Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Beyonce's new CD is out !





(EW.com) -- If show business were high school (and isn't it, really?), Beyoncé would be a front-runner for valedictorian.
She's a class act on and off the charts, a can-do girl who shares her gifts with everyone while keeping her beyond-fabulous life -- the Obamas on speed dial, Jay-Z at the dinner table -- largely to herself.
Over the course of her three previous records, she's matured from Destiny's Child-hood into a formidable solo hitmaker with two of pop music's most transcendent chart-toppers, ''Crazy in Love'' and ''Single Ladies,'' tucked in the pocket of her Deréon jeans.
"I don't know much about guns/But I, I've been shot by you,'' she sings on ''1+1,'' as if the love bullet were actually breaking skin. Vocally, she's never sounded better -- throaty and precise -- but some other songs here just aren't her equal.
While those efforts at least aim high, a few of "4"'s lesser tracks feel like they were unsuccessfully bred in studio captivity for mass consumption. The familiar lite-FM bombast of ''Best Thing I Never Had'' proves her 2006 hit ''Irreplaceable'' is just that.
And when the 29 year old mimics Luther Vandross and Diana Ross on the charmingly goofy one-two of ''Love on Top'' and ''Rather Die Young,'' she gets lost in her idols' polyester-swathed shadows.
Unsurprisingly, Beyoncé is at her best when she sounds like no one but herself. She takes her trusty freakum dress out of mothballs for the marching-band funk of ''Countdown,'' which includes such joy-inducing non-lyrics as ''Me and my boof, and my boof boof riding.''
And the terrific ''End of Time'' seethes with off-balance harmonies, MJ-style "Off the Wall" horns and a bionic Bo Diddley beat, all while Bey howls her eternal love to everyone and no one in particular.
It's exactly the kind of genre-busting risk that few other current pop stars would even attempt, let alone pull off flawlessly with a no-big-thing shrug. With more moments like that, "4" might have been an album fully worthy of her talent. As it is, though, even star students get the occasional B.

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