I have to admit I wasn’t too excited when Run The World (Girls) came out, that time the title wasn’t even decided yet. Even the blogs I frequent to feels the same way more so having listened to the whole record, pretty much concluded that the album doesn’t contain any worthy singles. I, on the other hand, searched for the lyrics and really let it soak on me and by the time Beyoncé performed on the Billboard Music Awards I was already singing along and feeling like I could run the world. That performance was astounding; there couldn’t have been a more perfect time for her to receive the Millennium Award. She just showed everyone that she deserved that praise. Finally, just mere 2 weeks ago I got a copy of 4 from a record bar. Yes as in the actual CD, she’s one of those artists whose songs I won’t be satisfied by just downloading the mp3’s. Besides it’s a collection of mine.
4, she said, is a very special number because aside from being her 4th solo record it’s the date of her birthday (as well as some of her close friends/family), her wedding date and that eventually it was the title chosen by fans so she stuck with it. The only trouble is you don’t get the slightest idea what the record will be like. After the 1st listen, I knew that the album is unlike anything she released before. It’s ballad-driven, intimate and subtle in terms of production. Run The World kind of misrepresents the record in a way cause it’s the lone up-tempo track (it’s actually the last). Ya, there are the drum and horns-inspired End of Time and Countdown but they’re hardly what you call dance. The album is co-written and produced by B mostly with The-Dream. After countless sound trips, my favorites are of course the love songs: her love is intoxicating. Best Thing I Never Had, the official 2nd single, is like Irreplaceable 2.0 and is co-written by Babyface. B looks beautiful in the video by the way. Love on Top is the one I really enjoy singing to err trying to sing, it makes you feel good. 1+1 is the song she premiered on American Idol and I’m amazed how she and Jay-Z are so much deeper in love than ever. I Care and Start Over characterizes the staple sad songs and really shows B’s vulnerability. Also with the very sentimental I Was Here written by Diane Warren and co-produced by Ryan Tedder (Halo). The deluxe edition includes other mid-tempo tracks: Lay Up Under Me, Schoolin’ Life (like this one) and 3 remixed version of Run The World. She slows it down again with Dance With You.
In my humble opinion, this album depicts Beyoncé’s maturity as an artist. She’s in the stage wherein she can afford to not care about commercial success and just showcase her vocal talent and song-writing skills. The irony is that the album still debuted at no.1 on Billboard so it’s safe to say she once again succeeded in getting her message across. I do miss her butt-shakin’ and finger-pointing dance moves but this risqué release definitely makes me appreciate her more.