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  • Writer's pictureAmrat

Beyoncé Act II Cowboy Carter | Review

Cover photo of Beyoncé’s new album showing Beyonce on a white horse holding an american flag
Album cover art by Texas-born photographer Blair Caldwell

I have admired Beyoncé and listened to her music since the beginning of her Destiny's Child days, so I am very familiar with her sound, talent, and impeccable performance abilities. Even though she's delivered versatile, genre-less music, Beyoncé has always been pigeonholed into specific music categories (e.g. R&B).

She has shown her versatility and musical intelligence again with the new Cowboy Carter album. There is no doubt that Beyoncé has a deep understanding of music history, especially black music history. Beyoncé, as always, has created awareness of the black roots of Country music, a genre seen as very 'white'. This album is supreme in every way, and what I value the most is the uplifting of other black musicians in the country music arena. Not all the songs are strictly 'Country', with elements of rock and blues, but Country runs trough its veins, and in Beyoncé's words, "This ain't a Country album. This is a 'Beyoncé album".

As part of a trilogy that began with Renaissance, Cowboy Carter is the second instalment. This music era has seen Beyoncé experiment with her voice like she has never done before. For example, the vocal stylisation in AMERICAN REQUIEM and the genre-bending YA YA, where she isn't just signing amazingly but using body and soul. The cover of BLACKBIRD (Beatles) is stunningly simple, and what I love most about her cover of Dolly Parton's (aka Dolly P) Jolene is the authenticity to her own experiences. She’s changed the lyrics because that’s what fits her narrative, and without this it would just be any other Jolene cover.

Each song in Cowboy Carter is like a movie in itself, and the song DAUGHTER exemplifies this. This song can quite easily be used as a theme for a feature length film, win an Oscar and be performed at the Oscars with a full orchestra.

The stylisation and construction of this album is unique, and there are beautiful short interludes that introduce the next song (by none other than Country music legends Linda Martell, Dolly Parton, and Willie Nelson).

The truth is Beyoncé’s impact is immeasurable. When she releases music like Cowboy Carter, there is a shift in the way the music industry operates. There are, of course, other talented (white) musicians who outsell Beyoncé because, in my opinion, they produce the same sounding pop music that appeals to the mass market. In Cowboy Carter, Beyoncé continues to experiment with her writing, production and vocals, demonstrating growth and inclusion, and no amount of streams or sales can outweigh that.

What I admire the most about Beyoncé is that she uplifts people whether that is showing respect to musicians who have paved the way or newer artists. Beyoncé is a once in a lifetime artists who's impact and talent is unmatched.

You must give this new music a go!





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