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

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7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 727 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: 21 out of 183
  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. Jun 29, 2011
    10
    Absolutely groundbreaking album. All songs are a hit, and Beyonce's voice better than ever. I liked every song in the album but my personalAbsolutely groundbreaking album. All songs are a hit, and Beyonce's voice better than ever. I liked every song in the album but my personal favorites Countdown, End of time, I was here and Start over. Expand
  3. Aug 30, 2016
    10
    Amazing! The best Beyoncé album ever! Is everything and has everything i always wanted Beyoncé to do. She presents a perfect masterpiece andAmazing! The best Beyoncé album ever! Is everything and has everything i always wanted Beyoncé to do. She presents a perfect masterpiece and not everyone these days can do it like she can. Collapse Expand
  4. Jul 2, 2011
    10
    I have to admit - it took Run The World (Girls) a while until I understood the genious of it. But once I got into it - I couldn't stopI have to admit - it took Run The World (Girls) a while until I understood the genious of it. But once I got into it - I couldn't stop listenning to it. Same thing happened with 4. I had to give it a few listens until I realised how good it is. It really is a brilliant album, and Beyonce proves once again that she doesn't gimmics and conterversy in order to put a good album. She only needs her huge talent. And it works. Expand
  5. Jul 7, 2011
    9
    Beyonce has been in the game for almost 15 years now and this album shows how maturer she has become and how much she has grown as an artist.Beyonce has been in the game for almost 15 years now and this album shows how maturer she has become and how much she has grown as an artist. She doesn't want to be just a superstar anymore - she wants to be a legend and she feels like she already is a legend. And legends are allowed to take risks - furthermore, they're supposed to take risks. This album is full of beautiful risks.
    Every song on the album is such a beautiful piece of art - starting with 1+1, an ode of love with strong vocals, I Care and I Miss You - you get the most emotional side of the love ballads. Best Thing I Never had is one of the highlights of the album with its catchy sound and unforgettable funny lyrics. Party is another funny song. Even though it's not what its title supposes it to be, the song is really nice with some 90s sound. After that we have some more ballads with mid-tempo sound - Rather Die Young and Start Over. Whereas the first impresses with it's melodic beautiful sound, Start Over is one of the strongest songs in vocal terms on the album. After Start Over, we get nothing but potential smashes and solid songs. Love On Top is one of the best here. After it Countdown and End of Time are the ones with the biggest potential to be smash hits and sit on the top of the charts for a while. Both are really melodic and have catchy sound. I Was Here is another vocally strong ballad, which is very appreciated by the fans because of its message. Run The World (Girls) closes the set with style.
    Even though the tracks are really risky because they are so different from everything on the radio, at the end of the day the quality is the thing that matters and an artist like Beyonce deserve all the support and the success, because to have the courage to not follow the trends, but inventing the new trends is what must be appreciated the best.
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  6. Dec 3, 2011
    8
    This is one of Beyonce's most cohesive works yet. The album is full of R and B Nostalgia. Beyonce has never been more confident vocally andThis is one of Beyonce's most cohesive works yet. The album is full of R and B Nostalgia. Beyonce has never been more confident vocally and more poignant with emotion. The albums opener 1 + 1 is a true artistic choice that is very admirable. Listening to four sounds like the best elements of R and B from the last 40 years but with a modern twist. Only Beyonce could do this. The problem with this album is how it fits into the current market. But an album like this is not for the times, its for the history books. 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 183 User Reviews