Life is all about expectations. Most people go through a mid life crisis because their life isn’t where they expected it would be. I’ve realized because of the high expectations I put on artists, sometimes I get let down. And that’s how I’ve always felt about Beyonce’s albums…let down. B is easily the biggest pop star in the world and also one of the best performers we’ve seen in the last 15 years. So with that resume, I expect you to make some great albums to go along with those accomplishments. Is that TOO much to ask? And in my eyes, that’s where Beyonce falls short. Does B have songs that are undeniable? No doubt. Can she easily put on an incredible 2 hour show and not lose your attention once? Yes sir. But have her albums as a whole reflected that? Naw. So with B’s 4th solo album “4” on deck, will I be let done once again?
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“4” starts off with “1+1” which was penned by The Dream and is the Prince inspired track that is now officially the industry standard for ANY and ALL female artist dropping an album but nevertheless it’s still a flat out beautiful song that takes us FAR away from Dream’s usual bag of goodies. “I Care” has Beyonce telling her dude “I told you how you hurt me baby, but you don’t care/now I’m crying and deserted baby, but you don’t care/ain’t nobody tell me this is love, but you’re immune to all my pain/I need you to tell me this love/ you don’t care well that’s ok.” “Best Thing I Never Had” brings Babyface back to the land of the living and is basically “Irreplaceable” part 2. “Party” produced by Kanye West is a nice laid back banger that features Andre 3000 doing what he does best, which is assassinate whatever he touches. “Set the scene/3000 degrees/ain’t worried about them f-ck n-ggaz over there but they worried about me/I got a homeboy named butter and another homeboy, that n-gga name cheese/f-ck with me baby, I’ll make it milk til it drip down your knees.” “Start Over” stays in line with the laid back vibe of the album and has me hooked cause I’m a sucker for R&B ballads with hard drums. “Countdown” and “End of Time” are the up tempo club bangers that you can always count on Beyonce for. “I Was Here” was written Diane Warren (who is one of my fave songwriters btw) and will do for Beyonce what Ms. Warren’s music has done for the likes of her past clientele. But my favorite song on the album is “I Miss You.” This song has stayed on repeat since the first time I heard it. The beat meshes with B’s vocals perfect and it to be honest, it just bangs. And when it comes to “Run the World (Girls)” because Mrs. Carter (why does Jay always have to be looked at as Mr. Knowles?) has laced us with so much dope music throughout the years, I’ll extend to her the same courtesy I’ve extended to Common when he dropped “Electric Circus” and “Universal Mind Control”, which is to forget those moments ever happened.
At the end of the day, because B is the biggest pop stars in the world and has SO many people to please, I doubt she’ll EVER drop that 5 mic classic album I’ve been expecting because she’s pulled in so many different directions. But I’ve always wished that B would do her and not chase after whatever sound is out there at the time and that she would create that sound for everyone else to chase. But like I said earlier, it’s all about YOUR expectations of the folk we’re fans of. Did you expect LeBron to only give you 8 points in game 4 of the NBA Finals? Or did you expect him to have a triple double and hit the game winning shot? Well, I can tell you this, “4” is FAR from 8 points in game 4 of the NBA Finals AND it’s not that triple double with the game winning shot but somewhere in the middle. Let’s call it 20 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists with the game tying shot to send the game in overtime. And I don’t know about you, but I’m not mad at that stat line at all.
4 outta 5