4 is Beyoncé’s favorite number

4 is a recurring number in whose life? beyonce: He was born on 4th September (1981) and got married jay zee April 4 (as on 2008). When their fourth album was released on June 24, 2011, its title, “4”, surprised no one. Twelve years have passed and we want to take this opportunity to re-read the album reviews published at that time.

When an artist is of a high standard, the standards of judgment towards him are often raised to a higher level. So the artists, in order not to be discouraged, augment it with increasingly complex discs, elaborate productions, concepts that become less and less immediate. And a vicious cycle sets in which can sometimes lead to a stalemate. Here, Beyoncé, with “4” (guess what? It’s her fourth album), has managed to break out of the loop. “I Am… Sasha Fierce”, now we can say it calmly, was actually a bit pretentious, splitting that into two 20-minute discs, with that idea of ​​representing two sides of personality. Which worked well in theory, but less so in practice. Although it must be said, for the most part, she was right: “Single Ladies” is one of those songs that has now entered the imagination (thanks also to the hilarious reinterpretations in “Glee”).

Instead, “4” is a record that works, and well. The premises, it must be said, weren’t the best: a frivolous title (let the fans choose), a single, “Run the World (Girls)”, accompanied by a great video, but which, as a song, was Represents the weird side of R’n’B that’s so trendy, but it punishes Beyoncé’s voice.

Thankfully that song is the exception. It’s clear from the first notes of “4” that the singer lets herself go, crafting a well-crafted R’n’B-pop record in which she sings without trying to prove anything. The opening is “1+1”, a balletona between classic R’n’B and memories of Prince.

This choice for well-placed but uncomplicated sounds continues in almost all the following songs, from the more rhythmic “I Care” on another song, “I Miss You”, to the mid-tempo “Best Thing I Never Had”. Modern sounds, in these cases, are electronics; But they are in the service of the song, not in the foreground.

Of course, there are less traditional episodes like “Countdown” and “Party”, which work mainly because of the appearance of Andre 3000 (Outcast). And there are rhythmic episodes like “Love on Top”, which however are more inspired by the black music of the 80s and early 90s than the hyper-syncopated music of the new millennium.

It’s a no-frills, high-end production appropriate for an artist of this level. But there is also a desire not to overdo it, to give space to songs, melodies, Beyoncé’s voice. In short: “4” is an excellent pop-r’n’b record: if you like the genre, this one’s for you.

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