Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 24
  2. Negative: 2 out of 24
  1. Beyonce's third solo studio album is as concise as 2006's B'day, but it is divided into two discs as a way to emphasize the singer's distinct personalities. It's a gimmick, of course--a flimsy one.
  2. It's the classic, more timeless R&B songs on the I Am portion of the album that seem like a much-welcomed stretch for the singer.
  3. 60
    What’s revealed is...well, what we’re used to. Beyonce is still a beauty-shop feminist, quick with the smack-downs, and she still describes the rattling rush of love with preternatural poise.
  4. For the most part, it works well and sounds fresh.
  5. I am...amused. But it's sort of like the horrific fascination of seeing a train wreck.
  6. It's more a rescinded lesson in demographics, with disc one seemingly aimed at airbrushing out the last vestiges of Knowles' credibility in favour of a procession of lame pop ballads in a Shakira or even Shania Twain-ish mould.
  7. I Am...Sasha Fierce does offer two compelling sides of the singer.
  8. The ballads are nice enough, in a syrupy, overwrought way. But slamming dance songs have always been Beyoncé's strength, so it's no surprise that the "Sasha Fierce" half of the album is the better showing.
  9. Beyonce still proves that she's an all-around good performer even though her attempt to branch out into an alter ego fails a little.
  10. 70
    She's not there yet, but the effort is fascinating, and hopefully she will keep on this path.
  11. There are three good songs on this 11-track artifact, and deeply vapid though the split-personality bit is, the trick of dividing the album into two CDs does leave a 17-minute dance disc that can be played without gastric distress by any purchaser who isn't picky about diva gangstaism or videophone porn.
  12. Unfortunately, the "deluxe edition" is bloated with filler, and the shorter "standard edition" omits some of the more creative songs instead of dropping the duds.
  13. But OutKast's "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" aside, it's debatable whether there has been call for a double album since "Sign O' the Times" in 1987, and this is clearly another case for the prosecution.
  14. On the first disc (I Am), Knowles comes off helpless and as emotionally closed as ever....The Sasha Fierce side is more like it. Here, Knowles works her confident, fun alter-ego. Still, she overdoes it on 'Diva.'
  15. While this LP is more painstaking than B'Day, the extra effort dulls any emotional wallop; "B'Day," in all its hectic glory, offered a much more vivid peek into the elusive mind of Beyoncé than Sasha Fierce, which often reads more like projection than reality.
  16. I Am… Sasha Fierce had an opportunity to be a great record. Instead, it's merely good. And for a diva such as Beyoncé, that's not entirely acceptable.
  17. Though some of the slow songs have thoroughly memorable tunes, the lyrics are full of bland self-affirmation and saggy lines....But the "Sasha" disc boasts Beyonce's most adventurous music yet.
  18. I Am...Sasha Fierce is an admirable vie for artistic credibility (and for a last-ditch revival of the long-player format) but one that is muddled by the fact that the album is being offered in two configurations.
  19. 40
    Sasha is an intriguing but diluted direction.
  20. Mar 2, 2011
    50
    While an interesting concept, neither CD contains enough strong material to match up to either of her previous releases, and at times, the constant barrage of R&B cliches and adult-contemporary production make it sound like Beyonce is rapidly transforming from hot, hip pop goddess to your standard bored diva.
  21. The two halves wouldn't necessarily sound better shuffled together--both are pretty uneven.
  22. My advice is to skip directly to disc two, though I'm happy to report that the typically melismatic Mrs. Jigga shows a shocking degree of vocal restraint on the ballads.
  23. It's not just that the music on I Am ... is boring--although, aside from the growling guitars and tumbling drums of That's Why You're Beautiful, it is. It's that there is something underwhelming about the whole project.
  24. 70
    Ironically, it's the more tame (and nameless) persona that's the most intriguing, commanding and sexual.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 270 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 90
  2. Negative: 12 out of 90
  1. Ido
    Sep 3, 2011
    10
    Amazing album. The "I Am" side is perfect, there is no one with voice like the one she has.
    Halo is one of the most beautiful songs that I ever heard.
  2. Aug 6, 2012
    10
    Really diverse and cohesive. The 'I Am...' side is filled with sensual, meaningful and emotional ballads where Beyoncé reveals all her fears and insecurities. The 'Sasha Fierce' side, which is filled with fierce uptempos, shows us the other side of Beyoncé - her alter ego Sasha Fierce. Full Review »
  3. Jun 10, 2011
    10
    I Am... Sasha Fierce is one of the best pop/r&b albums in recent years. She is really a living legend. She has the entire package. She is one of the very few to give you vulnerability, as evident in songs like "Satellites," "Scared of Lonely," "Smash Into You," among others, and at the same time give you sassy and commanding Beyoncé, that we all love, or should I say Sasha Fierce? Overall this album is EPIC. Her best to date. Standout tracks: Halo, Smash Into You, If I Were a Boy, Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It), Sweet Dreams, Ave Maria. Full Review »