well, I had to give it a shot
the hottest (as in popularity) female artist in the country after the Lady
I'm still not on board
a few tracks I like, but certainly not the included one here, that sucks
Grade - 1.4
released June 18th
from the album - Run The World - 1.0
from all music
One of the most recognizable characters in modern-day R&B, Beyoncé first rose to fame as the siren-voiced centerpiece of Destiny's Child before embarking on a multi-platinum solo career in 2001. Booming record sales, Grammy awards, movie roles, and a romance with rapper/CEO Jay-Z combined to heighten her profile in the 2000s, making the singer a virtual mainstay in the entertainment world. While some media outlets derisively championed Paris Hilton as "the next Marilyn Monroe," Beyoncé was a much better contender for the role, her glittering pop culture persona only matched by her success onscreen and on record.
Born in Houston in September 1981, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles began performing at age seven, winning upwards of 30 local competitions for her dancing and vocal abilities. She also joined her cousin Kelly Rowland and classmates LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett in forming an adolescent vocal group. Mathew Knowles, Beyoncé's father and Rowland's legal guardian, signed on to be the girls' manager, eventually quitting his full-time job to focus on their efforts. This situation would ultimately lead to the creation of one of the most popular female R&B groups of all time -- Destiny's Child.
Destiny's Child gained momentum throughout the '90s, appearing on Star Search in 1992 (under the name Girl's Tyme) and weathering several lineup changes before signing to Columbia Records in 1997. Four studio albums later, the group had officially become the best-selling female group of all time, with such smash hits as "Jumpin' Jumpin'," "Bills, Bills, Bills," "Say My Name," and "Survivor" bolstering the girls' momentum despite a continued string of lawsuits from former members Roberson and Luckett (who contested Mathew Knowles' management, claiming he withheld profits and unjustly favored his daughter and niece). In 2001, Beyoncé, Rowland, and replacement member Michelle Williams allowed themselves a break from the group to pursue individual solo careers. Before landing several movie roles, Beyoncé became the first African-American female artist and second woman ever to win the annual ASCAP Pop Songwriter of the Year Award. An appearance in the MTV drama Carmen: A Hip Hopera quickly followed, but it was her role as Foxxy Cleopatra in 2002's Austin Powers in Goldmember that established Beyoncé as a true Hollywood star.
While her inclusion on the movie's soundtrack failed to chart nationally, Beyoncé's full-length solo debut, 2003's Dangerously in Love, reached multi-platinum status. Featuring collaborations with Sean Paul, Missy Elliott, OutKast's Big Boi, and romantic interest Jay-Z, the album spawned a total of four Top Ten singles and garnered the singer five Grammys. Destiny's Child reconvened the following year to release Destiny Fulfilled; upon completing the resulting tour, the group issued one final album, a greatest-hits compilation entitled #1's, and subsequently disbanded. Beyoncé turned her full attention to her burgeoning solo career, releasing the sophomore effort B'day in September 2006 and, three months later, turning in an award-winning performance for the movie musical Dreamgirls. The singer then embarked on the Beyoncé Experience concert tour, releasing a live DVD in November 2007.
The following year proved to be another busy one as Beyoncé landed the role of Etta James in Cadillac Records, a musical biopic that explored the heyday of Chicago's Chess Records. Shooting commenced in February 2008, with Beyoncé also serving as co-executive producer. One month before the film's December release, the singer released her third studio album, I Am...Sasha Fierce. The double-disc effort emphasized her two distinct personalities, allowing Beyoncé to explore both mainstream sounds and traditional R&B. Some live releases followed. Released in 2009, I Am...Yours, a CD/DVD set, documented an August 2009 performance at Wynn Las Vegas, while 2010's I Am...World Tour, available in separate audio and video formats, was recorded at London's significantly larger O2 Arena (a few months after the Vegas program). She followed ten Grammy nominations with 2011's 4. One of her most energetic and empowering tracks, "Run the World (Girls)," was issued as the lead single.
Beyoncé reportedly delivered over 70 songs to Columbia for her fourth solo studio album. The dozen that made the cut, combined with their sequencing, make it plain that straightforward crossover-dance singles and cohesion were not priorities. Taking it in at once is mystifying, even when little attention is paid to the lyrics. The opening “1+1,” a sparse and placid vocal showcase, fades in with a somber guitar line, throws up occasional and brief spikes in energy, and slowly recedes. It’s the kind of song one would expect to hear during an album’s second half, certainly not as the opener -- not with the (fittingly) slight sonics and heavy lines like “Just when I ball up my fist, I realize I’m laying right next to you, baby.” Three additional ballads follow. Each one features its own set of collaborators and contrasts both sonically and lyrically. “I Care” rolls in on pensive percussion and low-profile synthesizer drones, surging during a cathartic chorus. “I Miss You,” alluringly bleak and hushed, is a codependent confessional. The only one that’s rote, “Best Thing I Never Had” is a bombastic kiss-off saved by Beyoncé’s ability to plow through it. From there, the album restlessly bounces between tempos and moods: a desperate midtempo chest thumper, a couple cyborg marching-band dancefloor tracks, an ecstatic early-‘90s throwback, yet more ballads. What’s most surprising is that a song titled “Party,” co-produced by Kanye West with a guest verse from André 3000, quickly settles into a low-watt groove and remains there. Wildcard interludes and a Euro-pop party-anthem cash-in would be the only ways to make the album more scattered, but the strength of most of the material, propelled by Beyoncé’s characteristically acrobatic vocal skills, eases the trouble of sifting through the disjointed assortment. No one but one of the most talented and accomplished singers -- one with 16 Grammys, nothing left to prove, and every desired collaborator at her disposal -- could have made this album.
2 I Care
3 I Miss You
4 Best Thing I Never Had
6 Rather Die Young
7 Start Over
8 Love on Top
10 End of Time
11 I Was Here
12 Run the World (Girls)