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 523 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: 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. 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. Jul 7, 2014
    10
    4 é o álbum mais lindo, mostra uma ótima evolução musical, como ela está diferente e que consegue sim fazer um disco maravilhoso praticamente4 é o álbum mais lindo, mostra uma ótima evolução musical, como ela está diferente e que consegue sim fazer um disco maravilhoso praticamente sozinha, ótimas composições e a musicalidade é encantadora. Até quem não gosta muito ou torça o nariz diante da cantora não pode negar que esse álbum é rico em qualidade e boa musica. 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. Oct 27, 2011
    9
    Beyonce has really matured and this album shows it. This is her best album and of course, it reach number one. Nice production, sound, lyrics,Beyonce has really matured and this album shows it. This is her best album and of course, it reach number one. Nice production, sound, lyrics, and songs. Keep up the good work, B. 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. 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 165 User Reviews