Scott Creney

Beyoncé – 4 (Columbia)

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by Scott Creney

You may not hear a better heavy metal album all year than Beyoncé 4. And if you don’t think Beyoncé sings heavy metal then you’re probably a racist, or a sexist, and you should go write for Pitchfork. Because Pitchfork is boring. And so are you. And so am I. But Beyoncé isn’t.

People go on and on about Lady Gaga being the new Madonna, but Beyoncée’s way better than that. If anything she’s Madonna multiplied by Aretha Franklin. And don’t give me any shit about Aretha somehow being more real. It’s not 1968 anymore. Authenticity is dead. We live in the age of computer and cyber-etc. An electric guitar is, if anything, less real than a synthesizer. And a pro-tooled drum machine says more about 2011 than a banjo ever could. Electronically manipulated sound is the most authentic response to what is, after all, an age of electronic manipulation.

And if you don’t believe me, then go cancel your Facebook and get the hell off this website — both obvious examples of electronic manipulation. And oh yeah, stop reading Pitchfork (as one CB commenter wrote, they aren’t sexist, they’ve got a guy with an Indian name writing for them).

4 as in the 4th of July. 4 as in ‘I Would Die 4 U’. 4 as in 24 Hours From Tulsa. 4 as in ‘I’ll Tumble 4 Ya’.

If The Pointer Sisters were the missing link between The Supremes and Destiny’s Child, then Beyoncé Knowles is the missing link between Jesus Christ and the discovery of a super-race of alien beings. Discuss.

At its best, Beyoncé’s music is more experimental than a year’s worth of The Wire, and more accessible than whoever’s on the cover of this week’s NME.  Of course it’s been 20 years since a major artist release a start-to-finish great album, and 4 does NOTHING to reverse this trend.  But we live in a post-album age. You know what to do. Take what you want and go forward.

Regardless, one of these young ladies may grow up to be President of the United States someday. They’ve sure as hell got my vote.

3 Responses to Beyoncé – 4 (Columbia)

  1. hannah golightly July 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    What’s not to love about Beyonce? She isn’t the new Madonna, Lady Gaga is (in a way) due to direct pastiche. Beyonce is the First Beyonce. She is so flawless in her singing and presentation, that I think she’s in some ways ‘better’ than Madonna… though on another level, I don’t think anyone’s better than Madonna since she invented the role. It’s like saying a band is better than the Beatles, when the Beatles invented the pop song… kind of puts them in a league of their own. I think Beyonce is in a league of her own… but a different one to Madonna. Beyonce is more perfect than Madonna and I think Madonna has a hint of Punk spirit in what she does. I like Beyonce’s sexy strength.

  2. TheLastHeretic July 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Music is a continuum
    Relevance is egocentric
    Perception is speculative

  3. Joseph Kyle July 7, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Why do we need a “new” Madonna? Why must an artist’s talent and ability be quantified based upon the work of others? I just don’t get it. I want someone original, to make me thrilled to hear their song, to make me want to hit repeat, to make me want to drive around the block whenever it comes on my radio, in spite of excessive gasoline prices, because the experience of hearing it on the radio is oh-so important and exciting and totally worth the extra expense, simply because, hey, THAT ORIGINAL ARTIST is blowing my mind by being on the radio and I simply CANNOT leave my car until I’ve totally had THAT thrilling experience.

    Me and “Borderline,” that’s one I waste my gasoline on. That it’s a Madonna tune isn’t meant to be ironic. But it is. Then again I have no idea what the hell people mean when they mean “ironic.” Then again, I do, but just don’t give a damn.

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