Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Alter Ego Takes Over | Beyonce -I Am...Sasha Fierce [Review]

Move over Beyonce Knowles, this time around another singer, Sasha Fierce clearly wants to introduce herself and set her name apart from Mrs. Knowles. Well not exactly, on Beyonce’s third solo album, I Am…Sasha Fierce, Beyonce mixes two different musical sounds and genres onto separate discs to form one album.

Beyonce obviously learned her fans enjoy hearing different sides to her music, evident from her 2003 number 1 Billboard Hot 100 Hip Hop & R&B-Funk song, “Crazy In Love,” to her 2006 smooth mid tempo Soft Rock number 1, “Irreplaceable.” So Beyonce decided to release two A-side singles for her third solo album.

“If I Were A Boy,” is a mid tempo, vocal showcasing song which was geared toward Pop radio formats. The cinematic music video was made to show the scenario of how men would feel if women treated them as men sometimes do women. So far ‘Boy’ has reached number 3 on the Hot 100.

While “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It),” was geared for the clubs and rhythmic radio formats. Sounding much like a continuation of her previous single, “Get Me Bodied,” released from 2006’s B’Day. Though both of the videos were in black and white, ‘Single’ was a dance performance video; as ‘Boy’ was simply a mini movie.

The generalized sound of songs under the, I Am… title are slow ballads which aren’t to striking after a first listen and may come off as boring to Beyonce’s usual R&B fan base.

A few standouts were present as well. “Broken Hearted Girl,” and “Halo,” feature lyrics that seem touching and realistic. Production on these tracks was great as well. Speculated next single “Halo,” was written by lead singer of OneRepublic, Ryan Tedder, and actually intended for one of his past collaborators, Leona Lewis (who shared a number 1 collaboration with “Bleeding Love,”).

Beyonce previously told fans that Sasha was her on stage alter ego who she essentially becomes while on stage performing and takes her to a more energy driven exciting level. The intense vibe is definitely present on the Sasha Fierce portion of the album as well. Majority of the songs have an energy level which clearly is not present on the I Am... tracks.

On the Sasha Fierce side, you quickly indentify signature Beyonce catchiness; which is present on tracks like “Video Phone.” From its current-craze title, slick lyrics and its hard hitting beat, Beyonce scores a repeat track with this cut.

“Ego,” is another song where Beyonce clearly utilizes her versatility to create a unique retro, Pop-Funk, Soul jam. She states, “Some call it arrogant, I call it confident,” as she refers to her specific chosen guy.

Inspired by Lil’ Wayne’s “A Milli,” Beyonce recorded a song called “Diva,” to a remarkably similar beat; both produced by Bangladesh. She raps and says why she is number 1 among fellow female artists.

Overall I Am…Sasha Fierce clearly directs Beyonce in a different diverse direction. She creates a way to dominate multiple music sounds and genres, all while bringing a unique conceptual idea to her album. Beyonce’s previous work has sold in outstanding amounts, and I Am…Sasha Fierce couldn’t have come at a better time. Though it may not be every Beyonce fans cup of tea, expect I Am...Sasha Fierce to become another big album for Mrs. Knowles-Carter.

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