Still great.

I think this album mixed genres in a creative way and Beyoncé and everyone else who helped her produce the album did a great job doing so. She had a lot of good contributions from different artists in many ways into the album. Whether it was songwriting, or helping with a beat or a sense of direction, I think it’s something that also helped bring the album to be as good as it is with so many people putting different ideas together. I like that she took a break from her hectic life of fame to enjoy the little things in life and came out with the album 4. I think she incorporated topics that most of us can relate to and have a personal connection with. I feel like the album is something to be enjoyed in its entirety, not piece by piece. She has been criticized for her performance saying that she was imitating some Italian pop star and that her fashion is crazy and talking about how horrible it is that her songs barely managed to reach number one, but I think that some of these critics just put too much thought into little things and don’t let the album just be. It’s about the music and how much she put into this album. I guess maybe only I love it so much because of the connection I feel to it, and I know I keep repeating myself with having a strong emotional connection to the album but I think that a person’s favorite band or favorite song only becomes their favorite because they feel that they can relate and connect. Otherwise there’s nothing really making you like the song.

I guess I can’t really convince you to love or like the album because it all just depends on whether you feel the same connection or not. But as Stern said “4 is a gorgeous, solid album experience that pays proper tribute to a slice of music history without artificially recreating any one artist’s signature sound. While the album is nearly guaranteed to go down as the first major misfire in Beyoncé’s otherwise unshakable career track record–the dreaded “artistic attempt”–it’s as much of a guarantee that future listeners will re-visit this record in time to discover that it is, in fact, a gem.”

Album – 5

Sources:

http://www.muumuse.com/2011/06/beyonce-4-album-review.html/

 

 

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Best Thing I Never Had

Best Thing I Never Had is the second single from the album. The song was not originally meant to be a ballad but more of a 80’s hip-hop type of song. It was inspired by the drumming of Doug E. Fresh’s song The Show. You can listen to the original here – http://www.billboard.com/column/the-juice/beyonce-s-best-thing-i-never-had-songwriter-1005296982.story#/column/the-juice/beyonce-s-best-thing-i-never-had-songwriter-1005296982.story Songwriter Patrick “J.Que” Smith wanted to avoid the ballad style, but in a recent poll it turns out that people enjoy the released ballad version better than the other one. I have to agree as well since I’m not really an 80’s hip-hop type of person.

The song is about a breakup that was hard at first, like most, but then led to a new and better relationship. It involves karma … “what goes around comes back around.” I have to agree with what Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly says: “”Best Thing I Never Had” finds Beyoncé mining the same kind of girl-power imagery as she did on ‘Run the World (Girls)’. But there is something more direct and honest about the lyrics on the new single (perhaps it’s the instant greatness of the line, ‘When I think of the time I almost loved you / You showed your ass and I saw the real you’). ‘Best Thing I Never Had’ feels like the kind of crossover hit that will help 4 join the rest of Beyoncé’s discography in multiplatinum land” It’s a powerful song for those females who feel heartbroken over someone who treated them badly or did them wrong, and it shows how something better will come along. I can agree with this from experience, having been in a relationship where I thought there was mutual love and respect, only to find out that I was wrong. I never thought something better would be out there, but the loving relationship I am in now definitely proved me wrong. Things always get better, and the other person will regret having done you wrong. I’ve heard this song on the radio a few times, and it’s something a lot of people can relate to, so it makes it radio friendly.

The music video was incredible. It depicts a moment that most of us females dream about – our wedding day. The dress was GORGEOUS! And the music video put that much more emotion into the song for me. I’m a sappy romantic person on the down low and the music video brought out so many emotions. I was also surprised to find an alternate music video while researching this song. The alternate music video features personal wedding footage sent in by her fans, and you can watch it here – http://www.celebuzz.com/2011-10-11/beyonce-releases-best-thing-i-never-had-alternate-fan-video-exclusive/

And here is the original.

Song – 5

Sources:

http://music-mix.ew.com/2011/06/01/beyonce-best-i-never-had-single/

http://www.billboard.com/news/beyonce-s-best-thing-i-never-had-single-1005209572.story#/news/beyonce-s-best-thing-i-never-had-single-1005209572.story

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I Was Here

I Was Here was written by Diane Warren. Warren wanted Beyoncé to sing the song, and Beyoncé loved it, so it ended up on 4 as the second to last song. The song is a down tempo R&B ballad. I love how slow it starts off with the piano in the background, and as the song progresses her voice and the music just get stronger. It evokes a powerful feeling and I felt so connected to her and the song. It’s about how she wants to make an impact on the world and she wants to be remembered once her time is up on Earth. Some criticized her for this song saying that it was “too deep” for someone like her to sing and that she is too young to be worrying about her legacy and leaving an impact at only 29 years of age when the song was recorded. Warren had described the song as a “career song” and it was felt that Beyoncé should not be singing that type of song. I think that it doesn’t matter how young or old someone is, anyone can be gone in the blink of an eye. So to say that she’s too young to sing this type of song sounds kind of ridiculous in my opinion.

I was a bit surprised to find what the inspiration behind this song was. In an interview with Reuters Beyoncé says “I got a call from Diane and she played the song on guitar over the phone, and I said, “Oh my god, I have to have this song.” It was inspired by September 11. It’s the tenth anniversary and I thought, “Wow, this really completes my album.”” I feel that this is a song that practically anyone can relate to whether you’re young or old. Everyone wants to leave their mark on this Earth before they die, no matter if it’s something huge or something minor. You want to make sure that you meant something to someone and you want people to know that you did the best you could with your time here. It’s a song that really touches the soul.

Listen to it I Was Here – Beyoncé

“I just want them to know
That I gave my all, did my best
Brought someone to happiness
Left this world a little better just because…
I was here…”

Song – 5

Sources:

http://www.beyonceonline.com/us/news/beyonc%C3%A9-talks-star-born-and-i-was-here-reuters

http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/popwrap/diane_warren_MvOyezmG2CwASoj6TUO1xL

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1+1

1+1 is the opening track on the album and in my opinion it was a great choice to start off the album with that song. The song is a ballad which includes the genres of contemporary R&B and soul. It was written by Beyoncé, The-Dream, and Tricky Stewart. It was supposed to be on The-Dream’s album Love vs. Money and was to be titled Nothing But Love. (I honestly can’t imagine anyone else singing this song but Beyoncé. Here is a clip of The-Dreams singing the song. Nothing But Love – The-Dream The song uses guitar and piano as its foundation. It’s one of the main reasons I also love this song because those are my two favorite instruments which I attempted to learn how to play and didn’t do so well. 1+1 was first debuted on American Idol. I love this clip that Jay-Z filmed of her practicing for the debut of the song on American Idol because it’s so simple, and her voice is just so beautiful and powerful. (Click the following link – http://lifeandtimes.com/pregame) Another reason why this song is amazing is because “…it showcases a relatively raw vocal performance from Beyoncé, presenting a side of her voice she told Billboard she wanted to use more of on her forthcoming album, 4; “I used a lot of the brassiness and grittiness in my voice that people hear in my live performances, but not necessarily on my records.” It is a radio friendly song, but for some reason I feel like it’s a song that doesn’t really belong on the radio. I’m just not sure where it would fit in.

I love this song because I can relate to her emotions and I feel that I can feel exactly what she’s feeling for the person she is singing about. I am currently in a relationship with someone and it took a very long time for us to overcome certain situations which were in the way of us being together, and this song puts into words exactly how I feel about him. This has got to be my favorite verse from the song.

“Hey, I don’t know much about guns but I
I’ve been shot by you (hey)
And I don’t know when I’m gonna die but I hope
That I’m gonna die by you (hey)
And I don’t know much about fighting but I
I know I will fight for you (hey)
And just when I ball up my fists I realize
I’m laying right next to you baby”

The music video was beautiful as well. She kept it simple and there wasn’t a whole big fuss in the background or any dramatic scenes. It was just her and in some scenes her and her mate. The fact that there wasn’t a ton of effects for the video attracted me to it and it was perfect for this type of song. I see the simplicity of it as it’s only you and the other person that matter, not anything else. And in 2:27-2:37 when I saw the tears in her eyes, I felt a strong connection to her emotions. It’s crazy! This song could be on repeat forever and I wouldn’t change my mind about it.

Song – 5

Sources:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2011/may/27/beyonce-1-1

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Who Run The World?! GIRLS!

Run The World (Girls) was written by Beyoncé and others including: The-Dream, Afrojack, Diplo (DJ), Switch (DJ), and Vybz Kartel. The original title was supposed to be Girls (Who Run the World), but was switched to Run The World (Girls). This song only reached to be number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song is about female empowerment and she makes her statement very aggressively in this song. I do like the message behind the song because obviously girls rule. J But it also seems like a constant repeating theme in her music. “Entertainment Weekly notes the continuation of past themes, writing that it would be “appreciated” to see her “switching lanes a bit content-wise…” I don’t really like the song itself. I didn’t like the fact that it took the Pon de Floor beat by Major Lazer.

I feel like it would’ve been better if she would’ve made it a little more original. “The song, which samples Major Lazer’s “Pon de Floor,” “is a bit overstuffed, but fairly enjoyable,” says the Village Voice.”[B]ut there’s also something exhausting about it that goes beyond its cheer-team beats. It doesn’t seem so much like a song as it does a collection of movements, of snippets that can be broken down into iTunes previews.”” I’m not really into songs that borrow the beat of others, it makes me feel bored. I’m not sure if the song got tons of radio play since I don’t listen to the radio at all, but it’s a radio friendly song and it seems like something that would definitely be played a lot. It would probably end up on a radio station like Z100 though.

The music video was amazing in my opinion. She hired 242 dancers, and the style of dance intrigued me. I’m not a dancer or anything at all but dance has always been one of my interests. I loved the visuals of it: the animals, setting, wardrobe and the choreography. It was an army of females that made me feel empowered myself. I think the video definitely did better than the song itself, receiving three nominations at the 2011 MTV Music Video Awards and winning Best Choreography. It was also nominated for Best Dance Performance at the 2011 Soul Train Music Awards and Favorite Music Video at the 2012 People’s Choice Awards.

In all honesty, I don’t really have much to say about this song. It’s just not my cup of tea and it’s not a song I feel like I could be able to dance to either. It’s one of those “how am I supposed to dance to this?” type of songs. Beyoncé did do a great job dancing to it obviously but I definitely won’t be moving around the dance floor like her. I guess I’ll just bob my head or something.

Song – 2 -__-

Sources:

http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/21/whats-the-verdict-beyonces-run-the-world-girls/

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Destiny’s Child to Beyoncé

Beyoncé originally rose to fame starting off as the lead vocalist of the all girl R&B trio – Destiny’s Child. Having been formerly known as Girl’s Tyme and being together in a group for fourteen years, the group parted ways in 2005, and Beyoncé began her own solo career. Knowles had released her first solo album, Dangerously In Love in 2003 while she took a break from Destiny’s Child. It was number one on the charts and became extremely successful. She released her second album titled B’Day in 2006 for which she received the Grammy for “Best Contemporary R&B Album” and her third, I am… Sasha Fierce in 2008 going double platinum and reaching number one on the Billboard charts. Beyoncé also showed her talent as an actress when she starred in the film Dreamgirls. She also shows her talent in the fashion world with the line House of Dereon.

4 was released June 4th, 2011 after taking a year long break from her hectic career in 2010. She wanted to enjoy the simpler things in life, listening to every genre of music she loves, and to gain some creativity and inspiration for her album. (See video below)

She incorporated many of her favorite genres in the album including: R&B from the late 70’s and early 80’s, Pop and Soul, and includes ballads along with upbeat songs. Beyoncé said she wanted to create a new genre of music for this album. She then went on to say “Well, I wouldn’t say I’m inventing a new genre,” she said. “I’m mixing every type of genre that I love and I’m inspired by every type of genre.” Some of her inspirations for this album were Fela Kuti, Lauryn Hill, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson. The title of the album not only signifies the fact that it is her fourth album, but it represents her date of birth. Her fans had urged her to name the album 4, and so she did. The album speaks about things like female empowerment and value, for example with the song Run The World (Girls), to topics on love and soul mates, with the song 1+1. Although the album was fully leaked three weeks before its official release, it still sold 310,000 copies in its first week and placed number one on the Billboard 200 Chart. It was certified platinum by the RIAA. The singles from this album include: Run The World (Girls), Best Thing I Never Had, Countdown, and Party.

Album – 5!

Sources:

http://www.amazon.com/Beyonce/e/B000APOLQ4/ref=ac_dpt_sa_bio

http://www.therundown.tv/headlines/say-what/beyonces-taking-a-6-month-break-check-out-her-to-do-list/

http://www.beyonceonline.com/us/music/4

http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1652928/beyonce-inspired-by-michael-jackson-lauryn-hill-new-album.jhtml

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4

4 is an album by Beyoncé that was released in June of 2011. I’m not a huge, screaming, obsessed, number one Beyoncé fan, but I have loved her music since her first album Dangerously In Love came out. I remember begging my mom to buy it for me and I listened to it nonstop. I chose this album because it’s an album that I can say I pretty much love and enjoy every single song (with just maybe one or two exceptions). Nowadays it gets hard for me to find an album that I love in its entirety without just picking and choosing one or two good songs from it. As soon as I heard it I felt like I could personally connect to each of the songs, and to me an artist has good music when I am able to feel like I am on the same level as him/her. That’s exactly how I felt while listening to this album. It was like Beyoncé was speaking to me and I knew exactly what she meant while she sang, and I’d just be sitting there like “Yeah girl I know what you mean!” I feel like the songs on here are radio friendly but Bradley Stern from MUUMUSE.com did a review saying “And it seems she’s truly taken her artistic freedom to heart, as the album veers sharply from the chart-ready club banger pattern of her back catalog. Instead, she’s returned with live soul sessions and aching, nostalgic power ballads that drip with the intent of pure artistic fulfillment. But as a result, there’s not a single radio hit to be found on 4. … There are no radio-friendly singles on this album (barring “Run The World,” which proves even more jarring than it already is as the follow-up to the emotionally devastating “I Was Here”).”

Originally I was going to choose Adele’s 21 album, but I feel like I’ve heard it so much all over the place and people are constantly talking about her and it’s like “Oh Adele this, and Adele that…” Although Beyoncé is beyond a doubt recognized all over the world, greatly admired and talked about, I feel like it’s not the same as with Adele today. So I felt like I would be more comfortable writing about this album. It’s funny because at one point I became really annoyed with everyone talking about how big and great Beyoncé is and all this fuss about her that I started to not like her so much and I disregarded most of her music. But when this album came out I changed my mind again, and like I said I think it all just comes down to the personal connection you have with something. Since there are so many love and relationship songs on this album I was able to form that connection and form a new appreciation for Beyoncé’s music, lastly choosing 4 as one of my favorite albums.

Sources:

http://www.muumuse.com/2011/06/beyonce-4-album-review.html/

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Th_ F_LT_R B_BBL_

At first I wasn’t that surprised while reading through this. I knew that our internet surfing and what we click on is tracked, I forgot where I heard it before though. I remember wondering why I would get so many ads on the military (for back when I was joining the USMC and was doing my research) or when I would see ads for my sorority or music I liked. It was just weird to see that my computer knew about me like that. When I read about Google giving the two East coast women different results based on their “personalities” I was shocked. I had absolutely no idea Google did that. Who is Google to try to tell me who I am?! “The new internet doesn’t just know you’re a dog; it knows your breed and wants to sell you a bowl of premium kibble.” This kind of pissed me off. Why is the internet controlling what I’m getting on web pages due to the type of person it apparently “knows’ I am? I understand the part where it helps them make more money because I mean, who isn’t looking for a way to make cash? I do like that Amazon can recommend me books I might like and that iTunes can do the same with music, but when I’m reading about something like Acxiom knowing who I live with, my address, and even the breed of my pet is just insane. I think there needs to be a boundary here. My personal life and information shouldn’t be in the hands of some company just like that. It’s private. I don’t get how it can be okay. And it’s even crazier how they’re so sneaky about it and I’m 100% sure that the majority of the people who surf the web have no idea that this is going on.

Also having this “filter bubble”, although it may have it’s economic advantages to these people who work for Google or Amazon or whatever, is making us stuck. “In the filter bubble, there’s less room for the chance encounters that bring insight and learning.” If websites are only showing you your interests, point of view on something, or what you wanna see, how are you supposed to see an opposite and learn to take something away from it? It honestly is just like living in your own bubble, in your own little world. This upsets me and some people may think I’m overreacting but I find most of this to be ridiculous. Having people control my life through the internet is not something I approve of. I know it definitely has it’s advantages, but they are also just being sneaky – and I don’t like sneaky people. -_-

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Rage on the Radio

I think that people who do crazy things like that man did, do get the inspiration from people like these radio talk show hosts. Maybe the man already had some type of idea in his head and by listening and reading what these radio personalities had to say, whether it is for”entertainment” or not, Adkisson was most likely lead to believe that it was okay to do what he wanted to do to these people. In more than one occasion I heard several people speaking about wanting to kill someone, or a certain group of people. Moyers did have a point when he brought up the 1st amendment at the end of the video, but I feel like the privilege of having this right is abused. I do not think it’s okay that people like this can just go on air and talk about wiping people out, and putting crazy ideas into the minds of others. These radio talk show hosts put their personal opinions out there as if they were fact, and they even lie about things to try to prove a point. It’s all really ridiculous in my opinion. People who are even mentally and emotionally unstable listen to these types of things and do people really think that it’s not going to trigger some type of possible negative reaction? People snap. After all the books on bashing Liberals that they found in his home, it’s only obvious that he didn’t just come up with the idea himself and go about it. He read about the hate and anger, and took on this crazy action.

So day by day these radio personalities sit there, in their little radio studios, spewing hate and anger towards people with views or opinions that are much different than theirs, and talk about how they don’t have the right to live. Okay. And whether this has to do with the subject or not, I refuse to believe that these people are getting paid for this. But what can you do? It’s not like you can really stop them I guess. So they will just keep on doing what they’re doing, and more people to are susceptible to use these crazy rants as inspiration will keep on doing crazy things like walking into a church and killing people.

Ridiculous.

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Drum roll please … & the verdict is …

… IT STILL ROCKS. I can say that my overall impression of the album has not given a complete 180. I felt like I would possibly get tired of it since I had to listen to it a few times over for the assignment but there is still something about it that keeps me coming back. To be honest there were about three songs out of the twelve that are on the album that I didn’t enjoy too much. Those being: Secret, which I discussed, Must Get Out and Sweetest Goodbye. I think that’s pretty decent though considering back then when I used to buy the whole CD an artist would put out; it would be because I only liked two or three songs and the rest – not so much. I found that I was able to connect with practically all of the songs, but these lyrics from The Sun, really stuck out to me. “But I cannot forget/ Refuse to regret/ So glad I met you/ Take my breath away/ Make everyday/Worth all of the pain that I have
gone through/ And mama I’ve been cryin’/ Cause things ain’t how they used to be/ She said the battles almost won/ And we’re only several miles from the sun.” I felt like I connected a lot with this song because it wasn’t only about love, but has an incorporation of family and with having been going through so much at home in the past few months I feel like this is very fitting to me. I do hope that the sun means that things will get better – not that we’re about to burn up or something. 😦

I liked the fact that practically the whole album was inspired by this one girl and the break-up. I mean people now are talking about how amazing Adele is (which she is) and how she basically came to fame over creating her albums about a break-up as well, but HELLO! Maroon 5 did it first. :p

I have also heard a few of their other songs like “Misery”, “Goodnight, Goodnight”, and more recently “Moves Like Jagger”, but I can’t say it’s gone any further than that. But since I did enjoy this album so much I will definitely be checking out the other two albums that they have put out since having released Songs About Jane. Although people were offended by their sexual lyrics or whatever it may be, I didn’t mind at all and I see no problem with people expressing themselves how they like. People tend to act like it’s a big huge deal to talk about sex or display anything sex related when in this generation. So what if they talked about sex? They’re a bunch of GUYS! It’s like no biggie. Well at least that’s how I see it. I enjoyed this album to the fullest, and their ways of expression and lyrics made it just that much better. I despise music with crappy lyrics no matter how great the beat may be.

This album is still a 5 to me!

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