Lovers of female empowerment anthems and the fabulously shiny thighs of Ms. Beyoncé Knowles, rejoice: B’s much anticipated album 4 has leaked almost three weeks early. We’ve heard our share of tracks thus far, and after a composite listen, feel prepared to review each track accordingly. As a whole, 4 stands as a comprehensive examination of love—from heartbreak to joy—that rests heavily on ballads and mid-tempo tracks, with few “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” dance movements left when the dust has cleared. Jump in as we go through 4, in its entirety.
Track 1: “1+1″
Sounds Like: B employs Whitney Houston’s sky high-for-emphasis “oohs” circa “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” The track is more of a rock ballad than R&B, thanks to a commanding piano and guitar-driven melody.
Pros: While we’re used to the frustrations of a recently scorned woman followed by proclamations of her own independence, on “1+1″ Beyoncé in blinded by feelings of love, completely intertwined with her male subject. Her repeated pleading for him to “make love to [her],” is the most vulnerable we’ve ever heard Sasha Fierce, moreso than even the saddest of her breakup songs and she uses gritty vocals to emphasize she is not complete without the one she loves. The slow building guitar can be heard more clearly on the album version than during her Idol finale performance, applying a steady progression than stabilizes her jumping vocals.
Cons: Failure to really take off. Plus, the lame mathematical equation as a metaphor for love, the use of “algebra“—which we can’t hear without thinking of 2Ge+her—and the title.
Lyric as Personal Mantra: “Make love to me. So that when the worlds at war, that our love heal us all.”