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I Am… Sasha Fierce album review

November 15, 2008

I Am… Sasha Fierce

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First off I would like to recommend fans to get the Deluxe edition. The regular retail version of the album feels incomplete without those extra few songs on each disc. Beyoncé’s latest efforts are interesting to say the least. The album is split into two discs, one being a slower-tempo ballad driven record that shows her diversifying her sound and singing in unexpected ranges. Disc 1 is Beyoncé at her most beautiful, sprinkling grace throughout the disc. For fans that expect a big “Listen”-esque ballad, throw your expectations away. Songs like “Disappear,” and the gorgeous “Ave Maria” are elegant and flawless. The other tracks such as “Smash into You” and “Satellites” are Beyoncé’s take on soft-rock without it sounding forced or cheesy. Even with the BC Jean controversy causing much discussion and speculation, Beyoncé still makes “If I Were A Boy” sound as if it was her own- listeners are convinced that it is after listening to it. “Halo” is a track originally meant for Leona Lewis, but Beyoncé’s unique voice creates a permanent home for it. “That’s Why You’re Beautiful,” which sounds like an U2 b-side track, is possibly one of the best songs of Beyoncé career. Although slow in tempo and lacking the expected urban appeal that Beyoncé usually brings, Disc 1 is far-superior to Disc 2. The catchy “Single Ladies” opens Disc 2. Songs like “Radio” and the southern-swag bangin’ “Video Phone” are catchy, but mediocre. “Hello,” may sound over-sung on a first listen, but will grow on you. “Diva,” although very catchy and have much swag, sounds incomplete and undercooked. The strongest tracks from Disc 2 are “Single Ladies” and “Sweet Dreams,” which leaked earlier this year online under the name “Beautiful Nightmare.” “Scared of Lonely” is an effective ending to a disc that would be weak if it stood alone without its superior counter-part. I Am… Sasha Fierce doesn’t pull together as well as Beyoncé aspired for it to in its concept. While Disc 1 is strong and solid, Disc 2 sounds like a collection of b-sides and bonus tracks. I expected more sass from Sasha Fierce, the same animalistic raw energy that was poured into previous songs like “Deja-Vu” and “Ring The Alarm.” Even the un-official title-track for Disc 2, “Diva,” sounds a bit too passive and laid back. Beyoncé is growing as an artist and starting to put herself in a league far ahead of her pop-rivals that seem to imitate and copy each other’s sound more than trying to create something organic. Beyoncé is at her best when she performs music outside of the typical R&B platform and experiments with sounds that can truly allow her to flourish as an artist. If Beyoncé is Disc1, I prefer Beyoncé over Sasha Fierce.

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