Beyoncé – I AM…SASHA FIERCE (a J!-ENT World Groove Album Review)
November 19, 2008 by Dennis Amith
“A double album showcasing Beyoncé and her alter ego Sasha Fierce. Produced by Timbaland and both disc’s are well-done, featuring beautiful vocals, cool beats and overall, a solid album!”
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ALBUM: I AM…SASHA FIERCE (Digital Version)
LABEL: Music World Music/Columbia
DURATION: 32:49 (disc 1), 29:12 (disc 2)
RELEASE DATE: November 18, 2008
- If I Were A Boy (Album Version)
- Broken-Hearted Girl
- Ave Maria
- Smash Into You
- That’s Why You’re Beautiful
- Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) (Album Version)
- Sweet Dreams
- Video Phone
- Scared of Lonely
Having reviewed music artists worldwide, the concept of a second persona featuring a different style of music of the original artist is nothing new. But how well it does depends on the execution of the vocals and music.
With Beyoncé’s third full-length album, things are much more personal and different than the Beyoncé that we have seen in the past. As Beyoncé’s father (and manager) Matthew said in an interview for Billboard Magazine, “Beyoncé was adamant—and she has complete creative control—about dividing her songs. She felt she couldn’t mix the songs together. She’s in a much different space now than she was one year ago. She’s married and in a really good place and this album reflects that.”
So, the first disc showcases the Beyoncé side and starts off with the single “If I Were A Boy (Album Version)”. A song produced by Toby Gad (Fergie’s “Big Girl’s Don’t Cry”) features a pretty awesome song with Beyoncé sending a message of how she would treat the woman better in relationship if she was a boy. It’s well sung and well done.
The second track “Halo” is another well-done track featuring an upbeat song that showcases her beautiful vocals. Catchy melodies and a song that shows her various vocal range. Well done!
The third track “Disappear” is a slow-tempo heartbreaking song. A beautiful track featuring a groove and very cool guitar playing. Catchy groove, beautiful harmonies and another awesome song on the album.
The fourth track “Broken-Hearted Girl” is a heartwrenching ballad.
The fifth track “Ave Maria” definitely shows a twist on the classic song. It’s not a cover of the classic but includes the riff. Another well-sung track on the album.
And the rest of the album features tracks that were well-sung but compared to these other fantastic tracks on the album, they were average at best for me.
Moving on to disc 2, this features the Sasha Fierce persona which is more aggressive and more sexual.
The first track “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” has received a lot of interest due to the song used in the Saturday Night Live skit featuring Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake. A very addictive, upbeat track.
The second track “Radio” shows the diversity of Beyoncé’s vocals. More of a Euro club track, upbeat and definitely different compared to past tracks.
The third track “Diva” features that Sasha Fierce persona with Beyoncé rapping. Deep bass boomin’, a sample of Lil Wayne’s “A Milli” and I know this may be too different for Beyoncé fans but I actually enjoyed the track!
The fourth track “Sweet Dreams” is another cool dance track and I actually dig the arrangement on this track. Experimental, cool transitions. I dig it!
As you listen to the rest of the soundtrack, you get more of that idea that side of Beyoncé wanted to experiment with various styles of music and as Beyoncé, probably not possible but as Sasha Fierce, you can get this side of her that wants to explore those different interests.
Track 5 “Video Phone” features a deep, bass song that is more like a tease; track 6′s “Hello” features a beautiful piano and beat driven track in which the vocals and the music are almost a bit of a mismatch but somehow it works and then you have the smooth R&B track “Ego” and then the album ends with “Scared of Lonely”, another average upbeat track.
I have to admit that I’m a bit conflicted with “I AM…SASHA FIERCE”. On one hand, you get really awesome tracks on both albums especially early on in the albums but as you continue on the latter half of both albums, you get songs that are just average.
I actually appreciate Beyoncé wanting to experiment with this other side of her ala Sasha Fierce and I can understand why these albums were separated (despite each album being a little over half an hour each), especially to separate the musical style of both personas.
Overall, there were quite a number of cool tracks from both the Beyoncé and her persona Sasha Fierce. You get to experiment different sides of Beyoncé’s musical interests, so you do get the R&B, the Euro club dance tracks and even some hip-hop. But for long time fans, this experimenting may not be their thing.
All in all, there are songs just worthy of listening to. Catchy melodies, beautiful harmonies and Beyoncé just has a sensual, smooth and beautiful vocals. But at the same time, there were just as many average tracks on the album compared to the tracks that I truly enjoyed. So, all in all, I found this album slightly higher than average.
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