I Am… Sasha Fierce
I Am… Sasha Fierce
November 18, 2008 (USA)
Billboard 200 Peak: #1
Billboard Hot 100
Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It): #1
If I Were a Boy: #3
I Am… Sasha Fierce, first and foremost, is not anywhere near as amazing as B’Day was (and, yes, I LOVED B’Day).
By far the more interesting side is “Sasha Fierce” with the dance-y tracks and up tempo stompers. Highlights include #1 single: [Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)] and [Diva], a female take on Lil Wayne’s [A Milli]. In fact, about 65% of “Sasha Fierce” is worth a couple of listens from the thumping, electronic-ode [Video Phone] to [Sweet Dreams] where the runs of Miss Fierce (or is it Mrs. Fierce?) stop for no one. This was so bad I had to mention it, a bonus track entitled [Ego] is one of my favorite tracks from “Sasha Fierce” mostly because of the chorus: “It’s too big, it’s wide, it’s too strong, it won’t fit, it’s too much, it’s too tough… He’s got a big ego…” but whilst cataloging everything that makes her so bootylicious (legs, thighs, lips, eyes) Beyoncé employs some sort of dry throat vocals during the bridge and it sounds bad. And she probably hurt her voice doing it. But other than that, “Sasha Fierce” is by far the strongest disc and worth a listen if you like the sort of music I do.
Download: Diva, Ego
Of course, the flip side is the all-too-familiar “I Am…” where we find three songs worth mentioning for my readers: [If I Were a Boy] a gender-bending ballad, [Halo] a Leona Lewis pass-over with amazing lyrics and a melody to kill for, and [Ave Maria] an English sampling of the famous Latin melody by Gounod and Bach. While [Ave Maria] does not have the best vocals of “I Am…”, the pure fact that she used such a familiar melody and turned it into a beautiful peice of English music is extraordinary all in itself. Beyoncé‘s vocals on this disc are more controlled melismatically but emotionally even the most cliche songs are packed full of deep passion. Otherwise, “I Am…” drags through a few non-descript ballads, treads common lyrical ground with every other Rhythm & Pop artist, and in general puts me right to sleep.
Download: Halo, Disappear