Monday, 27 June 2011

Beyonce - 1+1

"You are witnessing a dream! I always wanted to be a rock star!"

Certainly this weekend's Glastonbury belonged to Beyonce as she wowed those fortunate enough to get tickets and those of us sitting green-eyed at home.  And now this week she will undoubtedly be topping the charts with her latest album '4', perfectly timed to capitalise on her success.  The album is book-ended by two utterly contrasting tracks: 1+1 and Run The World, which both featured on her Glastonbury set-list.

It's pretty unusual to begin an album with a ballad.  In fact, '4' feels a bit backwards - slower songs gradually making way for upbeat numbers to climax with Run The World as little more than an afterthoughtIt emphasises the change of pace for this album - sassy alter-ego Sasha Fierce is all but forgotten with a much heavier reliance on power ballads.  Beyonce is arguably at her best with sexy upbeat tracks, allowing a total performance with singing and dancing, but as a whole '4' is certainly a showcase for the star's vocal talents.

1+1 in particular.  It's a tender love song with a captivating vocal.  The production simply supports the power and emotion of the song, slowburning towards the climactic guitar solo.  Like many songs on the album it's got a very 80's feel (influences ranging from power ballads to funk to Whitney Houston), but it's totally modernised.

It's clear then who is on top.  Who runs the [pop] world?  Beyonce.