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Review: Beyonce Knowles - 4

Poor Beyonce, her first single Run the World from her upcoming album 4 was a bit of a flop - failing to set the charts alight, despite being in an your face masterpiece on the subject of female empowerment. Any song with the lyrics 'Strong enough to bear the children' and features hyenas in the video cannot possibly be bad. More bad news for Bey as the aforementioned album, 4, has leaked online two weeks before it's official release.

Best Thing I Never Had
This really feels classic Beyonce. The track opens with mellow piano in background that soon meets with Bey's soothing vocals. These gain strength and momentum towards the chorus, giving the track an empowering vibe.

Love On Top
Could easily be a track on an 80s Whitney Houston/Vanessa Williams album! This mid-tempo gem combines elements of old school R&B and by the time we've reached the chorus elements of mellow disco and funk have been added in. Beyonce's vocals are refreshing and strong, this is by far one of the strongest tracks on the album.

Countdown
Countdown stands out purely because it feels somewhat epic. The mixture of instruments and styles used create such a memorable and strong track - featuring grand trumpet, guitar twangs, drum beats combined with a techno countdown and Beyonce's soulful voice. This is really a feast for the ears.

End of Time
This feels most similar to Run the World out of all the tracks. It opens with repetitive vocals set against a fast paced drum beat - we're soon chucked into the up-tempo nature of the track. It's a thing of beauty but possibly too similar to the style of Run the World to stand on it's own.

Start Over
This is really Bey's voice at it's strongest - beautiful emotive lyrics (That I'd imagine La Toya understands) and raw powerhouse vocals that make it one of the strongest of the down-tempo tracks.

I'm not entirely convinced about Party which feels slightly dominated by Andre 3000 and Kanye West, but when Beyonce takes over it's wonderful.

Overall, 4, is a wonderful addition to Beyonce's back catalogue. Is it her best album? Yes, I'd say it's one of her best. The perfect balance between up-tempo and more subtle power-ballad-esque tracks. Most tracks stand out and feel original combining elements of R&B, soul, disco and funk. Congrat's Bey!

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