top
This album is very similar to her other albums in the actual lyrical content. She comes off as a strong woman who can take care of herself but has a soft spot for her main man. This album is definitely more gritty with that “Independent Woman” message with tracks like: Best I Never Had and Run The World and Schoolin’ Life. In another light her latest album is a little light on pure dance tracks with the closest contender being Lay Up Under Me. The rest of the album is split between up-beat ballads and intense choreo ready tracks. I can’t wait to see top choreographers take some of those tracks to new heights.
Though she doesn’t have many pure dance tracks on her album, that will not stop me from rocking out to her album in my car. I’ve already received those weird stares from people who pull up next to me while Beyonce 4 is on.
I just look back and smile.
…clearly you don’t have the Beyonce album yet.
You’re missing out.