4

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73

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

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7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 556 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.
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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. Uncut
    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: 20 out of 161
  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 6, 2011
    10
    Absolutely amazing. Beyonce has shown growth vocally and artistically with this album. Each song is different sound and is also cohesive. I amAbsolutely amazing. Beyonce has shown growth vocally and artistically with this album. Each song is different sound and is also cohesive. I am a satisfied with the producing, writing and direction she went with this era. Good Job King. Expand
  3. May 4, 2015
    10
    ore. 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)" fitsore. 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 flawle Expand
  4. Jul 8, 2011
    10
    4 is a classic album that you will be able to enjoy for years to come. Unlike other albums by major artists these days, Beyonce is not aiming4 is a classic album that you will be able to enjoy for years to come. Unlike other albums by major artists these days, Beyonce is not aiming to fit in with the current trends with this album and instead is in a lane of her own. The album has a strong old-school, feel-good vibe going on with alot of the songs. With true emotion and a powerful voice beautifully controlled conveyed on most songs... 4 is definately not a throw-away album. On first listen some Beyonce fans may be a little underwhelmed by the lack of up-tempos but in the long-run this will be an album they will grow to adore. There are some songs you'll be able to groove to with mom and dad in the car (e.g. Party and Love on Top)... Songs you can sing to your special someone (1+1, Rather Die Young, End of Time). Countdown and Run the World (Girls) are the two modern sounding up-tempos but are just as good and still fit in with the album. Even the deluxe edition songs are just as good. Essentially this is an album worth buying and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.... and if one day you wake up and find your Beyonce 4 missing, don't worry it's most likely in your moms car. LOL Expand
  5. Jul 2, 2011
    9
    Fans of B'Day and Sasha Fierce maybe a little crestfallen with this ballad heavy album (if so, look for Run the World (Girls), Countdown, EndFans of B'Day and Sasha Fierce maybe a little crestfallen with this ballad heavy album (if so, look for Run the World (Girls), Countdown, End of Time, and Schoolin' Life) but it shines above most other mainstream albums from this year, and I feel it seems like a perfect sequel to I Am... The mid-tempos show a small glimpse of her hip-hop and dance sound that she boasted in her second studio album and the signature R&B/Soul ballads are all on par, if not beyond, songs such as "Halo" and "If I Were A Boy". Whether it is a grooving, uplifting dance track or a beautiful soul masterpiece, this album, whether partially or in its entirety, is sure to appeal to most all of old and new Beyoncé fans. Expand
  6. Nov 17, 2013
    8
    This is definitely a departure in her sound compared to I Am... Sasha Fierce. What I love from this album is B's efforts to get back toThis is definitely a departure in her sound compared to I Am... Sasha Fierce. What I love from this album is B's efforts to get back to traditional R&B sound without losing her modern contemporary sound at all. "Start Over" stands out the most for me, but "Dance for You" is the strongest track in the album. Overall, the album is solid and you can actually have a climax from the first to last track. Though there are four tracks that kind of ruin the album's harmony for me: "Rather Die Young", "End of Time", "Lay Up Under Me", and "Schoolin' Life". Other than these four, the album is gorgeous! Expand
  7. Jan 21, 2012
    0
    ... over produced to my likings, it just seems like she is yelling and just has no true emotions in it, sadly this album has great lyrics to... over produced to my likings, it just seems like she is yelling and just has no true emotions in it, sadly this album has great lyrics to songs, but the singer lacks in the ability to produce emotions. Poor beyonce, she tried but fell apart. :( Expand

See all 161 User Reviews