Beyonce Does The Splits

Nov 5th, 2008 // 5 Comments

ARTIST: Beyonce
TITLE: I Am… Sasha Fierce
WEB DEBUT: Nov. 4, 2008
RELEASE DATE: Nov. 18, 2008



ONE-LISTEN VERDICT: The standard version of Beyonce’s split-personality album is a lean affair by the standards of the bloated-CD era–its 11 tracks clock in at just over 41 minutes. But there’s something about I Am… Sasha Fierce that still feels a bit lengthy, and that something is the front-loading of the album with ballads. Not that songs like “Halo,” which brings together the big GarageBand keyboards that came straight from “Love In This Club” with some Whitney-style emoting, aren’t effective; it’s just that the good stuff like the slinky electro track “Sweet Dreams” (which leaked earlier this year in a rougher form) should have maybe come first, so that the slower songs could have served as a chance to recover from, say, the twist-tie looping of Beyonce’s voice that backs up “Diva,” in which “A Milli” producer Bangladesh was recruited so B could have her own “A Milli” beat for people to freestyle over. I’m sure there’s some split-personality-derived version for this misstep in sequencing, but no amount of metaphysicality will make me less likely to skip over the album’s first few tracks.

THE BEST TRACK: When “Sweet Dreams” leaked earlier this year, I was slightly disappointed by the relatively restrained vocal performance Beyonce was giving, but the song’s pretty strong, with a muscular beat and B barking “turn the lights off” at her paramour in such a way that underlines just why her alter ego’s last name is “Fierce.”

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  1. Lucas Jensen

    I am very intrigued by this. Glad it’s not another Chris Gaines.

  2. uptonking

    Hmmm… what color is she now? What color is she now? What color is she… now?

  3. cassidy2099

    Isn’t this album being released as two discs seperating the upbeat tracks from the snoozy ballads? Based on her last two albums, the good to bad song ratio here is pretty consistent. I’m eager to hear the bonus songs included on the deluxe version. And hey, give her credit for at least giving us “Single Ladies”, which is the fuckin’ jam.

  4. Maura Johnston

    @cassidy2099: it would seem sort of wasteful to spread 11 tracks over two discs, but i guess there’s still some room for excess in music…

  5. trapper

    I do love Single Ladies, but you are right on about Sweet Dreams. That “Turn the lights off” is effing HOT.

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