4 - Beyonce
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73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 344 Ratings

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  • Summary: The aptly titled fourth studio album from the pop songstress has both dance-floor-ready jams and down-tempo tunes that are a bit tamer than those in the last album.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. 90
    Between doing more of the same old goodness and boiling everything down to its most essential lethality, Beyoncé also makes room on the album for more grandiose tracks that would sound right at home in Broadway musicals.
  2. Jun 30, 2011
    80
    Those ["Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)," "Get Me Bodied," "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy"] were also songs that other singers could have plausibly released and made their own. Most of 4, though, no one else could get away with, or would even want to try.
  3. Aug 18, 2011
    80
    The lyrics are occasionally hackneyed, but overall 4 is a very strong record indeed. [Sep 2011, p.79]
  4. 75
    Vocally, she's never sounded better - throaty and precise - but the songs here just aren't her equal.
  5. Jun 28, 2011
    70
    4 might be her strangest rec­ord. It's a big-budget megapop album with an A list of guest stars (Kanye West, André 3000) and songwriter-producers (Tricky Stewart, the-Dream, Diplo, Ryan Tedder, Diane Warren). Yet it's as eccentric-- as unmistakably personal and quirky--as anything that Sufjan Stevens ever cooked up in his bedroom.
  6. Jun 27, 2011
    63
    She reportedly considered 70-plus songs and hired a variety of collaborators, ranging from Babyface to M.I.A. producer Switch, and yet the album feels skimpy, half-finished.
  7. Jul 18, 2011
    20
    Where this album should be fresh and current, it sounds tired, repetitive and uninspired.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 24 out of 153
  1. Jun 28, 2011
    10
    4 is the more developed, mature, and experienced sister album of 2006's B'Day. With convincing emotion, shocking vulnerability, and slick4 is the more developed, mature, and experienced sister album of 2006's B'Day. With convincing emotion, shocking vulnerability, and slick cohesive production to tie it altogether, Beyonce delivered the best album of 2011 and also her career. Expand
  2. Jul 8, 2011
    10
    If you don't like this album, you should really question your taste in music. I love it because it has a different sound. Unlike most of herIf you don't like this album, you should really question your taste in music. I love it because it has a different sound. Unlike most of her musical peers, she didn't go the techno-pop route which made me love this album even more. You can tell all of her songs came from the heart. The only thing that I have to say is that I don't think "Run The World (Girls)" fits into the album AT ALL. Other than that, the album is flawless. Expand
  3. Nov 26, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The 4 is the album, Beyoncé's most personal, the album that really shows more of her vocal technique. and it more personal, I love this album, I love her. Perfect! Expand
  4. Jun 28, 2011
    10
    Classic, timeless, different, soulful, mature, experienced and incredible album. The best album Beyoncé has released to date,Classic, timeless, different, soulful, mature, experienced and incredible album. The best album Beyoncé has released to date, expanding on her previous masterpieces to create a completely new 'brand' of music unique to 'King B'. I love it...'Miss You', 'I Care', 'End of Time' and 'Countdown' are personal highlights. Expand
  5. Jul 5, 2011
    9
    I feel that this album is one of the most risky of the year and definitely of Beyoncé's career. She has totally moved away fromI feel that this album is one of the most risky of the year and definitely of Beyoncé's career. She has totally moved away from mainstream trends to bring something that is fresher, more pure, and more exciting than most pop music out now. The album is her most coherent and finds the singer struggling with problems that go deeper than those of the dance floor. The part of the CD is her singing by far, the showcasing of her remarkable talent that sets her apart from most "singers." Still I wish there were more up-tempos on the album, but I am more than happy with the emotion I am given in the production, songwriting, and her beautiful voice. Expand
  6. Jul 12, 2012
    8
    The best thing about "4" is the production. As a huge Beyonce fan, I've listened to each one of her albums hundreds of times. Looking back,The best thing about "4" is the production. As a huge Beyonce fan, I've listened to each one of her albums hundreds of times. Looking back, some of her songs aren't as full as they could be, but this is not the case on "4". Every song is produced masterfully. Besides the production, I admire Beyonce for making an album that experiments with different sounds, and nods to so many different musical genres. The best song on the album is "Countdown". It's like the daughter of "Get Me Bodied". It's a jam for sure. It's one of those songs that you instantly enjoy, and never stop enjoying. "End Of Time" finds Beyonce moving beyond the boundaries of her own genre, and is a sonic masterpiece. The horns and drum line hit you right away, and make you wanna get up out of your seat and start marching. When the chorus kicks in, Beyonce's voice soars above the beat. Beyonce has always been great at half - rapping over hardcore beats, and this song further cements her as the queen of Hip Hop/R&B. The album's first half is full of ballads, the two best being "I Care" and the Frank Ocean penned "I Miss You". Beyonce sounds vulnerable, majestic, and commanding. You could throw away "Start Over" and "Rather Die Young", although I am a fan of the latter. "Love On Top" sounds like a mix of Whitney Houston and early Micheal Jackson, and the melody is very catchy, good luck not running around singing this song. The bonus material on the deluxe version is awesome. My favorite track is "Lay Up Under Me". "Schoolin' Life" is the most realistic song about Beyonce's life there could be, and reminds me of Prince. Overall, the album is great, minus one or two throw away tracks, it's definitely worth repeated listens. Highlights: "I Miss You" "I Care" "End of Time" "Countdown" "1+1" "Love On Top". Expand
  7. Dec 3, 2011
    0
    After YEARS of stealing REAL ARTIST'S music, choreography, and concepts and TAKING CREDIT for them. BeYAWNce is OFFICIALLY done. She's over.After YEARS of stealing REAL ARTIST'S music, choreography, and concepts and TAKING CREDIT for them. BeYAWNce is OFFICIALLY done. She's over. The album is a FAILURE. No one cares. OFFICIALLY 4CLOSED. Expand

See all 153 User Reviews