Beyoncé – I Am… Sasha Fierce

August 30, 2010 at 7:08 PM | Posted in Beyoncé | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Beyoncé – I Am… Sasha Fierce

1. Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
2. Diva
3. Ego
4. Halo
5. If I Were A Boy
6. Smash Into You
7. Sweet Dreams
8. Broken-Hearted Girl
9. Scared Of Lonely
10. That’s Why You’re Beautiful
11. Hello
12. Radio
13. Video Phone (Extended Remix featuring Lady Gaga)
14. Ego (Remix featuring Kanye West)
15. Me Why Don’t You Love
16. Honesty
17. Save The Hero
18. Satellites
19. Disappear
20. Ave Maria
♦ ♦ ♦

I Am… Sasha Fierce is American artist Beyoncé’s third solo studio album, and it was released on November 18, 2008. This dual disc album displays her more vulnerable side on disc 1, while on disc 2 Beyoncé’s stage alter ego Sasha Fierce takes over. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 482,000 units in its first week. The Platinum edition was released in September 2009.

Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) is a very good way to open this very long album . It’s a groovy R&B song with synth influences and it’s sooo fierce and danceable. I can’t keep still, honestly. It’s a sort of Independent Women Part 3, energy is all over with this track, and it grew on me in these two years so now I really love it.

I still have a hard time figuring out the beat in the intro to Diva, as well as in the hook. But again, this is another strong track by ‘Sasha Fierce’. I don’t get the random lyrics though, it may be a little too much, but it’s the cute beat I’m after. It’s a bit like hiphop, and I think the voice crying out ‘Imma a diva’ is actually quite funny once you get used to it. I used to dislike this song a lot, but the more I listened to it, the more I appreciate it.

Ego has a bit of a 60s nightclub ambience, and the piano tones are pretty nice and sophisticated now and then. The brassy elements are a very nice addition as well, and Beyoncé’s vocals are toned down a bit. She’s holding it back a little, and still she gives me that positive energy. My favourite part must be the bridge, where she ‘don’t need no beat, she can sing it with piano’. Her raw adlibbing is so awesome, goosebumps all over. One of my fav Sasha Fierce songs.

Halo has always been one of my favourite tracks, even before it was announced as a single. Beyoncé used so much elements in her music she’s never used before, like a soothing choir, and the strings and piano go wonderful with the bouncing soft R&B beat. Her voice suits these kind of songs so well, I think she should make more songs like this. The adlibbing in the bridge is so thrilling as well (omg, those high notes).

The first single off this album, If I Were A Boy, is a song I can’t imagine the world without. It starts off so calm with an acoustic guitar and strings, but when the beat drops in, I know it’s like nothing we’ve ever heard from her before. The lyrics are so strong and heartfelt, and anyone can identify with it. It’s such a fresh track for Beyoncé, and she puts so much effort and emotion in her voice.

I love the melody of Smash Into You, which displays another perfect vocal performance by miss Knowles (or Mrs. Carter, whatever you like). It’s another laid back track with toned down adlibbing and music. Mostly led by guitars and a strong beat, it’s powerful near the end and it really got me. I should’ve noticed this song before.

Sweet Dreams has a bittersweet title, but the musical arrangement isn’t bittersweet at all. Performing one of her first R&B songs with real electro influences, Beyoncé finds her way into this genre very well to be honest. It kinda reminds me a bit of Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’ in some sort of way, and since I adore Michael to death, it’s such a good thing to compare this song with one of his. The synths in this song are so groovy, and it’s another standout track.

A piano and strings lead into heartfelt song Broken-Hearted Girl, and from the start it’s really a piano-and-vocal ballad with beautiful lyrics and emotiona vocals. In the second verse, a little beat comes in, and even some synth riffs in the background. I can identify with this song very well, so it has a special place. It’s like Halo, but again totally unique, and so beautiful!

Scared Of Lonely is from the ‘Sasha Fierce’ disc, but I simply can’t see why. Well okay, Beyoncé’s vocals are a bit more dominant and even a little aggressive, but the music definitly isn’t too much like her alter ego at all. The strings in the music are one of the parts I like best about this song, just like the sort of clavecimble opening the song.

For a song on the ‘I Am…’ disc, That’s Why You’re Beautiful can actually be quite dramatic and bombastic for a ballad type of song. It’s not a real ballad, but more of a dramatic slow beat track, heavily influenced by guitars. The percussion can be a little too dominant at some points compared to the strongness of Bee’s voice, but as a whole I like this song pretty much to say the least.

Beyoncé’s pronunciation of the title word in Hello can get a little weird at some points during the chorus, but gosh, that beat! ❤  And the piano as well, this track has some awesome music indeed! It took me some time to understand the beat pattern, but after that it really got me. That piano in this track is awesome, as well as Beyoncé’s layered vocals.

Radio is more of an energizing uptempo R&;B song with more 80s synthpop, Europop and even some techno influences. I must say Beyoncé’s voice is even good for these types of songs, because it’s still a bit R&B, yet new for her to go along with. I have no problem at all with this track, it’s reasonable, yet enjoyable.

Then we have Video Phone (Extended Remix featuring Lady Gaga), the typical kind of women moaning song. This song is more Beyoncé than Gee-yoncé (Lady Gaga’s persona for this song), so… I think I like the original version more, though this song is not one of my favourites at all. I like that fast beat under it, but the melody is kinda bland.

Okay, uhm… Big laugh? Ego (Remix featuring Kanye West) appears a little weird to me, already from the start with that develish laugh. Kanye’s rap in the intro is way too long and his lyrics are plain weird. This song is one minute longer than the original, and for most parts quite the same, but Kanye West just blew it if you ask me. Beyoncé’s part, on the contrary, is flawless again! Hell with Kanye, folks, in his own songs, he sounds so much better!

It’s clear Bee’s little sis’ Solange worked on Why Don’t You Love Me, because of it’s real funky elements. It’s actually quite a reasonable track. The only disadvantage is Beyoncé’s vocals, because personally I don’t like too agressive vocals, which she has at some points during this song. The track as a whole may come of as a little monotonous and blad, but at least the beat and vibe is sexy and catchy.

Honesty is a cover of the 1979 Billy Joel song, and from the moment I heard Beyoncé starting the first verse, I was sold. She toned her voice down a bit again, and what comes out is simply sincere. The piano and guitars accompanying her sound wonderful with her voice, and even this is something she can make entirely her own. I love her version of this song.

A piano leads into Save The Hero, a ballad song with a bit more aggressive vocals than in other song from the original disc 1, though it’s all well placed. The lyrics are deep and the choir is a wonderful invention to make this song stand out. Even some male vocals are featured in this song, so it seems like a song with a featured artist or male group. I like the melody in this song, and the drama it brings along.

Satellites may not be a grand standout track, but the way Beyoncé sounds with only an acoustic guitar and some strings is simply awesome. This track has some deep lyrics too, if you listen well, so it’s clear to me Bee writes very good lyrics to her own songs. If I come to think about it, her vocal performance in this song is top notch as well, and it’s all been kept very laid back.

In Disappear the whole ambience has been kept simple as well, with only Bee’s great vocals, an acoustic guitar and a soft, smooth beat. Everything blends in very well, such as Bee’s layered vocals in the chorus, so this is actually a very pleasant song to listen to. It surely caught my attention, though the structure for the bridge is a little off, but I don’t give a beep at all in this case =)

At first I was kinda cautious with Ave Maria (people who know the original opera version by name know what I mean), but this isn’t a stiff song at all! It’s another good R&B ballad with a beautiful piano and some guitar notes. Beyoncé’s voice is pretty and soothing, and the lyrics she sings are beautiful to say the least. In the last chorus she sings at a higher pitch though, but she can handle it ofcourse.

Wow, this review took me so darn long, about two days! But it was worth it, at all costs. I’ve come to appreciate the artist that Beyoncé is so much more because of this album, and because she portrays both a vulnerable side of herself with her ballads as well as her wilder side with the uptempo R&B and electro songs. She shows she’s still developing, even though she’s been in the business for quite some time. Most of these songs are songs I know by heart and I’ve listened so much to them in these past two years. I’m all used to them already, and I must say that the more I listened to them, the more they grew on me. There are a few tracks that had to get to me with more difficulty, but most of the time I loved it. I wonder what she’ll be doing with her new album, probably in 2011!

Favorite tracks: Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) | Ego | Halo | If I Were A Boy | Hello | Honesty

OVERALL RATING

4½ stars


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