We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are
so says Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on track Flawless, and if the majority of the rest of Beyonce’s new album is anything to go by, it’s something that Queen Bey is keen to address. Oh yes, this album comes with a huge side-serving of raunch and innuendo, and fully deserves it’s ‘explicit’ tag.
There’s our ‘Yonce naked in kitchen on Jealous, she’s hoping someone will ‘keep me humming, keep me moaning’ (and that’s just the half of it) in the addictively catchy Blow (which tune-wise is quite early Michael Jackson-ish), she wants to ‘sit my ass on ya’ in Rocket, then there’s Drunk in Love (what is she doing with that surfboard again? And Jay-Z needs to be careful he doesn’t have an unfortunate chaffing incident with his idle approach to satisfying his good lady wife).
It’s quite a departure from her previous works and you can’t help but feel that Hubby, Jay-Z, has had some influence in this album which feels raw, urban and downright naughty. There’s some heavy bass lines, especially in Haunted and Partition (love this track), as well as some serious mash-ups – with tunes changing from ballad, to rap to dance in a matter of moments. But Beyonce’s stonking vocals are never compromised. She still belts out every lyric with passion, pain, joy or pure filth.
There are some tracks that offer a little less raunch. Pretty Hurts is a beautiful, yet haunting, ditty which mocks how we strive for a perfection which simply doesn’t exist. The lyric ‘it’s the soul that needs the surgery’ is genius. XO is a perfect pop tune, that sounds like the soundtrack to summer. Superpower, Heaven and Blue also offer a respite from the filth. Blue is a beautiful ditty along the lines of Robbie Williams’ Go Gentle and, of course, features the gurgles of Mr & Mrs Carter-Knowles’ little one.
This album won’t be to everyone’s tastes. If you were one of the people who tutted disapproving when ‘Bow Down Bitches‘ originally aired, then you might not like this. What do I think of it? It’s raunchier than I expected and not something you’d perhaps want to listen to in front of the in-laws, but I do really like it. I love Jay-Z anyway, so his influence can only be a positive thing in my eyes. And, above all it’s a good, fun album. Not good, clean fun, obviously – but hey! Men have sung about getting women into bed for eons, especially in R&B songs (think R Kelly’s I Wanna Freak You) why should the boys have all the fun? A bit of filth never hurt anyone, right?
Fabulous Rating: 5/5
P.S I’ve not watched the videos yet – I’ll do a separate review of those once I have 🙂