Album Review // Beyonce – 4
This review went up yesterday, meaning two of the first three items on the State.ie ticker are specifically Beyonce-related. She’s playing the main stage at Oxegen tomorrow for all those of you lucky enough to like wading in six feet of mud and drunk 15 year olds.
If ever there were a conclusive argument against the focus group approach to making pop music, it’s laid bare with ‘Run the World (Girls),’ the first single from Beyoncé’s handily-titled fourth album, 4. In theory, the single should have been a surefire hit: it borrows the irresistible dancehall beat and hook from Major Lazer’s ‘Pon De Floor,’ features Switch and The-Dream behind the mixing board and advances the same sort of non-committal girl power that has earned the Texan singer a smash single every couple of years like clockwork since ‘Bills, Bills, Bills.’ Only one problem: it’s crap.
Beyoncé has never sounded comfortable (or even competent) when presented with a grittier urban track, as the previous album’s embarrassing ‘Diva’ testifies, and it’s hard not to laugh when she starts dropping f-bombs and n-words while reminding us she’s “all hood with this.” More to the point, her more discerning fans may finally have become weary of the delicate fence-sitting Beyoncé operates in that warped headspace between self-confident feminism and ring-hungry damsel-in-distressery. It’s placed almost apologetically as the last of the 12 tracks, though the abiding sense is that it was intended to open the album.
Read the full review at State.ie.