Unpolished gem looks real find

Unpolished gem looks real find

Filled with dreamy ballads, Beyonce's new album, 4, is a departure from her earlier work. The slow and passionate opener, 1+1, sets the tone for the entire album, which goes from powerful R&B to flirty tracks filled with whimsical lyrics about relationships and love.

Because of their slower tempo, the first few tracks require patience and are at first indistinguishable from one another. They also have questionable elements, like the heavy hip-hop in Party, which features rapper Andre 3000.

Things start to look brighter after the seventh track Start Over, which has a faster beat and boasts better songwriting.

Throughout, though, it's Beyonce's vocals that redeem the album's shaky and discordant beginnings.

Countdown is upbeat and catchy, and sure to become a dance floor staple. It's representative of the album as a whole, a mixed bag of genres: strong military beats sit alongside a reggae vibe reminiscent of Bob Marley.

Wrapping up is Run the World (Girls), Beyonce's latest song of female empowerment, following Single Ladies (2009)., and the most mainstream of the bunch.

4 feels like an unpolished jewel. It will sparkle if only you take the time to give it a chance.

YP rating: 3/5

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