4

Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
Buy On
  1. Jun 29, 2011
    60
    It's not an album that's as surprising or forward thinking as Dangerously in Love or B'Day, but it is for the most part a fun listen at worst and for her legion of fans it will probably translate to much more.
  2. Jun 28, 2011
    60
    It's more Glee Club than cutting edge pop queen, and, as is so often the case with big pop albums, too many production teams spoil the froth.
  3. Beyoncé's strident triumphalism is displaced by muted heartbreak and the cookie-cutter R&B of her mega-sellers ditched for a subtle, stripped-down sound that suggests someone's been listening to Janelle Monae.
  4. 40
    There ain't too much here that's going to add to her legacy. Rather, there's the unmistakable sense of someone treading water, with even the OK bits here sounding uninspired.
  5. Jun 24, 2011
    60
    On 4, she's still missing a real sense of vulnerability but steps out from behind the club jams with beautifully nuanced mid-tempo production.
  6. 40
    Overall, the weaknesses far outnumber the strengths. Not, of course, that that will prevent huge sales figures for 4: because those numbers, ultimately, are what it's all about.
  7. Jun 24, 2011
    60
    The highpoints offer hints of what it might have been: it's hard not to feel that what it might have been sounds better than what it is.
  8. Q Magazine
    Aug 16, 2011
    60
    At Glastonbury she dazzled; here she plays it safe. [Sept. 2011, p. 105]
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 534 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 25 out of 165
  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. Full Review »
  2. Jun 28, 2011
    10
    With titles such as "I Care" and "Rather Die Young" I was ready to be sung to sleep. I wasn't, Beyoncé blew me away with thisWith titles such as "I Care" and "Rather Die Young" I was ready to be sung to sleep. I wasn't, Beyoncé blew me away with this collection of beautiful, soulful songs. The Ballads are what make this record, contrary to what some of these "critics" are saying. Hands down the best album I've heard vocal wise from any pop artist in years. She's an upcoming legend, more than that, an icon. Brava Beyoncé! Full Review »
  3. Jun 28, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Beautiful album, possibly her best. Her voice has so much power and the uptempo songs are so good. And ou can't forget about the deluxe tracks, they're all amazing! Full Review »