Tag Archives: Beyonce

Beyoncé – 4(Album Review)

28 Jun

Y’all need to take your stilettos off for this one.

For the most part, anyway. If your looking for the up-tempo, radio-friendly feel that was ever so present on I Am…Sasha Fierce then you better go give that another spin because, apart from a few, 4 is filled with emotion, not club beats.

There has always been mixed opinions when it comes to Beyonce’s solo albums – some who love it and some who hate it. And with her forthcoming album 4 things are no different. With this effort, I am spilt. The material on this set is far from “bad,” however there is nothing ground breaking to found either and is it not what some are calling “her best album yet” for the glorious B’Day holds that title. It is filled with soothing, heartfelt and sometimes mellow ballads which is admirable to a certain extent as one can appreciate the fact that there may be just too much of the same type to hold an album together.

The 4 era got off to a troublesome start when a demo from the controversial Girls(Who Run The World) leaked, so B and her team rushed the original to release. But, unlike previous lead singles(If I Were I Boy, Déjà Vu) Girls was met with generally negative reviews. Some commented that whilst she has taken risks, this was too diverse from her previous efforts. Others even went on to state that “[Knowles] misses the mark big time here” and that it is “plain daft.” Hell, even I wasn’t impressed and I’m like a baby with a dummy when it comes to music – give me a good enough beat and I’ll shamelessly strut to it. But, two months on and my opinion has completely changed. For I have grown to love Girls(Who Run The World).

Yes, it take risks, but it does pay off. It portrays a much fiercer, gritty Beyonce and opens up a different take on female empowerment with heavy club beats and chaotic drums set for the dance floor. Plus, it could go down as one of the best songs she has done lyrically – “my persuasion could built a nation.” Don’t be put off by its aggressive vibes, give it a catch! However, after a stunning music video and numerous high profile performances to follow the song stalled at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100, a shameful number for the diva. In some ways is was a good choice for a comeback. It’s  ‘out there’ nature is a great way of grabbing attention, but it is a misconception from what to expect from 4.

The same fate was to be cast upon the album opener 1+1. The promotional single sees Beyonce once again step into balladry. The set up is pretty simple except only this time her voice showcases the harsher, rawer tones that we’ve heard at her concerts, but never really with her material. The lyrics however, are rather embarrassing “I don’t much about algebra/but I know 1+1=2” and instead of a massive vocal toward the end we are left with a rock guitar solo. I like it and it sets the mood for the album, but it is a lackluster all the same. Despite, a strong American Idol finale performance,  the song failed to make much of an impact, peaking at #57 on the charts.

Next, we have I Care. Playing through echoing drums and rich synth keys complete with la la la lala lala harmonies it falls into the same territory as its precedor. She is still clinging to a relationship, calling out on her less-interested lover, almost as if he has turned his back on her. She angrily sings “I know you don’t care too much/but I still care” fighting back the tears. As we reach the climax, the pace quickens and the harmonies rise, but once again Beyonce’s vocals fade out and leave us a little dumbstruck.

Someone call the love doctor because by the third track, I Miss You, B has lost her man and as you may have guessed – she misses him. This is slow, down-tempo track driven by weak, bare beats isn’t meant to take off. Focusing only on her breathy lyrics, it is something you can sit back and relax to, but careful now. You just might fall asleep.

Luckily, we are awakened by the sweet piano keys to a much more confident Beyonce. Best Thing I Never Had sees the gurl return to her radio-friendly, pop sound. Unlike the previous 3 tracks, she has come out on top as she doesn’t need a man any more, she is better off without him. So sad, you’re hurt/boo hoo, oh, did you expect me to care?” she proclaims over a symphonic beat. “You don’t deserve my tears/I guess that’s why they ain’t there.” Although Beyonce seems a little too classy for a line such as “It sucks to be you right now.” Her second single is reminiscent of her hit Irreplaceable, but just doesn’t quite hit the mark. However, Best Thing I Nver Had is her strongest vocally on the record so far.

I barely made it through the next track. A song entitled Party which features from Andre 3000 and the legendary Kanye West sounds pretty darn exciting, but the real thing blows out like a deflated balloon. This is pure old school and is down right boring. A 90’s throwback track which should have been made a quarter of a century, but not now. A party it is not.

Rather Die Young is yet another ballad *rolls eyes* which explores a variety of sound, with hip-hop, R&B and hints of electronica found between this track. Unlike the other ballads, the song contains a section of heavy horns which adds a certain flair to it. A fine addition to the Dream Girls soundtrack it would make, but to a Beyonce album it is simply not good enough.

Thankfully, as we get to track #7 things start to pick up(finally). Start Over begins with B crying “I feel weak/we’ve been here before” over timid African beats. I know what your thinking. This is just another woeful ballad about being lovesick. But, the topic does not run dry on this one. It is has more upbeat tempo to it with more edge and leaves a lasting impression. The beat continuously builds into a massive chorus whilst Beyonce pleads “Let’s start over/Let‘s give love their wings/Let’s start over/Stop fighting bout the same old thing.” What is more with this with one is that you can feel Beyonce emotion and she smashes the vocal.

Then things go retro on Love On Top. It comes complete with a funky base line, horns and finger snaps. Although it has an obvious 80’s influence, their are some modern pop and electronica twists hidden in there. This care-free jam is one of 4’s standouts, but shamefully bettered by its follow up. Things continue to better themselves as we reach Countdown. The Beyonce that we have come to know and love has returned on this track. The production is a little bit chaotic, but that is a positive in this case and it returns to her trademark sound. The lyrics however, are a bit hypocritical  “All up in the kitchen in my heels / dinnertime” coming from the woman who demanded empowerment to all females. It is playful, it is fun, but most importantly it is modern.

Beyonce then regains her wig on album highlight End Of Time. I cannot tell you how much I love this track. It has everything you could ask for. This is a guaranteed smash without having the generic euro-pop sound. It has a fierce military drum beat, catastrophic horns and infectious almost cheerleader chants. Beyonce shouts “I will love you till the end of time.” Its got mounts of attitude and is a different direction from her radio friendly tunes of past albums.

Then, for the final moments of the album were are taken back to another ballad and the diva has left the best one till last. I Was Here is 4′s answer to Halo. It may not be as powerful or have such a familiar hook, but it is good enough to hold it’s own ground. Its strength and emotion makes it so much more than just a simple song. Beyonce breaths life into this track and the outcome is beautiful.

With the creditability Beyonce has been given over her career, she has built a legacy. And because she has such legacy, she thinks she can put together any old ballad and it’ll impress. I’m sure the woman herself knows that this album has been half-heartedly put together. I appreciate that she has chosen a totally different direction for this album, a direction that today’s pop chart toppers wouldn’t even of going down, but the songs actually have to be good. But, its not until halfway through the album that thinks start to elope. None of these songs are equal to her voice. But, it doesn’t really matter because if she keeps pulling out flawless performances when headlining Glastonbury she’ll have nothing to worry about. This so called ‘flop’ is in the top 3 of most countries.

4 isn’t a fail, but it is far from a win.

Pop Music Magic Rating:

5.9/10

Enjoy!

Beyonce Connects with the Fans..

16 Jun

If its one thing you can’t get Beyonce to stop doing then its interacting with her fanbase. Just look at a perfect example below:

Whilst in an airport an innocent fan catches a glimpse of her idol Beyonce, but trips in the process..

*Turns head* “Huh? Oh, Whatever.

Swiftly moves on. “C’mon Mama B. Lets get outta here.”

Y’all need to go buy 4.”

Smooth.

In other news, 4 is to be released in less than 11 days & her current single The Best Thing I Never Had has broke into the Billboard Top 100 at an embarrassing #84. Sales can only rise though. Also, reaction to the album’s leakage have been mixed and mostly negative. However, I can tell you it isn’t as bad as everyone is making it out to be. Just because it isn’t radio friendly doesn’t mean that it is bad.

Check back for the album review soon –  tonight or tomorrow.

Enjoy!

Beyonce’s “4” Album Has Already Leaked!

7 Jun

We all knew it was going to happen sooner or later, but not this early. Beyonce’s upcoming album 4 has leaked in full with still 21 days until it’s release! This is definitely not good for B. But if your a true fan don’t download. I will not be holding download links on Pop Music Magic.

Remember you can get her latest promo single Best Thing I Never Had on iTunes

Watch out for a album review soon..

Enjoy!

Beyonce – 1+1(Single Review)

27 May

With the whole speculation of Beyonce’s Billboard Music Awards buzzing around the world wide web and for all the wrong reasons, it was time for her to move on with 4‘s promotion. And there is no better way of doing so than to release the album’s first promotional single. 1+1, described as B’s favorite cut from the album. She then popped in to give a performance on the American Idol finale showcasing the new track for the first time and Beyonce being Beyonce absolutely slayed it. Lady Gaga also performed Edge Of Glory, but all the attention was on B. Check out why below:

After the horrid Run The World(Girls) I was beginning to think the 4 era would be a complete disappointment. However, I couldn’t be further from the truth. We were satisfied with the music video for Girls and almost forgave it’s lacking, we were treated to another final track End Of Time which was wonderful in more ways that one and now we have the moving ballad 1+1. 

Until like Run The World(Girls) and End Of Time, there is no supporting African beats, no hooks or even an infectious chorus. It’s only drive is soft instrumentals. But, this isn’t meant to make you sing along or dance. This is meant to make you feel and is centered around her voice. In a world filled with auto-tone, Beyonce uses 1+1 to tell us this isn’t always the case and she does a wonderful job of reminding us. It shows a much rawer, gritter side to her to voice, which have always been portrayed in her performances, but not necessarily the tracks themselves. Lyrically, it opens up new something new. Lines like “I don’t know much about algebra/but I know 1+1 equals 2″ and “I don’t know much about guns but I, I’ve been shot you”  are rather peculiar and is a different take whilst dealing with love.

It may not be able to live up to previous ballads; If I Were A Boy & Halo, both flawless, but it does serve as the best offering from 4 so far and holds as a pleasant listen. Some may be convinced this may struggle to become a hit, but I beg to differ. For if you just look to the charts, apart from Gaga’s Born This Way, you’ll notice that songstress Adele has ruled the charts for many months and all her material is ballad-like. Already, 1+1 is #11 on iTunes and should soon have no trouble cracking the top 10.

Not all songs have to have a throbbing beat and party driven lyrics to become a hit theses days. And if you’re still not convinced, check out a intimate rehearsal backstage of Beyonce, taken by Jay-Z, before she took to stage to perform on Americal Idol. Amazing. Check it out:

Enjoy!

Beyonce Reveals “4” Tracklist & Responds To Copycat Speculation

26 May

With less than than a month to go till the release of Beyonce’s 4 , things are starting to be unveiled. If you followed her Facebook page, then you would have noticed frequent updates in the early hours of the day, all of which titles of the final tracks off the upcoming cut.

1. 1+1
2. I Care
3. I Miss You
4. Best Thing I Never Had
5. Party feat. Andre 3000
6. Rather Die Young
7. Start Over
8. Love on Top
9. Countdown
10. End of Time
11. I Was Here
12. Run The World (Girls)

12 Tracks as expected. It is a little disappointing after the length of time she has been working on this album. There could be a deluxe edition in the mist, but so far there is no news of one. In other ways it is a perfect number. It allows Beyonce to add on more tracks to the numerous re-releases due to follow from it’s initial release. As far as collaborations go, we have one. No, not with Jay-Z or Kanye West, but with Andrew 3000. Also, note how Run The World(Girls), the first single is pushed to the back of the set. That isn’t going to make us forget about the flop. Nice try though B.

In other news, remember the memorizing, superb, flawless – epic performance Beyonce smashed on Sunday at the Billboard Music Awards?..

Beneath my initial reaction of shaking and crying, somehow I knew it was all too good to be true. Unfortunately, my repercussions were all too real. People soon discovered that this was not the first time an artist had created this visual masterpiece. And, rather the fact that an Italian pop star Lorella Cuccarini had used the concept a year before. Check it out below:

There is no denying the similarities! I say “similarities” because I love Beyonce, but basically it is just a rip-off. It is shocking and embarrassing how similar the performances are down to the slightest details, both using the drums for example. Yes, Beyonce has copied before with the Single Ladies music video. The choreography and the idea of the three women came directly from Bob Fosse’s Mexican Breakfast . I forgave her for that, but this was just down right disappointing.

Luckily, Beyonce came forward to excuse these claims. This is what she has to say:

My makeup artist showed me the performance of Lorella Cuccarini a year ago, and it inspired me so much,” Beyonce told AOL Music. “I then met with the talented people who worked on it. The technology and concept were so genius. Thank God for YouTube or I would have never been exposed to something so inspiring. I never worked so hard on anything in my life as that performance for the Billboard Awards.

If she is to avoid these serious accusations of being called a “copycat” then she should firstly address, before the performance that it was inspired by the artist. If she doesn’t, people will presume that she stole it and think she got away with calling it her own. If she continues to ‘build’ on what other artists have previously done, she will be seen as unoriginal, but no one can deny that she is still a fantastic performer.

Even though this has caused a storm, no one can deny how wonderful the new track – End Of Time(tagged version)that surfaced is. If she had a brain left, this will be the album’s next single. If you haven’t already heard it, check it out below:

Enjoy!

MAJOR: Beyonce’s “Till The End Of Time” Surfaces!

20 May

Just after the energetic Run The World(Girls) video premiered and the album cover along with the release date was announced, the best thing has happened.

The rumoured second offering from the upcoming 4 album has made it’s way online. How does it sound?…..

HOTTER THAN HOT.

The track is entitled Till The End Of Time and it is a massive step up from Run The World(Girls). First off, you’ll notice than a consistent “for internal use only” voice over is present, but that is just the tags. Secondly, you realise that it sounds fab-u-lous. Beyonce is still sticking with the accompanying marching band/drum beat, but this time it works very, very well. Also, their is an actual hook with this track – a seriously addictive one at that. Above all her vocals are sounds superb here. Not that their is any belters/high notes as this isn’t ballad, but what it does have is heavenly harmonies with Bee almost rapping at one point. Note that this clearly isn’t in the highest quality, however this isn’t the final version. God knows how good that is going to sound. Check it out below(whilst you can):

Enjoy!

Beyonce – 4(Album Cover)

20 May

tumblr llfarbfOkZ1qdzcxso1 1280 Beyonce to Release Fourth Studio Album 4 on June 28, Unveils Album Cover

LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN.

Finally, we have some solid dates on Beyonce’s upcoming album and we don’t have very long to wait. 4 will be released on the 28th June. Only over a month away! Check out more details below from Sony Music Global‘s press release:

BEYONCÉ’S NEW ALBUM “4” TO BE RELEASED ON TUESDAY, JUNE 28 (US; International dates on or around this date)

(New York, NY; Columbia Records; Wednesday, May 18, 2011) –Columbia Records will release “4,” the fourth solo studio album from Beyoncé on Tuesday, June, 28, 2011.

The album was recorded over a year between the spring of 2009 and the spring of 2010, while Beyoncé took time away from the spotlight. She engaged in what she describes as simple things, including listening to every kind of music she truly enjoys. Her mixed musical gumbo will be displayed on the upcoming album.

The title signifies not only the artist’s fourth solo offering and the day of her birth but it is also a personal gift to her fans. For over one year now her fans around the world took to their social media pages urging her to name the album for her special number.

We also have the official album cover(above) and it is:

OH SO SEXY.

It isn’t the best cover she has ever done, but she still looks incredible and that is really all that matters. But, I would have preferred her to have a chosen IV instead of 4 for the title as it would look more professional. One thing is for sure though. I cannot wait for this album.

Enjoy!

Beyonce – Run The World(Girls) Video Review

19 May

WHO RUN THE WORLD? BEYONCE FUCKING KNOWLES.

After many delays, the much anticipated video for Beyonce’s mega flop Run The World(Girls) is here. And it just may be the hottest thing I have seen in my life! Over the last few weeks behind-the-scenes photo surfaced from the filming of the clip and even then it seemed as if it was going to be amazing. After that, teasers emerged which suggested that this was going to be Beyonce’s most theatrical video yet. But in actual fact it is less about the concept and more about the dancing.

The term “epic” is tossed around all too often on material which is less than deserving, but I think its more than appropriate for this. Yes, the song itself is disappointing in more ways that its good, but once again when it comes to visuals, you can definitely count on Beyonce to deliver. With a much bigger budget than usual, she doesn’t waste her time. The war-themed almost 5-minute clip sees Beyonce strutting, shimmying and flaunting the moves, the grooves and the drop dead gorgeous looks that she has always had, but for some reason she looks even more increbible than usual. This video has edge, it has fierceness and it has the choreography to match.

Director Francis Lawerence(Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance) ejects mounts of creativity into this and portrays a much heavier set seen than in any other Bee’s videos. You’d think with the stupendous settings, the plot line would be just as complex. But, in actual fact there is not much to it. The simplicity of it all is effective to a certain extent. Here it is in a footnote: Beyonce and her 200 girls or so are at war with men and the weapon they choose against them is not a machine, but rather the killing choreography. I know what your thinking. That sounds kick ass and it is, but with a concept this fierce I was looking for a little more depth.

Luckily, the choreography itself is what elevates the clip onto the next level. Its clever, slick and perfected. To kick it off, Beyonce shows something new, some sick shoulder movements, whipping her hair back and fourth.  Then it begins to take on a certain animalistic style – she mimmicks a proud lion at one point with the tall clenched up paws swaying from side to side and then she crawls through the sand in a dragging motion. Also, the camera angles are highly commendable as they are shaky and camcorder-like to add to the sense that we are caught up in the riot. In short: guuuuuuuurrrl you slayed it!

This is why you should care..

SHE’S GOT THE ATTITUDE.

THE BITCH HAS EXPLOSIONS.

THE RARE, MAGICAL MOMENT WHEN BEYONCE SWEARS.

OF COURSE QUEEN B HAS HYENAS.

AND WHEN SHE BRINGS IT, SHE BRINGS IT HARD!

So, with the video barely just out, it has already cause an explosion across the web. It was inevitable that the clip was going to be big, but no one could predict this. In my opinion, the video makes up for the lacking track and despite whether you rate Run The World(Girls) or not, you have got to admit, it is fierce! I’m confident sales will pick right back up and already that may be the case. Before the clip was released in it’s entirety, it’s chart position was somewhere around the 180’s. But, now its has cracked the top 50 on iTunes again and it is destined to climb. And to all the Beyonce “haters” out there, jealously is a terrible thing.

Enjoy!

Beyonce Reveals Epic Video Teaser & Album Title..

11 May

Yes, we all know that Beyonce has gotten off to a pretty terrible start this year with the incredibly underwhelming  Run The World(Girls) dropping fastly down the charts. But, all that may be about to change as a lengthy preview of the video has surfaced and like all of Bee’s videos, it looks totally and utterly amazing. Once the video is released in it’s full glory we could see a massive improvement in sales or perphaps it could be too late to save this one..

In other news, the sexy songstress has announced the name of the new record. Brace yourself for the astonishing album that is entitled..

4

Everywhere I look, I see them calling it ’4,’ she explains. “I had a whole other name and concept, but I keep seeing that the fans love the name ’4,’ and I think it would be a really nice thing to let them name the record.”

The number four also holds personal significance for Beyoncé, and not just because her latest studio album will be her fourth as a solo artist. “We all have special numbers in our lives, and 4 is that for me,” she says. It’s the day I was born. My mother’s birthday, and a lot of my friends’ birthdays, are on the fourth; April 4 is my wedding date.”

That must have taken so much time and thought, I’m glad she is taking this seriously..NOT. It could be took as being simple and straight to the point, but personally I just think its lazy. However, Beyonce is always about the voice, she has never herself been known to have been creative. Regardless of a terrible album title, I still love Beyonce and I just hope this album does her justice.

Enjoy!

Snippets of Rumoured Second Beyonce Single “Till The End Of Time” Surface!

1 May

So, Beyonce has gotten off to a terrible start with her flop single Girls(Who Run The World) sitting at a pathetic #53 on iTunes. I predict though, once the music video is released(which is sure to be epic), sales will pick right back up. This was the case for the super smash Single Ladies which is all about the dance choreography in the music video. But, before all of that the second single from her upcoming album could already be set a date.

Snippets for a track rumoured to be entitled Till The End Of Time has made its way on-line. Right away there are problems. The song’s name sounds suspiciously alike Britney’s latest hit Till The World Ends. Then, there is the actual preview. It is only very short sneak peaks & the quality is terrible, but from what I hear, its a massive improvement from the first single. It sounds more up-tempo, but as usual, I won’t make my judgement until I hear the full thing. Check out the snippets below:

Enjoy!

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